08/18/09 Almond Apricot Biscotti

"La calma la virtu dei forti." (The calm is the virtue of the strong.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken, and Mushrooms
  -Veal Cutlets in Marsala Mustard Sauce
  -Almond Apricot Biscotti

All of us at the bakery sincerely wish everyone had a happy and healthy summer season. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Traditional Almond Cookies

"Traditional" 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, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 13.99 Euro ($19.50-$20.00) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 13.99 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-8 days) for a total of 22.69 Euro ($32.00-$32.50 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken, and Mushrooms

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken, and Mushrooms
Penne con Pomodori Arrosto, Pollo e Funghi


1 lb plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise, seeded, wedges halved
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano

12 ounces Penne pasta

6 small Portobello mushrooms (portobellini), dark gills removed, caps sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 lb chicken tenders, halved lengthwise, then halved crosswise
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine


Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and oregano in small bowl; toss to blend.

Place tomatoes on baking sheet.

Roast until beginning to dry and wrinkle, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente', stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta; let stand in colander.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in same pot over medium-high heat.

Add mushrooms, onions, and garlic and saute until mushrooms are tender and brown, about 10 minutes.

Transfer mushroom mixture to medium bowl.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in same pot over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Add chicken to pot and saute until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add mushroom mixture and roasted tomatoes to pot.

Add penne, feta, Parmigiano cheese, chicken broth, and wine; toss until heated through and sauce coats pasta, about 4 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Veal Cutlets in Marsala Mustard Sauce

Veal Cutlets in Marsala Mustard Sauce
Scallopini di Vitello di Senape e Marsala


1 lb (1/8-inch thick) veal cutlets (also called scallopini)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon whole-grain or coarse-grain mustard
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Gently pound each cutlet between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to 1/8-inch thickness with flat side of a meat pounder or with a rolling pin.

Pat dry and season with salt and pepper.

Heat butter and olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides.

Meanwhile, dredge cutlets in flour, shaking off excess.

Saute cutlets in 2 batches (without crowding) until edges are golden and meat is just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Transfer with tongs to a platter and loosely cover with foil to keep warm.

Add Marsala to skillet and deglaze by boiling, stirring and scraping up brown bits.

Stir in cream and mustard and boil, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour sauce over veal. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Almond Apricot Biscotti

Almond Apricot Biscotti
Biscotti alle Mandorle e Albicocca


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 whole large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup whole almonds with skins (5 and 1/2 oz), toasted and cooled
1 cup dried apricots (6 oz), quartered
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash

Parchment paper


Preheat oven to 350F.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

Blend in butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add whole egg, milk, and extracts, stirring with a fork until a soft dough forms, then knead in almonds.

Divide dough between 2 sheets of wax paper, then form into 2 equal mounds and flatten each mound into a 5-inch disk.

Put half of apricots in center of 1 disk and fold dough over apricots to enclose them (use wax paper as an aid if necessary), then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Form into a 14 by 2 and 1/2-inch log lengthwise on 1 side of baking sheet, spreading dough with wet hands.

Make another log with remaining dough and apricots, arranging it about 4 inches from first log.

Brush logs with egg wash and bake in middle of oven until pale golden and firm, about 20 minutes.

Cool on baking sheet on a rack 20 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300F while logs cool.

Carefully transfer baked logs to a cutting board using 2 wide metal spatulas, then cut logs diagonally into 1/2-inch wide slices with a large heavy knife.

Line baking sheet with a clean sheet of parchment.

Stand slices, curved sides up, 1/2 inch apart on baking sheet and bake in upper third of oven until biscotti are dry, about 30 minutes (they will become hard as they cool).

Transfer biscotti to rack to cool. Makes about 5 and 1/2 dozen.

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:

Man Goes Back To Bed After Roof Caves In

Campobasso - January 9, 2008 - An elderly Italian man whose roof fell in during the night dusted himself off and curled back up in bed, authorities in this southern village said Friday.

Called in by neighbors Friday morning, fire workers climbed over rubble to find the man sound asleep. The mayor said the house was so badly damaged it would probably have to be knocked down.

The man, who was said to be fine after his night in the freezing cold, will be found temporary lodging.

"Porca di quella vacca", I'm telling you the comedy doesn't stop coming from this country. And for our next song and dance...

This is what happens from eating too many pears and scamorza cheese in Campobasso.

"The mayor said the house was so badly damaged it would probably have to be knocked down." Imagine the argument that followed:

"Eh?! Temporary what?! Vaffanculo! Who said?! I'll call my "muratore" (bricklayer) tomorrow morning and have him fix the roof in two days...and it will be better than yours! I have to go now and lock my house."

"And tell your father I want to speak to him."

"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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