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 08/04/09 Sweet Italian Sausage Casserole

"Aiutati che Dio ti aiuta." (Help yourself and God will help you. God helps those who help themselves.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Baked Eggplant Marinara
  -Pappardelle Bolognese
  -Sweet Italian Sausage Casserole

How is the summer coming along? Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       


 Cookie of the Week: Sesame Seed Cookies

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 Recipe: Baked Eggplant Marinara

Baked Eggplant Marinara
Melanzana Marinara

Ingredients:

Eight 1/2-inch-thick center-cut eggplant rounds (from 2 small eggplants)
All purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten to blend
1 and 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese (about 2 and 1/2 ounces)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 and 1/4 cups purchased marinara sauce
3/4 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese (about 3 ounces)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Lightly oil baking sheet.

Sprinkle eggplant rounds with salt and pepper.

Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls.

Mix breadcrumbs and Parmigiano cheese in another shallow bowl.

Coat eggplant rounds with flour, then eggs, then breadcrumb mixture, patting to adhere.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add 4 eggplant rounds to skillet.

Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to prepared sheet.

Repeat with remaining olive oil and eggplant rounds.

Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese over each round.

Top each with sauce and mozzarella cheese, dividing equally.

Bake until rounds are heated through and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Makes 8 first-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pappardelle Bolognese

Pappardelle Bolognese

Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 slices thick-cut pancetta, diced
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 lb ground veal
1 lb ground pork
1 cup dry red wine
2 bay leaves
Two 14-ounce cans beef broth
1 and 1/2 cups canned tomato puree

1 lb pappardelle or mafaldine pasta
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese

Directions:

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.

Add pancetta; saute until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes.

Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and thyme; saute 5 minutes.

Add veal and pork; saute until brown and cooked through, breaking up meat with back of fork, about 10 minutes.

Add wine and bay leaves.

Simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.

Add broth and tomato puree.

Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until sauce thickens, stirring often, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Bring to simmer before using.)

Boil pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Drain. Transfer to pot with sauce; toss.

Serve with Parmigiano cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Sweet Italian Sausage Casserole

Sweet Italian Sausage Casserole
Casseruola di Salsiccia Dolce

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup diced (1/2-inch) eggplant
1 cup diced (1/2-inch) zucchini
1 cup diced (1/2-inch) red or green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can (28 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Cayenne or black pepper, to taste
2 ounces grated mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Put olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium-low heat.

Add the sausage meat and cook for 10 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spoon.

Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon; reserve.

To the same pot, add the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion and garlic.

Stirring occasionally, cook until softened, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in the reserved sausage, the tomatoes, parsley, basil and cayenne.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Spoon the mixture into an 8 by 9-inch, oven-to-table baking dish to fit and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake in a 350F preheated oven until the cheese melts, about 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

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:

Speed Traps Must Have Warnings

Rome - March 13, 2009 - Speed traps must be signposted in time for motorists to slow down, Italy's highest court said Friday.

The Cassation Court said signs alerting drivers to the cameras must be placed "at least 400 meters (440 yards)" before the devices.

The court, whose rulings set precedents, issued its verdict in the case of a Calabrian company, Speed Control, which was found guilty of hiding cameras to make profits with municipal authorities who fined speeding drivers. The supreme court recalled that, by law, 400 meters is the minimum distance for alerting drivers to the presence of speed traps.

It pointed out that Italian traffic law is aimed more at preventing accidents than punishing offenders.

"Scassacazzo", can you believe it? A sign warning you you're about to get fleeced out of 150 Euros (195 USD). Welcome to the Italian Twilight Zone.

So, why are the chances you will actually see one of these warning signs on the road very slim? Because while you're driving in the Twilight Zone you'll be too occupied with defending your car and dear life from the happy little bands of Italian jackasses screaming down the highways in their ignorant and customary fashion!

- Use the rear-view mirror? FAIL!
- Wear a seatbelt? FAIL!
- Turn signals? FAIL!
- Slow down in the rain? FAIL!

- Overtaking with inches to spare, forcing you off to the side of the road? PASS!
- Wearing sunglasses at night? PASS!
- Talking on mobile phones? PASS!

Wearing sunglasses at night, talking on a mobile phone while overtaking you with inches to spare? PASS with HONORS, you "figlio di puttana!"

Basically, the four main points of highway safety can be summed up as:

- "Don't speed, cornuto!"
- "Look where you're going, faccia di culo!"
- "Be considerate of other drivers, testa di minchia!"
- "Try and make at least some use of the squirt of intelligence you were born with because life is short, coglioni!"

After driving in Italy, the highways of the United States looked like a trip on a tricycle around a Kindergarten playground.

"Only In Italy" Subscribe today and you'll discover why the last improvements to Italy were made by Julius Caesar and why it's been downhill ever since!  Click Here to Subscribe!



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 Italian humor and news; visit and subscribe today and feed your sense of intellectual superiority by reading and wondering how Italy still survives after 56 governments in 50 years!
 Only In Italy.com

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