08/09/11 Ricotta Gnocchi with Truffle Sauce

"Tempo al tempo." (All in good time.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Orzo Risotto
  -Ricotta Gnocchi with Truffle Sauce
  -Grilled Pork Sausages with Figs

"Buon Estate and thank you!" I look forward to connecting further in the coming days. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Sicilian Orange Almond Cookies

"Sicilian Orange" Almond Cookies: A soft and chewy Italian almond cookie with a crisp outside and tender inside. Made exclusively from our own home grown natural almonds with bits of candied Sicilian oranges, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

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 Recipe: Orzo Risotto

Orzo Risotto


6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
3/4 cup minced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
6 cups boiling water
1 and 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 and 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
6 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley


Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.

Add shallots and garlic.

Saute until shallots are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add orzo; saute 5 minutes.

Mix in 6 cups boiling water and salt.

Simmer uncovered until orzo is tender, liquid is absorbed, and risotto is creamy, stirring often, about 18-20 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Mix in thyme and peel, then parsley. Makes 8 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Ricotta Gnocchi with Truffle Sauce

Ricotta Gnocchi with Truffle Sauce
Gnocchi di Ricotta con Salsa di Tartufo


For the Gnocchi:
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1 ounce) plus additional for serving
1/2 teaspoon salt
Large pinch of ground white pepper
3/4 cup all purpose flour plus additional for coating

For the Sauce:
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6 thin prosciutto slices
12 whole fresh sage leaves
2 pounds fresh wild mushrooms (such as crimini, oyster, and stemmed shiitake), sliced
2 large shallots, chopped
6 fresh thyme sprigs
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon black truffle oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, diced


Prepare the Gnocchi:
Line medium bowl with several layers of paper towels.

Spoon ricotta cheese into bowl.

Let drain at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Beat egg, 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, salt, and white pepper in large bowl to blend.

Mix in ricotta.

Sprinkle 3/4 cup flour over and stir gently to blend.

Cover and chill dough 1 hour.

Line rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap.

Place some flour in bowl.

For each gnocchi, gently roll 1 heaping teaspoonful of dough into ball.

Add to flour; toss to coat lightly, shaping into short log.

Place on baking sheet.

Prepare the Sauce:
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large pot or extra-large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add 3 prosciutto slices.

Cook until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer to paper towels.

Repeat with remaining prosciutto.

Add whole sage leaves to pot; saute until crisp, about 1 minute per side.

Transfer to paper towels.

Heat remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil in same pot over medium-high heat.

Add all mushrooms, shallots, thyme, and chopped sage.

Saute until mushrooms brown and liquids evaporate, about 12 minutes.

Transfer mixture to bowl.

Add broth to same pot and boil until slightly reduced, scraping up browned bits, about 7 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Add 1 teaspoon truffle oil and mushroom mixture.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook gnocchi in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, rewarm sauce.

Add butter; toss until blended.

Using strainer, transfer gnocchi to pot with sauce.

Toss over medium heat until sauce coats gnocchi.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to large shallow bowl.

Crumble prosciutto over.

Top with sage leaves; serve with additional Pecorino cheese. Makes 6 first-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Grilled Pork Sausages with Figs

Grilled Pork Sausages with Figs
Salsicce di Maiale alla Griglia con Fichi


2 cups red wine vinegar
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 cups (packed) dried black Mission figs (about 11 ounces)
1 cinnamon stick
12 whole cloves
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon cornstarch

5 sweet Italian link pork sausages (about 1 pound)


Stir first 5 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan.

Let stand 30 minutes.

Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.

Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until figs are softened and vinegar is slightly syrupy, about 45 minutes.

Mix water and cornstarch in small bowl; stir into fig mixture.

Boil and stir to thicken slightly, about 1 minute.

Let stand 1 hour.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat).

Grill sausages until browned and cooked through, turning frequently, about 15 minutes.

Remove from grill.

Holding sausage with tongs, cut in half lengthwise.

Repeat with remaining sausages.

Grill sausages, cut side down, until browned, about 3 minutes.

Place 1 sausage half on each plate.

Divide figs among plates, about 3 per serving.

Drizzle sauce over and serve. Makes 10 first course servings.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates & 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:

Gay Parade Hopes To Convert A Hissy Fit Italy

Rome - June 9, 2011 - Europe's main gay pride festival comes to Rome on Saturday with organizers hoping Lady Gaga's presence will help amplify their message of defiance against the Vatican and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The US singer is to address what organizers say will be over one million participants with a message of support for gay rights in Italy, which lacks legislation against homophobic attacks and does not allow gay civil unions.

"This is the most backward government Italy has had since World War II," said Paolo Patane, director of Arcigay, an activist group founded in the 1980s that is helping to organize the EuroPride parade in the Italian capital.

"It's a government in which the prime minister goes with underage girls but then says that Parliament will never approve legislation that contradicts the concept of the family promoted by the Vatican," he said.

Patane pointed out that the mass gathering in Rome also comes just days after Berlusconi suffered a major defeat in local elections and said he hoped it would help "push out this backward government."

The EuroPride parade will make its way through the city center and end with a concert and rally in the Circus Maximus, an ancient Roman arena.

Lady Gaga, who has Italian-American roots and has long lobbied for gay rights in the United States, is expected to sing her hit single Born This Way.

Vladimir Luxuria, the organizer of Italy's first gay pride festival in 1994 and a former member of Italy's parliament, said homophobia is on the rise.

"This Parliament is homophobic. The fish stinks from the head and we have a prime minister who is a gay-basher," said Luxuria, a transsexual who has just published a novel linking homophobia in World War II to the present day.

Berlusconi has long been notorious for his off-color quips and last year dismissed a sex scandal involving him with a homophobic comment saying: "It's better to be passionate about beautiful women than to be gay."

Activists quickly came up with a slogan printed on placards and T-shirts reading: "It's better to be gay than to be Berlusconi."

In another speech in 2007, Berlusconi boasted there were no gays in his party. "Don't be afraid. The gays are all on the other side," he said.

Berlusconi is on trial for paying for sex with a 17-year-old girl and then allegedly abusing the power of his office to try and cover it up. His former wife said she was divorcing him because he "frequents minors."

The prime minister has repeatedly denied all the accusations.

Asked to compare the current EuroPride festival to the first one that she organized, Luxuria said that while the numbers of people attending such events have increased drastically, Italy is still stuck in the past.

"I'm very sad that there are gay Italians who say they are forced to leave because they're gay," Luxuria said. She added: "Now the costumes are less provocative because the situation really is serious."

"Cacchio", what a welcome back! After a 6+ month hiatus, why do we have to start with the gay problem in Italy?

Gays, we're on your side. What's the point of being a heterosexual in Italy anymore? What are the benefits of being straight? So you can't get married in Italy yet. Big deal. If it was up to this news staff, we'd let you all float down to city hall and get that you'd be in the same hell we are.

Understand that one of the reasons why the straight Italian population is homophobic is because we can't stand the fact that most of you are all good looking and that you can basically get any woman you desire. That sticks!

"This Parliament is homophobic. The fish stinks from the head and we have a prime minister who is a gay-basher," said Luxuria, a transsexual who has just published a novel linking homophobia in World War II to the present day.

Here are the problems with Luxuria's luxurious statement.

1) No one know what the hell is going in that Parliament anymore. One day they're defending a buffoon of a Prime Minister who is cavorting with a 17-year old ugly prostitute, the next they're claiming they wrestled a wild boar to save a vegetable crop.

2) Italy is very homo tolerant. The ancient sidewalks and streets of Rome you see have lasted for over 2000 years because Italian men float over them. They're all light in the feet.

3) How does an Italian Communist named Wladimiro Guadagno become a transsexual, change his name to Luxuria, and enter Italy's Parliament?

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