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 08/14/07 Crostata di Pere a Cioccolato from CookiesFromItaly.com

"Belle parole non pascono i gatti." (Fine words don't feed cats.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Risotto ai Frutti di Mare
  -Vitello Ripieno con Spinaci
  -Crostata di Pere a Cioccolato

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

Enjoy the issue!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       


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 Recipe: Risotto ai Frutti di Mare

Risotto ai Frutti di Mare
Sea Food Risotto

Ingredients:

1/2 lb (225 grams) mussels, see mussels
1/2 lb (225 grams) clams, well cleaned
1/2 lb (225 grams) squid, clean and cut in small pieces
1/2 lb (225 grams) prawns, shelled and cut into pieces
Red pepper or strong paprika
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
8 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 glass dry white wine
2 cups (500 grams) rice (preferably Carnaroli)
2 cups (1/2 liter) boiling stock
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley, to decorate

Directions:

Wash and clean the mussels and the clams and put them in a large saucepan with a little olive oil at high temperature so that they open. When they are open, remove the mollusks and set them aside in their juice.

Cut the garlic and the red pepper finely and saute in the pan with 8 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and the parsley and before the garlic turns brown add the wine along with the mussel and clam juice.

When it starts boiling again add the rice and cook by slowly adding the stock.

After 10 minutes, add the squid and the prawns. Stir in the mussels and clams a few minutes before the rice is ready, season with salt and pepper and serve with a sprinkle of chopped parsley. Serves 6.

That's it!


 Recipe: Vitello Ripieno con Spinaci

Vitello Ripieno con Spinaci
Veal Stuffed with Spinach

This rather impressive dish is actually quite easy to prepare, and once it goes on the stove requires very little attention. We prefer using the breast of veal because it is a moister and more succulent cut, but if you prefer a leaner cut, you can use the shoulder instead.

Ingredients:

10 ounces fresh spinach
2 lbs boned veal breast (if you purchase the breast bone-in, it should weigh about 4 lbs)
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup coarsely chopped peeled fresh, ripe tomatoes, or 1 cup coarsely chopped canned whole peeled tomatoes with their juice

Directions:

Remove any large, thick stems from the spinach and rinse the leaves in cold water. Put the spinach in a pot with just the water that clings to the leaves and sprinkle with salt. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until all the spinach is wilted. Drain in a colander and press with a large spoon to remove as much water as possible.

Lay the veal flat and trim the excess fat (do not remove all of it, or the roast will be too dry when done). Spread the spinach over the veal and add the garlic cloves evenly spaced apart. Roll up the veal jelly-roll fashion and tie it securely with kitchen twine.

Put the butter and olive oil in a heavy braising pan that will hold the veal comfortably and place it over high heat. When the olive oil and butter are hot, put in the veal and brown it well on all sides. Season with salt and pepper, then add the wine. Allow the wine to bubble for 1 to 2 minutes to evaporate the alcohol and use a wooden spoon to loosen the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Add the tomatoes. When they begin to bubble, lower the heat so that the contents of the pan cook at a gentle but steady simmer. Cover the pan with the lid slightly askew and cook until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours. Turn the meat from time to time and add a little water to the pan if all the liquid evaporates before the veal is done.

When ready to serve, cut the veal in slices about 1/2 inch thick and remove the twine. If the sauce in the pan needs to be reduced, raise the heat and cook until it is thick enough to coat a spoon. Arrange the veal slices on a platter and pour the hot sauce over them. Serve at once. Serves 4 - 6.

That's it!


 Recipe: Crostata di Pere a Cioccolato

Crostata di Pere a Cioccolato
Chocolate Pear Tart

Ingredients:

For the Pastry:
2 oz (50 grams) unsalted butter
4 oz (100 grams) plain white or Italian type 00 flour
1 oz (25 grams) cocoa powder
2 oz (50 grams) superfine sugar
1 egg beaten

For the Filling:
3 tablespoons (45 ml) orange marmalade
2 ripe pears
4 oz (100 grams) dark chocolate
2 oz (50 grams) unsalted butter
2 egg beaten
4 oz (100 grams) superfine sugar

Directions:

Make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Sift in the cocoa powder, add the sugar and enough of the beaten egg to bind the mixture together. Knead lightly, wrap in greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Pre heat the oven to 350 F (180 C).

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry and use to line an 8 inch (20 cm) flan tin. Cover the bottom with the marmalade.

Peel the pears, cut into quarters and remove the cores. Arrange them in the flan case.

To make the filling, melt the chocolate and butter over a low heat. Set aside to cool.

Beat together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Fold in the chocolate mixture.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the mixture.

Pour the mixture over the pears and bake in the oven for 40 minutes until firm to the touch. Serve hot or cold. Serves 8 - 12.

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:

Italy Finally Returns Looted Obelisk to Ethiopia

Rome - April 25 - A decades-long diplomatic dispute between Italy and Ethiopia over the looted Axum obelisk was finally put to an end on Monday, as the monument returned home 68 years after it was stolen by Italian fascist troops.

Thousands, including Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giogis, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Abune Paulos, and Italian ambassador Guido La Tella, watched the giant Russian-built Antonov cargo plane land at the small Axum airport in northern Ethiopia with a 50-ton granite block onboard.

It was the third and final piece of the dismantled obelisk. It joins other two pieces of the same weight which arrived last week. By the end of the year, they will be re-united and re-erected in Axum.

"I am very happy. This is not merely a piece of stone, it is our identity... It is the end of a very bad chapter," Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said.

The funeral stone, or stele, is one of a group of six obelisks erected at Axum when Ethiopia adopted Christianity in the 4th century A.D.

It was stolen by the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1937 and turned into a symbol of fascist power during his short-lived efforts to revive the grandeur of imperial Rome.

To the anger of Ethiopia, Italy had long failed to deliver on promises to return the 1,700-year old monument.

The country signed a first agreement with the United Nations in 1947 and a second with the Ethiopian government in 1997 for restitution of all looted property, including the Axum obelisk.

In 2000 and 2001, Italy renewed the commitment. Nevertheless, the 1,700 year old monument stood at the center of Rome's Piazza di Porta Capena, near the Colosseum, until last year, when it was dismantled by Italian experts.

Returning the 180-ton, 24-meter (78-foot) high obelisk has not been a easy feat. When Mussolini took it to Italy, it was already in fragments. It was restored in Rome using metal rods embedded in concrete, making it very hard to disassemble.

It took six months to dismantle, cut and transport it back to Axum.

"Not a single fragment has been lost during these operations," said Michele Daniele, the architect who supervised the dismantling work.

Aptly, the last piece of the obelisk arrived in Axum on the day Italy celebrated Liberation Day, marking the 60th anniversary of the partisan uprising that helped free the country from fascism.

"It is a good occasion to celebrate this coincidence together. April 25 will be national holiday also in Ethiopia," Zenawi told reporters.

"Ma...porca puttana!" Throughout history, dictators have looted treasures, land and women from the countries they conquered. Our dictator looted heavy rocks!

With pieces of the Roman Coliseum and the Forum falling on the craniums of Romans at the time, who convinced Benny that we had to have this obelisk?

Then again, this is a man who had to exercise marvelous fascist practices by impounding black market toilets as they entered the country. At one point, Mussolini was said to have had more dogs trained to sniff out porcelain than to flush out refugees! However, Benny's hypocrisy eventually became his downfall. As the Allied Forces landed in Sicily in 1943, Benny's palace (comprised mostly of bathrooms) was ransacked and his 'amore' for comfortably-seated thrones was exposed to the still-squatting public.

Now, can you blame us for shooting and hanging him in a piazza?

Famous quotes from Benny Mussolini:

"Socialism is a fraud, a comedy, a phantom, a blackmail." More or less like Italian multi-level-marketing!

"All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." All within my cranium, nothing outside my cranium, nothing against my cranium!

"It is humiliating to remain with our hands folded while others write history. It matters little who wins. To make a people great it is necessary to send them to battle even if you have to kick them in the pants. That is what I shall do." Let's unfold our hands and conquer Ethiopia! We'll write history by looting an extremely heavy tower of rock. No need to kick Ethiopian in the pants because, at the time, they didn't wear any.

"War is to man what maternity is to a woman. From a philosophical and doctrinal viewpoint, I do not believe in perpetual peace." Pepperoni is to pizza what antiperspirant is to armpits. For a philosophical and doctrinal viewpoint, ask Mussolini.

"This is the epitaph I want on my tomb: "Here lies one of the most intelligent animals who ever appeared on the face of the earth." Here lies a toilet lover with the intelligence of a drunk animal.

"The best blood will at some time get into a fool or a mosquito." There seems to be plenty of fools and mosquitoes in Italy. Make sure you bring enough bug spray the next time you visit.

"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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