08/30/11 Wine Spaghetti with Broccoli

"L'appetito vien mangiando" (An appetite comes when eating.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Wine Spaghetti with Broccoli
  -Rigatoni with Red Peppers, Fontina Cheese, and Wild Mushrooms
  -Apple Crostata with Almond Cinnamon Topping

"Buona sera!" My bakery family and I are wondering if you have all enjoyed your summer seasons. We's tough to get back into the groove of things. Let's hope the good weather stays for a while longer. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Wine Spaghetti with Broccoli

Wine Spaghetti with Broccoli
Spaghetti di Vino con Broccoli


1 and 3/4 lbs broccoli, thick stems discarded
1 lb spaghetti
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine (preferably Zinfandel)
1 teaspoon sugar
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1/2 cup)


Cut broccoli into 1-inch wide florets (with 1/2 inch of stem).

Blanch in a 6 to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, 2 minutes.

Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large colander to drain, reserving broccoli-cooking liquid in pot, then transfer broccoli to a bowl.

Return cooking liquid to a boil and cook spaghetti, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes (pasta will not be fully cooked).

Drain in colander and return empty pot to stovetop.

Add wine and sugar to pot and boil vigorously 2 minutes.

Add spaghetti and shake pot to prevent pasta from sticking.

Gently stir with tongs until coated and boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed, about 6 minutes (pasta will be 'al dente').

Immediately after adding spaghetti to wine mixture, cook garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, shaking skillet occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 5 minutes.

Add broccoli, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Increase heat to high and pour spaghetti mixture into skillet, tossing with tongs to combine (skillet will be very full).

Cook, stirring, until all of wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese.

Serve immediately. Makes 4 main-course or 8 first course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Rigatoni with Red Peppers, Fontina Cheese, and Wild Mushrooms

Rigatoni with Red Peppers, Fontina Cheese, and Wild Mushrooms
Rigatoni con Peperoni Rossi, Fontina, e Funghi di Bosco


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large red onions, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch thick slices (about 6 cups)
1 pound assorted wild mushrooms (such as small Portobello, oyster, chanterelle, and stemmed shiitake), cut into 1/3-inch thick slices (about 10 cups)
2 large red bell peppers, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch thick strips (about 4 cups)

1 pound rigatoni
3 teaspoons marjoram, divided
1 and 1/2 cups grated Fontina cheese (about 6 ounces), divided


Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over high heat.

Add onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-high.

Add mushrooms and saute until wilted, about 3 minutes.

Add peppers and saute until just soft, about 5 minutes longer.

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

Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.

Add reserved pasta cooking liquid and 2 teaspoons marjoram to skillet and stir, scraping up browned bits.

Add drained pasta to sauce and toss to coat.

Add 1 cup cheese; stir until melted.

Transfer pasta to large bowl; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and 1 teaspoon marjoram. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Apple Crostata with Almond Cinnamon Topping

Apple Crostata with Almond Cinnamon Topping
Crostata di Mele con Crosta di Mandorle e Cannella


For the Crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
3 tablespoons (or more) ice water

For the Crumb Topping:
2/3 cup all purpose flour
6 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
2/3 cup blanched slivered almonds

For the Filling:
7 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 large apples (2 to 2 and 1/4 pounds total), peeled, halved, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided


Prepare the Crust:
Mix flour, sugar, and salt in medium bowl.

Add butter.

Cut in with back of fork until butter is reduced to oatmeal-size flakes.

Add 3 tablespoons ice water.

Toss until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry.

Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk.

Wrap and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Prepare the Topping:
Mix flour, brown sugar, cornmeal, cinnamon, and salt in bowl.

Add butter.

Blend with back of fork until moist clumps form.

Mix in almonds.

Prepare the Filling:
Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 400°F.

Place 6 tablespoons sugar in large bowl.

Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; stir to blend well.

Mix in apples.

Add 2 tablespoons melted butter and toss to coat.

Roll out dough on floured sheet of parchment paper to 13 and 1/2-inch round.

Arrange apple filling in center, mounding slightly and leaving 2-inch plain border.

Gently fold dough border over edge of filling, pleating loosely and pinching any cracks to seal.

Brush dough border with remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Sprinkle topping over exposed apple filling.

Slide rimless baking sheet under parchment and crostata and place in oven.

Bake until crust is crisp and apples are tender, turning baking sheet after 20 minutes, about 40 minutes total.

Run knife under crostata to loosen from paper.

Cool crostata completely on paper on baking sheet. 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:

President of Rome's Retailing Association Among Dozens Arrested For Tax Evasion

Rome - June 14, 2011 - The president of the retailing association in the Italian capital, Confcommercio, was among over 40 people arrested on Tuesday for alleged tax evasion.

Cesare Pambianchi and 14 other people were detained in prison and 27 put under house arrest in the operation, during which police raided hundreds of companies.

As well as tax evasion, the suspects face charges including money laundering and embezzlement.

Tuesday's operation was part of a probe by Rome prosecutors into an alleged international association involving the owners of various companies and groups who dodged taxes to the value of 550 million euros.

Sixty-five-year-old Pambianchi is accused evading tax on over 300,000 euros of consultancy fees.

"I am displeased. I hope Pambianchi will be able to prove his innocence," commented Rome's mayor, Gianni Alemanno.

Confcommercio issued a statement expressing "full solidarity" and "esteem and faith" in Pambianchi.

"In the hope that Rome prosecutors shed full light on this matter, we repeat that the accusations leveled against president Pambianchi concern his business activities alone and in no way regards Rome's Confcommercio," the statement said.

Pambianchi in 1996 founded the company Profit S.p.A. which currently employs 450 people and owns 20 sports centers and several health farms. He is also a member of the board of directors of Aeroporti di Roma and the Fiera di Roma permanent trade fair.

Look, Italians are not what you would call passionate planners. Forecasting what we will be doing a year therefore, is a game for idiots. Many of us wake up with no idea what awaits us by pasta time:
"Ragazzi, let's get nothing done and onwards to the next cigarette!"

And tell an Italian that the only certainties in life are death and taxes and he'll throw a few Euros at you, thanking you for the wonderful laugh and making his day.

According to statistics, a 1/3 of Italians are semi illiterate. We can't do simple tasks like buying shoes that fit and have very little notion of history and science. But tax evasion is a way of life Italians plan very carefully. We'll go into a cave with goat milk and bread and meditate before we figure out how to pull it off.

According to the latest figures available from the "Agenzia delle Entrate", an equivalent of the Inland Revenue or IRS, more than 124 billion Euros ($181 billion USD), is evaded every year by Italians. For example:

The owner of five Ferraris...that claims an income of 1,000 Euros ($1,460 USD) a month.
A restaurant owner purchases a 750,000 Euro ($1,095,000 USD) home...but declares zero income.
An owner of a large property portfolio...never files tax returns.

Makes you want to run over your accountant with your car, doesn't it?

And believe us, there are Italians hard at work resolving the immortality problem:

"I said I want a 99 year lease on the store front. Of course, everything in cash."
"Don't worry about me. Cazzo, I'll be back to renew."

"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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