09/08/09 Sea Bass With Fennel

"Chi ha la mamma sua non piange mai." (He who has his own mother never cries.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Toasted Mozzarella
  -Chickpeas with Anchovies
  -Sea Bass With Fennel

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: Santo Trio

"Santo Trio" 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, coconut, amaretto, lemon, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 14.49 Euro ($21.00-$21.50) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 14.49 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-8 days) for a total of 23.19 Euro ($33.50-$34.00 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Toasted Mozzarella

Toasted Mozzarella
Mozzarella alla Piastra


2 eggs
2 and 1/2 oz (65 grams) breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
8 mozzarella cheese slices
Plain flour, for dusting
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 tablespoon chopped fresh fiat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
4 canned anchovy fillets, drained and chopped


Beat the eggs in a shallow dish and mix together the breadcrumbs, thyme and a pinch of salt in another shallow dish.

Dust the mozzarella slices with flour, dip in the beaten eggs, then in the breadcrumb mixture.

Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Place a baking sheet under the grill and preheat the grill and the baking sheet.

Remove the mozzarella slices from the refrigerator and place on the hot baking sheet.

Brown under the grill without melting the cheese.

Place on a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped parsley, capers and anchovies. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chickpeas with Anchovies

Chickpeas with Anchovies
Ceci alle Acciughe


7 oz (200 grams) dried chickpeas
3 oz (80 grams) salted anchovies, heads removed, cleaned and filleted, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes and drained
3 and 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh flat leaf parsley sprig, chopped
Salt and pepper


Soaked the chickpeas in cold water for 24 hours and then drain.

Clean anchovies. To fillet the whole salted anchovies, cut off the head and tails, and press along the backbones with your thumb.

Put the chickpeas in a large saucepan.

Add cold water to cover, bring to a boil and cook over a medium heat for about 3-4 hours until tender.

Meanwhile, chop the anchovy fillets.

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan.

Add the anchovies and cook, mashing with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes until they have almost completely disintegrated.

Add the parsley, season with pepper and mix well.

Drain the chickpeas.

Pour into a warm serving dish, add the hot sauce and season with salt to taste. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Sea Bass With Fennel

Sea Bass With Fennel
Branzino al Finocchio


Large pinch of dried fennel
2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) sea bass, spines trimmed, scaled and cleaned
Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
2 fl oz (50 ml) brandy
Salt and pepper
Fresh fennel slices, to serve


Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Sprinkle the dried fennel inside the cavity of the fish.

Make several diagonal slashes on each side of the fish, brush it with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.

Bake, turning and brushing with more olive oil occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Make a bed of fresh fennel slices on a serving dish and place the sea bass on top.

Gently warm the brandy in a ladle, then pour it over the fish and ignite.

Serve when the flames have died down. Serves 4.

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:

900 Years of Venetian Discrimination Comes To An End

Venice - June 26, 2009 - After nine centuries of keeping women on dry land, Venice broke with tradition today by approving its first female gondolier.

Giorgia Boscolo, 23, a mother of two, came through a grueling course, which included 400 hours of instruction, to enter an all-male club that has resisted admitting women. "I am immensely happy and proud, but today my day starts like every other, taking the children to school," she said. "I've always loved gondolas and unlike my three sisters I preferred to row with my father instead of going out with my friends."

She denied that she would not have the physical strength to maneuver gondolas, saying: "Childbirth is much more difficult."

Venice introduced a gondoliering course in 2007 after centuries during which the trade was handed down from father to son.

Boscolo's father Dante, also a gondolier, said he still had reservations about his daughter ferrying tourists up the grand canal. "I still think being a gondolier is a man's job, but I am sure that with experience Giorgia will be able to do it easily," he said.

During the six-month course, students learn how to steer their gondolas and must show a perfect knowledge of Venice's canals.

Another woman taking the course, German-American Alexandra Hai, did not pass muster, despite having spent the last 12 years trying to become a gondolier.

Even before the launch of the official course, she took the gondoliers' test four times, blaming examiners for being "overly strict" when she failed. Hai, 42, won a court battle to be able to ferry hotel guests, despite having no official licence, and was employed by a hotel in Venice.

Official Gondola Ride Price Fares:
-> 80 Euros (112 USD)
for the standard 40 minute ride (max 6 people) [8am - 7pm] "Fanculo!"
->100 Euros (140 USD)
for the standard 40 minute ride (max 6 people) [7pm - 8am] "Fanculo + 20 Euros!"

Apart from learning how to maneuver a slow and skinny boat with a pole, there is much Giorgia had to learn before passing a gondoliering course. She had to learn how to hypnotize the pigeons (the tourists, not actual Venice pigeons) into believing:

- the 20 minute theme park ride they just took was a 40 minute, 16th century, adventure of love.

- she had to go the long way around because the Venice Dept of Transportation shut down a canal for excessive flooding.

- she knows which back canals to take in order to avoid tidal waves or Venice pirates.

"Childbirth is much more difficult." "Porca vacca", compared to avoiding getting fleeced by rat-bastard gondoliers, childbirth is a picnic!

"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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