09/02/08 Shrimp Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms from

"Chi troppo vuole, nulla stringe." (He who wants too much doesn't catch anything.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Bruschetta con Ricotta Fresca e Fave
  -Funghi di Portobello con Ripieni di Gamberi
  -Fettuccine con Prosciutto, Asparagi, Funghi e Piselli

Enjoy the recipes and the rest of the summer season!


Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Dolce di Fichi

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 Recipe: Bruschetta con Ricotta Fresca e Fave

Bruschetta con Ricotta Fresca e Fave
Fresh Ricotta and Fava Bean Bruschetta


1 and 1/2 cups shelled fresh fava beans (from about 1 and 1/2 lbs) or 1 and 1/2 cups frozen baby lima beans
Eight 4 x 3 x 1/2-inch slices country-style bread, cut in half crosswise
8 garlic cloves, cut in half crosswise
15 ounces fresh ricotta cheese or whole-milk ricotta cheese
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil


Cook fava beans or lima beans in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 1 and 1/2 minutes for fava beans or about 4 minutes for lima beans. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain well.

Peel fava beans if using; set aside. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Arrange bread pieces on baking sheet; toast in oven until light golden, about 12 minutes.

Rub 1 side of each bread piece with cut side of 1 garlic half, pressing firmly to release juices into bread.

Top each bread piece with 1 heaping tablespoon ricotta cheese, then fava beans, dividing equally.

Place 2 bread pieces on each of 8 plates.

Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Garnish with sliced basil and serve. Makes 8 (appetizer) servings.

That's it!

 Recipe: Funghi di Portobello con Ripieni di Gamberi

Funghi di Portobello con Ripieni di Gamberi
Shrimp Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
6 ounces cooked bay shrimp
2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Eight 2 to 2 and 1/2-inch Portobello mushrooms, dark gills removed


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

Add onion, basil, garlic, and rosemary.

Saute until onion softens, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to medium bowl; mix in shrimp, breadcrumbs, cheese, and mayonnaise.

Season filling to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange mushrooms, rounded side down, on oiled baking sheet.

Mound shrimp filling in mushrooms, pressing filling to compact slightly. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Bake mushrooms until tender and filling begins to brown, about 35 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 4 (appetizer) servings.

That's it!

 Recipe: Fettuccine con Prosciutto, Asparagi, Funghi e Piselli

Fettuccine con Prosciutto, Asparagi, Funghi e Piselli
Fettuccine with Prosciutto, Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Peas


8 ounces thin asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch strips
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
1 cup whipping cream
16 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 lb fettuccine pasta
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives


Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl; set aside. Reserve water in pot.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-low heat.

Add prosciutto and stir 1 minute.

Add mushrooms and saute until golden, about 3 minutes.

Add asparagus, peas, and cream and simmer until cream is reduced by 1/3, about 2 minutes.

Turn off heat. Mix in cherry tomatoes.

Bring reserved water in pot to boil.

Add pasta and cook until 'al dente', stirring occasionally. Drain.

Add pasta to skillet with sauce and toss to coat over low heat.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat. Stir in cheese.

Transfer to large bowl; sprinkle with chives 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 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:

Parliament 'Pianists' Will Come To An End

Rome - June 11, 2008 - First they vote, then, with a sleight of hand and some nimble finger-work, they also vote on behalf of one or more colleagues absent from parliament. But the tune may be about to change for Italy's political "pianists" - the name given to parliamentarians who, surreptitiously, express more than the single, personal vote allowed.

"It's a real disgrace that has to stop," said Gianfranco Fini, the speaker of the lower house Chamber of Deputies who is spearheading a change in the way parliamentary votes are registered.

The electronic voting system currently in place in the Chamber of Deputies and in the upper house Senate, is simple enough to operate.

And, as offenders caught on television have often shown, quite easy to trick.

Each parliamentarian's bench is fitted with a console containing three buttons - green for a "yes" vote, red for "no" and white for an abstention.

Cheating parliamentarians register their vote by pressing one of the buttons on their own console and then press those on the empty benches next to them.

"It amounts to committing fraud with aggravating circumstances," said Antonio Di Pietro, a former magistrate and leader of the center-left opposition Italy of Values party.

As Di Pietro pointed out in a parliament debate on the issue this week, absentee parliamentarians, and the political parties they represent, get to benefit twice from the scam.

Votes get to count despite the failure to personally register them, and absentee parliamentarians by virtue of having "voted" are marked as present in official records, entitling them to receive the daily parliamentary attendance allowance.

In Italy, where parliamentarians are the best paid in Europe - earning around 16,000 euros (24,000 dollars) a month - this daily allowance amounts to 250 euros (389 dollars).

Past measures to curb the cheating have had little success.

These including forcing "pianists" caught in the act to forfeit their own attendance allowance and to expel them for at least one parliament session.

Fini has now proposed installing a new electronic console that would require each parliamentarian to register their personal vote by pushing not one, but two buttons.

These would be set a distance apart so as to force the voter to use both hands and leave none free to vote on behalf of someone else.

Parliament, including the pianists, will first have to vote and approve Fini's proposal, before it can become law.

Cazzo, what a shame though. Now, they won't be able to vote and pick their nose at the same time.

We'll bet you never realized there were so many talented politicians in that parliament where the smell of corruption in the air is so thick when you leave, it gives you the urge to brush your teeth.

Another way to keep these disgusting hands still is to install miniature versions of the "Bocca della Verita" (Mouth of Truth) on every Parliament seat. Each time the smelly and corrupt fingers of a politician reaches into the console of an empty seat it would bite them off, spit them out and then ask if he would like to confirm his vote.

It's not to say that Italians in general are not also musically talented. Most of us who don't earn a Parliament salary of $24,000 a month sing/whistle a wonderful daily tune we know by heart called, "I Woke Up and Went To Work".

"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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