08/17/10 Tortellini Rustica with Smoked Mozzarella

"La prima matrimonio, la seconda compania, la terza un'eresia." (The first woman you marry is your wife, the second a companion, the third is nonsense.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Escarole and Little Meatball Soup
  -Parmigiano and Black Pepper Polenta
  -Tortellini Rustica with Smoked Mozzarella

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

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Santo Trio

"Santo Trio" 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, coconut, amaretto, lemon, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

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 Recipe: Escarole and Little Meatball Soup

Escarole and Little Meatball Soup
Minestra di Scarola e Polpettine


For the Soup:
1/2 head escarole (about 1/2 pound)
1 and 1/2 large carrots, chopped
12 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
4 ounces ditalini or tubetti, or spaghetti broken into bite-size pieces
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

For the Meatballs:
1/2 pound ground veal or beef
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup very finely minced onion
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste


Trim the escarole and discard any bruised leaves.

Cut off the stem ends.

Separate the leaves and wash well in cool water, especially the center of the leaves where soil collects.

Stack the leaves and cut them crosswise into 1-inch strips. You should have about 4 cups.

Combine the escarole, carrots, and stock in a large pot.

Bring to a simmer and cook until the escarole is almost tender, about 30 minutes.

Prepare the Meatballs:
Meanwhile, combine the ground meat, bread crumbs, cheese, onion, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.

Shape the mixture into tiny balls, less than 1 inch in diameter.

Prepare the Soup:
When the escarole is almost tender, stir in the pasta and return the soup to the simmer.

Drop the meatballs into the soup.

Cook over low heat, stirring gently, until the meatballs and pasta are cooked, about 20 minutes.

Taste for seasoning.

Serve hot with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Parmigiano and Black Pepper Polenta

Parmigiano and Black Pepper Polenta
Polenta a Parmigiano e Pepe Nero


4 and 1/2 cups water
1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup instant polenta
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Bring water to a boil with salt and butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan, then add polenta in a thin stream, whisking.

Cook polenta at a bare simmer, whisking with a long-handled whisk and turning down heat as needed to prevent spattering, 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese.

Serve sprinkled with black pepper. Makes 4 to 6 side-dish servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Tortellini Rustica with Smoked Mozzarella

Tortellini Rustica with Smoked Mozzarella
Tortellini Rustica con Mozzarella Affumicata


2 packages (about 9 ounces each) dried cheese tortellini
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup vermouth
1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted, halved
1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 lb smoked mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


Cook tortellini in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente', stirring occasionally.

Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add onion; increase heat to high and saute until onion is beginning to brown, about 6 minutes.

Add tomatoes; saute 3 minutes.

Stir in garlic; cook 2 minutes.

Add vermouth, then parsley, basil, olives, and oregano.

Cook 4 minutes, stirring often.

Add cooked tortellini; toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta.

Remove from heat.

Stir in cheese.

Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Makes 6 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:

Italy Makes 'Biggest-Ever' Mafia Seizure

Naples - April 8, 2010 - Italian police on Thursday seized 700 million euros of assets from the Camorra in what Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said was the largest assets seizure from a mafia group ever.

The assets taken from the Casalesi clan near Naples included apartments, farms, land and firms including a plant that once belonged to the Cirio food giant.

They were seized from the heirs of Dante Passarelli, a Casalesi associate who died in a mysterious accident in 2004 while on trial with the then top bosses in the clan. Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Premier Silvio Berlusconi, Justice Minister Angelino Alfano and Maroni all hailed the operation as hitting the mafia where it hurts.

Maroni, who has made assets seizures the linchpin of a new anti-mafia plan, said "today is a day for all honest people to celebrate" and estimated the full worth of the seizures could run as high as two billion euros.

The National Anti-Mafia Directorate said the Casalesis had been brought so low financially they were "finding it hard to pay their members".

The Carabinieri said "the clan's treasure chest has been seized".

The Casalesis' criminal empire was spotlighted in Roberto Saviano's 2006 bestseller Gomorrah, later made into a successful film of the same name. The journalist and writer has been under round-the-clock police protection after receiving death threats from jailed Casalesi chieftains.

700 million euros ($930 million) seized...we're confused.

How did it get so bad in Naples that Italian police were able to seize such a gargantuan "treasure chest"?
2.) Before the bust, were Naples police officers walking out in the rain and not getting wet?

I think we've mentioned 167 times before that there is no law in the land of Naples. It's 'Dodge City' with bad Napolitano music. "Figli di cornuti", police cannot wait until massive Mafia fortunes are built before moving in!

"Cazzo", we're not safe anywhere in Naples!
- We need metal detectors on every neighborhood street corner and entrances of churches and supermarkets!
- We need cops waiting in the monumental fountains with skin diving outfits!
- We need SWAT police units called in on every Naples street that plays Nino D'Angelo music!

It's not even safe for Tarzan!

"Oh, look! Who’s that running out of town?! Why, it’s Tarzan!"
"Me no help! Naples no safe!"
"Me scared, Africa lion safer!"

"The assets taken from the Casalesi clan near Naples included apartments, farms, land and firms including a plant that once belonged to the Cirio food giant." By the way, Cirio is Italy's favorite tomato products producer (ex. sauce). Rest assured, a tomato is the last thing you would see within a 30 km radius of that food plant.

There's a better chance they would use that plant to produce faulty ice blocks for igloos and sell them to Eskimos rather than marinara sauce for our linguini!

"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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