08/23/11 Spaghetti with Scallion Sauce

"Un buon vino, un buon uomo e una bella donna dura poco." (A good wine, a good man and a pretty woman last a short time.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Creamy White Polenta with Mushrooms and Mascarpone
  -Spaghetti with Scallion Sauce
  -Vegetable Lasagna

"Buon Giorno!" Thank you! I look forward to sending more recipes to you in the coming days. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Buccellati

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 Recipe: Creamy White Polenta with Mushrooms and Mascarpone

Creamy White Polenta with Mushrooms and Mascarpone
Cremosa Polenta con Funghi e Mascarpone


For the Polenta:
4 and 1/2 cups water
1 cup coarse cornmeal (polenta)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Mushrooms:
1 lb assorted fresh exotic mushrooms such as porcini, oyster, chanterelle, lobster, and hedgehog
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

For Serving:
1/2 cup mascarpone
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Prepare the Polenta:
Bring water to a simmer in a 3 to 4-quart heavy saucepan.

Add polenta in a slow stream, whisking until incorporated.

Simmer, stirring occasionally with a long-handled whisk or wooden spoon, until liquid is absorbed and polenta is thick and soft, about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in cream, cheese, salt, and pepper.

Keep warm, covered.

Prepare the Mushrooms:
Saute mushrooms while polenta simmers.

Heat olive oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute mushrooms, garlic, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden and any liquid they give off is evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add water, butter, lemon juice, and parsley and heat, swirling skillet, until butter melts and liquid forms a sauce.

To Serve:
Top each serving of polenta with mushrooms and mascarpone.

Serve immediately (polenta stiffens as it cools), sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Makes 6 first-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spaghetti with Scallion Sauce

Spaghetti with Scallion Sauce
Spaghetti con Salsa di Scalogno


1 lb spaghetti
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups chopped scallions (from 4 bunches)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1/2 cup)


Cook spaghetti in a 6 to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

While pasta cooks, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook scallions and garlic, stirring occasionally, until scallions are softened and garlic begins to turn golden, about 5 minutes.

Transfer scallion mixture to a blender and add zest, salt, pepper, remaining olive oil, and 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then puree until smooth.

Drain pasta in a colander and return to pot.

Toss pasta with scallion puree, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste over moderate heat until pasta is well coated. Makes 6 main-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Vegetable Lasagna

Vegetable Lasagna
Lasagna alla Verdura


7 oz mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup chopped pitted black olives
1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tbs dried basil
1/2 tbs dried oregano
2 tsp minced garlic
4 cups prepared tomato sauce
1 lb whole-wheat lasagna
Freshly ground black pepper
2 small zucchini, diced
2 small summer squash, diced
3/4 cup roasted red pepper, diced
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese


Heat oven to 375F.

Mix mozzarella cheese, olives, thyme, basil, oregano, and garlic in a bowl.

Season with salt and pepper.

Spread 1 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of an 8" x 11" baking dish.

Add one layer of lasagna and season with black pepper.

Add a layer of zucchini, squash, and red pepper.

Dollop spoonfuls of the mozzarella cheese mixture over vegetables and spread to cover.

Repeat layers, finishing with pasta and sauce.

Sprinkle Parmigiano cheese on top, cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Uncover and bake 5 minutes or until top browns.

Let stand 10 minutes; serve. Makes 8 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:

Berlusconi Tried His Damndest To Cover Up Ruby

Rome - June 15, 2011 - More trouble seems to be brewing for Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi after it emerged that he tried to cover up his relationship with a teenage nightclub dancer, a charge which prosecutors say was similar to a "military attack".

Berlusconi, who has been embroiled in several sex scandals, was now accused of abusing his office by telephoning a Milan police station and putting officers under pressure to release Karima El Mahroug, known by her stage name as Ruby the Heart Stealer, from arrest on a charge of theft.

The claims by prosecutors came at the resumption of the trial in which he is accused of paying the young woman for sex, newspapers reported.

According to the report, the 74-year-old PM then allegedly sent two associates to collect the 17-year-old El Mahroug from the police station. The associates were Nicole Minetti, an Anglo-Italian show girl who his party elevated into politics, and Michelle Conceicao, a Brazilian starlet who was known to Berlusconi.

"It was a military attack, an encirclement, and it was all directed towards the police station," the lead prosecutor in the case Ilda Boccassini was quoted as saying.

Berlusconi’s attempt to bail out the teenager occurred on the night of May 27, 2010, after she had been accused by a friend of stealing several thousand euros in cash and arrested by police.

Prosecutors claim Berlusconi was terrified that she would spill the beans on their relationship and he did all he could to extricate her from questioning.

Boccassini dismissed an plea application for the case to be either dropped or transferred to Rome to be heard by a special tribunal of ministers.

"Everything was done with respect for the law and the constitution," Boccassini said.

See, people? Now you know understand why Italians would lactate (yes, even men) in the hopes of entering any meaningless political office.

A 74 year-old billionaire Prime Minister and an ugly 17 year-old nightclub dancer/escort. "Minchia", what a stupid "bestia". Does anyone know how to get through to someone who is limited in his capacity? I don't think pasta and a beating is going to help.

This is a man who also claimed to the police Ruby was the granddaughter of the ex Egyptian president, Mubarak. "Porca miseria", it would have been more convincing if he told them that he received an acknowledgement from Kissinger that Ruby was a distant niece of Cleopatra.

Some of you might think he went with his gut feeling when he made that stupid phone call. After all, he's the Prime Minister. What could happen? What his gut should have told him was, "stop hanging over the belt!"

Lead prosecutor, Ilda Boccassini, "It was a military attack, an encirclement, and it was all directed towards the police station." A military huh? "Per favore." What attack could possibly come from an Anglo-Italian show girl/escort/politician and a Brazilian starlet/escort/nitwit? They would have done more damage if they showed up in bikinis, wore sandwich boards, and paraded the sidewalk in front of the station.

One thing is certain in this comedy...when he pulled down his pants, he was sticking his neck out.

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