08/10/10 Penne with Saffron

"Chi piu sa, meno crede." (The more one knows, the less one believes.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Whitebait Fish Salad
  -Penne with Saffron
  -Florentine T-Bone Steak

Enjoy this week's recipes and the rest of your summer season!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Whitebait Fish Salad

Whitebait Fish Salad
Insalata Di Bianchetti


1 lb 2 oz (500 grams) whitebait fish
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
Salt and white pepper


Wash the whitebait thoroughly and carefully.

Simmer for a few minutes in salted water.

Drain carefully and leave to cool.

Mix together the olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the whitebait and toss.

Leave to stand for about 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Penne with Saffron

Penne with Saffron
Penne Zafferano


For the Meat Stock:
1 and 3/4 lb (800 grams) beef (no fat), cut into cubes
1 lb 5 oz (600 grams) veal, cut into cubes
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 oz (50 grams) coarsely chopped carrots
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped

For the Penne:
1 small package saffron powder (or saffron threads)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) butter, plus extra for serving (optional)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
11 and 1/2 oz (320 grams) Penne pasta (smooth)
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated 


Prepare the Meat Stock:
Place the meat in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Cooking and gentle simmering are essential for a great meat stock.

Skim off any residue that rises to the surface and add the carrots, leeks, onion, and celery and season with salt.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 and 1/2 hours to 4 hours.

Remove from the heat, strain into a bowl and leave to cool.

Then chill in the refrigerator.

When the fat has solidified on the surface carefully remove and throw away.

Prepare the Penne:
Bring the stock to a boil.

Heat the butter and olive oil in another large saucepan.

Add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until softened.

Add the Penne pasta and stir until it is coated with fat.

Add a ladleful of hot stock and stir until it has been absorbed.

Continue adding stock, a ladleful at a time, until the pasta is completely cooked.

Stir the saffron into the last ladleful of stock before adding it to the pan.

Mix well until the dish is an even yellow color.

Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle with the Parmigiano cheese.

Mix well and stir in a small slab of butter if you prefer.

Transfer to a warm serving dish and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Florentine T-Bone Steak

Florentine T-Bone Steak
Costata Alla Fiorentina


Two 1 lb 5 oz (600 grams) T-bone steaks
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper


Note: For those who wish to serve authentic Florentine T-bone steaks they should follow the rules of the Articles of Association of the Florentine T-bone Steak Academy, founded in 1991 by representatives of the Florentine Butchers' Association.

For over 200 years, a Florentine steak has been defined as a T-bone steak cut from a chianina calf and hung for 5-6 days.

The steak must be cut from the loin through the fillet and sirloin with the T-bone in the middle.

The meat must be 3/4 - 1 and 1/4 inches (2-3 cm) thick and weigh 1 lb 5 oz - 1 and 3/4 lbs (600-800 grams).

It must be cooked for 5 minutes on each side without seasoning over hot charcoal, preferably oak charcoal, about 8 inches (20 cm) above the embers.

The steak must be turned once only with a spatula and seasoned only when cooked.

The meat should be brown on the outside and slightly rare inside.

To serve, lightly drizzle a warm serving dish with olive oil and arrange the seasoned steaks on it. Serves 4.

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:

Southern Italy May Flood At Any Moment

Rome - March 30, 2010 - Europe's largest undersea volcano could disintegrate and unleash a tsunami that would engulf southern Italy "at any time", a prominent vulcanologist warned in an interview published Monday.

The Marsili volcano, which is bursting with magma, has "fragile walls" that could collapse, Enzo Boschi told a leading daily newspaper.

"It could even happen tomorrow," said Boschi, president of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).

"Our latest research shows that the volcano is not structurally solid, its walls are fragile, the magma chamber is of sizeable dimensions," he said. "All that tells us that the volcano is active and could begin erupting at any time," AFP reported.

The volcano, located 150km off the coast of Naples, rises 3000m off the ocean floor and peaks some 450 meters below the surface. It measures 30km by 70km. It has a big magma chamber which is under pressure and its walls are structurally fragile.

AHN News has reported that, the volcano’s crater is 1,467 feet below the surface of the Tyrrhenian Sea and a tsunami could hit the coasts of Campania, Calabria and Sicily, Boschi warned in an interview published Monday in an Italian newspaper.

Dear Northern Italy,

As many of you probably know, a tsunami is expected to wipe us out any day now. But before we leave, we wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what a great and distinct pleasure it has been to type "Andate tutti a 'fanculo!"

For nearly as long as when the unification of Italy occurred, we've hoped that we might one day place our differences apart and become loving neighbors. And now that this dream will never become a reality, please know that we could not have reached this goal without your constant lack of support. Words cannot express our gratitude for the words of disgust, hostility, and lunacy you constantly expressed.

Over the past 150 years, your politics have taught us more than we could ever ask for and, in most cases, ever did ask for. Your stupid demands were high and your patience short, but who gives a rat's ass anymore.

And to most of our fellow Italians: even though we barely acknowledged each other when we traveled through the North in search of humble work and a home, we hope that when the world ends, should we pass each other in the heavens, you will regard us the same way as we regard you: with disgusted looks on our faces.

But to those few people with whom we've actually interacted, here are our personalized notes of farewell:

To the Milanese: We rolled our sleeves and built your pompous and arrogant city. It's a shame you couldn't invent a better dish than Risotto with Gorgonzola cheese.

To the Venetians: Eight Euros for an espresso? Better to go with one quick felt swoop from a tsunami than slowly sink into oblivion.

To the Romans: To all the legislature, senators, bloated fascists and farm animals in Rome who run the country; our garbage problem will soon be resolved.

So, in parting, if we could pass on any word of advice, it would be to remember us and smile, for it's better than knowing that you are all "figli di puttane".

Very truly yours,

Southern Italy

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