07/31/07 Campari Strega Gelato from

"Val più la pratica della grammatica." (Experience is more important than theory.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Vitello Brasato alla Milanese
  -Espresso Mousse
  -Campari Strega Gelato

Enjoy the recipes, the rest of your summer and the complimentary news article report from "Only In".

Enjoy the issue!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Santo Trio

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 Recipe: Vitello Brasato alla Milanese

Vitello Brasato alla Milanese
Braised Veal Shanks alla Milanese


2 ounces pancetta, cubed
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 veal shanks
1/4 cup flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 carrot, minced
1 onion, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chicken or beef broth
1 bunch Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced zest of 1/2 lemon, chopped
Salt and pepper


Cook the pancetta in the butter in a large pan until it is golden.

Dredge the veal shanks in the flour, shaking off the excess, and add them to the pan. Let them brown, turning once (about 8 minutes per side), and season with salt and pepper.

Deglaze with the wine; when the wine has evaporated add the carrot, onion, and celery and continue to cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is golden.

Stir in the tomatoes, cover, and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the veal is tender and the meat begins to come away easily from the bone, adding 1 tablespoon of broth at a time as needed to keep the sauce from drying up.

Meanwhile, combine the parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. Sprinkle the parsley mixture (this is called a gremolata) over the veal, and cook 10 more minutes.

Serve hot, preferably with risotto alla milanese or polenta. Serves 4.

That's it!

 Recipe: Espresso Mousse

Espresso Mousse


1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons coffee beans
5 egg yolks
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 package gelatin
1 cup freshly brewed espresso, room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
3 cups heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks


Heat the milk with the coffee beans over low heat until small bubbles show up around the edges. Strain the coffee beans out.

In another bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick. Beat in the milk. Return to the pan and cook until thick (without boiling).

Dissolve the gelatin powder in 1/4 cup of the espresso.

Heat the rest of the espresso and whisk into the pan.

Stir in the reserved gelatin/espresso mixture and pour into a bowl. Cool until room temperature.

Fold the mascarpone and whipped cream together and then carefully add to the mousse mixture.

Pour into serving bowl and refrigerate until set. Garnish with coffee beans.

That's it!

 Recipe: Campari Strega Gelato

Campari Strega Gelato


2 and 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar, divided
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Campari liqueur
1 tablespoon Strega liqueur
18 cherries
Chocolate sauce for drizzling
2 pre-made pizzelle cookies
6 sprigs fresh mint


In a saucepan, combine the milk, half of the sugar and a tiny pinch of salt, and heat until bubbles form around the edges. Do not boil.

In a bowl, combine the remaining sugar and the yolks, and whisk until it's thick and a pale yellow color. Temper the egg mixture by pouring 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the eggs, whisking constantly. (This raises the temperature of the eggs so they don't scramble when added to other hot ingredients.)

Add the egg mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the milk, and whisk. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat a spoon, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Strain the mixture into a bowl that is set in a larger bowl filled with ice water. Occasionally stir the mixture as it cools. Once the mixture is cool, fold in the liqueurs.

Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

When ready to serve, place 3 scoops of the gelato in each dessert glass. Top the gelato with 3 cherries, and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Break the cookies into 3 pieces, and place 1 piece in each glass. Garnish with the mint sprigs, and serve. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure:

Decrepit and Ragged Senators Surprisingly Hold Key to Italy's Future

February 23 - As Italy on Friday struggled to put together its 62nd government since the second world war, the spotlight fell on seven elderly senators who hold the nation’s political future in their hands.

The "magnificent seven" rode to the rescue of Romano Prodi, the center-left leader, in May when their votes enabled his government to win a confidence motion and stay in office.

It was a different story on Wednesday, when one of the seven voted against the government and two abstained, contributing to Mr. Prodi's defeat on a foreign policy motion and triggering his fall.

Exactly why the trio acted as they did or whether they even knew what they were doing has rapidly become a national talking point.

The importance of the "magnificent seven" stems from the fact that Mr. Prodi's center-left forces command 158 seats in the Senate, parliament's upper house, only one more than the center-right opposition's 157 seats.

The balance of power rests with seven other so-called "senators for life", of whom three are former heads of state, two ex-prime ministers, one an industrialist and one a scientist.

Last May, all seven voted to keep Mr. Prodi's government in power. In December, five supported the government in a vote tied to Italy's 2007 budget. Had they not done so, Mr. Prodi would have fallen.

On Wednesday, it all went hideously wrong. For a start, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, 88, a former head of state sympathetic to the center-left, was in bed with flu and missed the vital foreign policy vote.

Three senators did support Mr. Prodi. They were Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, 86, another former head of state; Emilio Colombo, 86, a former prime minister; and Rita Levi Montalcini, 97, a Nobel prize-winner for medicine.

Francesco Cossiga, who at 78 is the youngest of the "magnificent seven", voted against the government. This came as no surprise. He had previously complained that the center-left's foreign policy was "basically anti-American, anti-British and anti-Israeli".

The real shocks were the abstentions of Giulio Andreotti, 88, who served as premier seven times, and Sergio Pininfarina, 80, honored for his lifetime achievements in the car industry.

Mr. Prodi's government might have fallen, anyway, because of the hostility of leftwing dissidents to his foreign policy, especially his willingness to permit the expansion of a US military base in Italy and to keep Italian troops in Afghanistan.

But Mr. Andreotti and Mr. Pininfarina made a difference because, in a Senate vote like that on Wednesday, abstentions count as No votes. The government lost its motion by two votes.

Mr. Pininfarina was not known as a critic of the government, but he had not attended a Senate vote since May. There is much debate over whether he really wanted to abstain, or just made a mistake.

In the case of Mr. Andreotti, a master of Italian political intrigue since 1948, some center-left politicians are furious.

They suspect Mr. Andreotti, who is close to the Roman Catholic church, refused to support the government in order to punish it for having recently approved more legal rights for unwed couples, including gays. The church has loudly condemned this measure.

Mr. Andreotti has said nothing to confirm these suspicions. But for the next Italian government the lesson is clear; keep on the right side of the "magnificent seven".

"Again, Porca Puttana!" The magnificent seven? They should have their own super hero comic book and cartoon. Their powers include trying to walk up a flight of stairs without losing their breath.

How can the magnificent hold the key to Italy's future? What future would you like to see when you're in your late eighties? Christo, they mutter and mutter incoherently and the only break you get from them is when they have to go backstage in the parliament where the oxygen tanks are.

"The Magnificent Seven"

1.) Giulio Andreotti, 88: served as a magnificent prime minister seven times. No one has been able to understand why. He has been accused and convicted of having magnificent Mafia contacts, although he avoided formal conviction due to magnificent statutory limitations. He has sat in Parliament without interruption for 61 very long years. In November 2002 he was convicted of ordering the magnificent 1979 murder of Mino Pecorelli, a journalist who had published allegations that he had ties to the Mafia. He was sentenced to twenty-four-years imprisonment.

Magnificent Quote: "You sin in thinking bad about people - but, often, you guess right." If so, then it will be best if Italy starts lining up for Church penitence.

2.) Sergio Pininfarina, 81: a magnificent automobile designer whose company has been employed by Ferrari, Maserati, Cadillac, Peugeot, Jaguar, Volvo, Alfa Romeo and Lancia. In October 2005 he was named Senator for Life of the magnificent Italian Republic. Why? It takes a magnificent designing genius to know what color leather goes perfect in your magnificent yellow Ferrari.

3.) Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, 86: From April 1993 to May 1994, he flew in as Italian Prime Minister overseeing a magnificent "technical government" (a technical government is a non-party circus-like government made up of unelected, magnificent-but-clueless people such as civil servants, magistrates or bankers from outside the political circle instead of members of the country's magnificent legislature. They are constantly formed when it is impossible for a government to be formed until new elections are held in order to ensure magnificent administrative functions are carried out).

He magnificently chose the Italian design for the 1-Euro coin. He is not considered to be close to the magnificent positions of the Vatican and the Catholic church.

4.) Emilio Colombo, 86: In November 2003, shortly after receiving the honor of Senator for Life, he magnificently celebrated by admitting to being a regular cocaine user but for magnificent "therapeutic purposes".

Magnificent Quote: "I have not been a (cocaine) user for long - not more than a year, year-and-a-half." This vague but magnificent admission does not make him liable to magnificent prosecution because consumption of drugs in Italy is not a criminal offence.

5.) Rita Levi-Montalcini, 97: Italian neurologist who received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the magnificent discovery of growth factors. Today she is the oldest living Nobel laureate. A truly magnificent scientist and lovely lady who, unfortunately, has not been able to explain the lacking growth factors of brain cells of her parliament peers.

6.) Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, 88: was known as an austere and incorruptible politician, as well as a devout and magnificent Catholic attending Mass every day. This holy image indeed explains his election to the presidency, as the principal and clearly impossible task at hand was to return Italian public and political life to a more moral course.

7.) Francesco Cossiga, 79: was in charge of the Ministry for Internal Affairs during the kidnapping and murdering of Aldo Moro by Red Brigades. He magnificently resigned when Moro was found dead in 1978. His presidency was unremarkable, lifeless and quite boring for its first five years. However, in his last two years as a President, he woke up and began to express magnificent opinions, at times virulent, against the Italian political system. Some even suggested he was somewhat mentally unstable. He declared he was just "taking magnificent pleasure in removing some sand from my shoes."

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