09/09/08 Fried Apple Slices from

"Chi s'impiccia degli affari altri, di tre parte glie ne resta due." (He who meddles in others people's affairs will be left with two of three parts.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Tonno con Aglio, Pomodori, Capperi e Basilico
  -Mele Fritte
  -Budino al Cocco e Nocciola

We hope all our subscribers will have a happy and productive autumn season. Enjoy the recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Dolce di Fichi

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 Recipe: Tonno con Aglio, Pomodori, Capperi e Basilico

Tonno con Aglio, Pomodori, Capperi e Basilico
Tuna Steaks with Garlic, Tomatoes, Capers, and Basil


6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained

Four 5 to 6-ounce ahi tuna steaks (each about 1 inch thick)


Heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.

Add onions; saute until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic; saute until golden, about 3 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, basil, and capers.

Simmer uncovered until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in another heavy large skillet over medium heat.

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper.

Add fish to skillet and cook until light brown at edges but pink in center, about 3 minutes per side.

Pour in tomato mixture.

Simmer until fish is opaque in center, about 5 minutes longer.

Serve fish immediately. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

 Recipe: Budino al Cocco e Nocciola

Budino al Cocco e Nocciola
Coconut and Hazelnut Pudding


8 oz (225 grams) semolina
8 oz (225 grams) desiccated coconut
8 oz (225 grams) superfine sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
4 oz (100 grams) unsalted butter
1 pint (568 ml) milk
1 tablespoon (15 ml) plain white flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) cinnamon
4 oz (100 grams) hazelnuts or almonds
Icing sugar, to serve
Mascarpone cheese or thick double cream, to serve


Pre heat the oven to 350 F. (180 C.)

Put all the ingredients, except the nuts, in a saucepan and mix together.

Slowly bring to a boil, stirring all the time.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool. The mixture at this stage should be thick.

Press the mixture into a Swiss roll tin. (It should be only 1 cm or 1/2 inch thick.)

Roughly chop the hazelnuts or almonds and sprinkle over the top to decorate.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Lightly dust with sifted icing sugar, cut into squares and serve hot or cold. Accompany with mascarpone cheese or cream. Makes 20 slices.

That's it!

 Recipe: Mele Fritte

Mele Fritte
Fried Apple Slices


1/4 teaspoon (7 grams) fresh yeast or 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried yeast
4 fl oz (100 ml) hot water
4 oz (125 grams) superfine sugar
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
4 fl oz (100 ml) dry white wine
8 oz (225 grams) plain white flour
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt
4 eating apples
1/2 pint (300 ml) olive oil (for frying)


Cream the fresh yeast with the hot water (If using dried yeast, sprinkle it into the water with a pinch of the sugar and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes until frothy).

Add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of sugar, the egg, olive oil and wine and blend well together.

Put the flour and salt into a large bowl.

Make a well in the center, add the yeast mixture and beat with a whisk until it is like a pancake batter. If the batter seems too stiff, add a little more wine or water.

Peel, core and slice each apple into 5 rings.

In a deep, heavy-based saucepan, heat the olive oil.

Coat a few apple slices on both sides with the batter, letting the excess drain off.

Fry the slices for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.

Drain on kitchen paper.

Cook the remaining apple slices in the same way.

Put the remaining sugar on a plate.

When the apple slices are cool enough to handle, gently press them into the sugar. Serve warm. 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:

Priests Advised To Use Ghostbusters

Vatican City - March 5, 2008 - A Vatican official has warned priests that they should call in the exorcists when faced with a member of their flock who is possessed by the devil rather than try to deal with the problem themselves.

In an interview with Vatican daily Osservatore Romano, Bishop Gianfranco Girotti of the Apostolic Penitentiary said priests should proceed with caution in cases involving "diabolic or mystic phenomena with a presumed supernatural element".

Girotti said that he deals with incidents linked to mysticism, which often manifest themselves in "delusions, hysteria and other symptoms". But when faced with "possessions, obsessions and persecutions" it is best to call in trained ghostbusters who can perform an exorcism, he added.

Girotti is currently running a six-day refresher crash course at the Vatican for priests who hear confession in an effort to address a crisis of confidence among church-goers in Italy.

A survey revealed that many believers were unhappy with the performance of priests in the confession box and said they found it difficult to talk about their sins. Topics covered in the course include what to do with homosexual and divorced Catholics, with the bishop recommending that priests avoid "assuming an apocalyptic tone".

"Ahhh! Sei posseduto!" "Ahhh! Va a cagare!" How does one convince that Vatican that "delusions, hysteria, possessions, obsessions and persecutions" are also manifested when members of the flock are condemned to waking up early and going to work? They do not need an exorcist; just anyone to explain to that satan of a spouse that he/she needs the evil entity of aggravation evicted from their daily lives.

To the surprise of none, Italians are a complicated people. Many of them, especially the older folks, are ardent believers in the Catholic Church. On the other hand, a large chunk of the population, especially in the south, believes in the infamous "malocchio" (evil eye).

If your world begins to crumble around you - a bad school grade, an injury, a sickness, extortion or embezzlement gone wrong - chances are a lovely person probably already had a "malocchio" cast upon you. Relax. No need to call in an exorcist with too much free time. Just call a "nonna" (grandmother), preferably one whose face could cook a seven layer lasagna just by staring at it.

She'll put drops of oil in water, chant something ridiculous and incomprehensible, look at her artistic design of the oil and water mixture and tell you if you had the "malocchio". Amazingly enough, 9 out of 10 times, you will have the "malocchio".

The nonna will rid you of the "malocchio" for free and bore you the rest of the time about all the other evil aspects in your life you should be ashamed of that's causing misery to your family.

"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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