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 08/27/13 Pasta Fritters with Prosciutto and Mozzarella

"Tutto fa brodo." (Everything makes broth. In the grand scheme of things everything is useful.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -String Bean Salad with Red Onion and Prosciutto
  -Sicilian Eggplant Caponata
  -Pasta Fritters with Prosciutto and Mozzarella

"Buon fine estate!" I want to take this minute of your precious time to let you know all of us at our little bakery are thankful for your participation with us via this newsletter. Thanks for everything you're doing and we will continue to find recipes to be helpful in your kitchen. Please share this newsletter, only if you found it useful.

Arrivederci and grazie again!

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 (18.50 - 19.00 U.S. Dollars) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 13.99 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-10 days) for a total of 22.69 Euro (30.25 - 30.75 U.S. Dollars).


 Recipe: String Bean Salad with Red Onion and Prosciutto

String Bean Salad with Red Onion and Prosciutto
Insalata di Fagiolini Con Cipolla Rossa e Prosciutto

Ingredients:

3 pounds fresh string beans, trimmed
2 cups red onions, thinly sliced
1/4 pound prosciutto di Parma, thinly sliced and cut into small pieces
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook beans until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Drain in colander.

Immediately transfer to bowl of ice and water to stop cooking.

Drain and pat dry.

Refrigerate 1 hour, or overnight.

One hour prior to serving, in a large bowl, combine beans, onions, prosciutto, olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Toss gently and let stand at room temperature for one hour before serving. Makes 10 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Sicilian Eggplant Caponata

Sicilian Eggplant Caponata
Caponata di Melanzane Siciliana

Ingredients:

3 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 rib celery, roughly chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tbsp tomato paste, thinned with 1/4 cup water
1 cup crushed canned tomatoes
6 oz green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp finely grated unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup finely shredded basil
2 tbsp pine nuts

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.

Working in batches, add eggplant and fry, tossing occasionally, until browned, 3-4 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggplant to a large bowl.

Set aside.

Pour off all but 1/4 cup olive oil, and reserve for another use.

Return skillet to heat.

Add onions and celery, and season with salt and pepper.

Cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium, and add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until caramelized and almost evaporated, 1-2 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.

Stir in olives, vinegar, raisins, capers, sugar, and chocolate, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Transfer to bowl with eggplant, along with basil and pine nuts, and mix together.

Season with salt and pepper, and let cool to room temperature before serving. Serves 6-8.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pasta Fritters with Prosciutto and Mozzarella

Pasta Fritters with Prosciutto and Mozzarella
Frittatine di Pasta con Prosciutto e Mozzarella

Ingredients:

10 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
5 cups heavy cream
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb dried spaghetti
4 oz cooked prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
8 oz smoked mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Canola oil (or extra virgin olive oil), for frying
2 cups plain bread crumbs

Directions:

Melt butter in a 1-qt saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add 1/2 cup flour.

Cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

Add cream and boil.

Reduce heat to medium.

Cook until thickened, 4-5 minutes.

Set sauce aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Grease a 9" by 13" baking dish.

Cook pasta until 'al dente', about 7 minutes.

Drain and transfer to a bowl.

Add reserved sauce, prosciutto, mozzarella, salt, and pepper.

Mix until combined.

Press pasta mixture into baking dish.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 and 1/2 hours.

Pour enough canola or olive oil into a 6-qt saucepan to a depth of 2 inches.

Heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 325?F.

Whisk remaining flour with 1 cup water into a batter.

Place bread crumbs in a bowl.

Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut out 30 rounds out of pasta mixture.

Dip rounds in batter.

Roll in bread crumbs.

Fry until golden and crisp, 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot. Makes 30 fritters.

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 Has To Wake Up And Put More Effort Into Anticorruption

Rome - March 30, 2012 - Italy is plagued by nepotism, legal gaps and institutional deficiencies that prevent the country from getting serious about fighting corruption, according to a new report.

The country needs an independent anti-corruption watchdog to hold the country?s politicians, public officials and institutions accountable, according to the report, released by Transparency International Italy.

Italy ranked 69 out of 183 countries on the transparency group?s Corruption Perceptions Index, the worst among EU countries. Most recently, the country has been rocked by the corruption scandal of former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi. Only 5% of Italians say corruption is declining, according to a recent TI survey.

"In recent years, Italy?s leaders have not done half as much as they should have to fight corruption," Maria Teresa Brassiolo, head of Transparency International Italy, said in a news release.

"Their failure to act has left systems of accountability and control of public spending weak and expensive, leading to enormous waste. We see examples of this on an almost daily basis and it can no longer be accepted."

The survey, which evaluated the effectiveness of Italy?s politics, public service and businesses and anti-corruption enforcement, also recommended specific codes of conduct for members of Parliament and an end to Parliamentary immunity from prosecution.

The report also called for stiffer sanctions for corruption convictions and public education programs on anti-corruption. A recent EU survey found that 89% of Italians think sanctions for corruption are currently too weak.

TI warned that the institutional problems were partially responsible for the country?s economic crisis, due to mismanagement of resources.

Hmmm...we trying to understand where Transparency International is going with this. Corruption in Italy? You never hear about such things.

- Another report shows that criminal tension is rampant in Palermo...and there is a rumor that the water in Venice is dirty too.

- There recently was a 2 million Euro report that discovered that some of the buses in Rome are crowded. (We think it was the same agency that found criminal tension in dirty water.)

- The 5% of Italians that say corruption is declining cannot be considered credible due to the high probability their ears are clogged with olive oil.

- During the May 2007 Town Hall elections of Palermo, 110 city bus drivers were hired...and not one of the 110 had a license to drive a bus. However, a town hall assessor played down the bewilderment and so-called corruption by stating, "Don't worry, they'll learn." (See? You can't be more transparent than that.)

- There are 167,000 school janitors in Italy...50,000 more than police officers. Our anticorruption watchdog was outside on the stoop, fast asleep in the sun when some public officials pulled this one off. (By the way, they want to be addressed as "scholastic collaborators", not janitors. We apologize for that.)

"(Italy's leaders) Their failure to act has left systems of accountability and control of public spending weak and expensive, leading to enormous waste." Which is why this failure gives rise to the argument: Why are we separated by the animals?

"The report also called for stiffer sanctions for corruption convictions and public education programs on anti-corruption." Thank you very much, Transparency International, for the report and song and dance. It would be easier to wrestle a wild boar to save a vegetable crop.

"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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