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 09/11/07 Torta Mantovana from CookiesFromItaly.com

"A rubar poco si va in galera, a rubar tanto si fa carriera." (Steal a little, go to jail; steal a lot, make a career of it.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Panzanella
  -Baccala Fritta alla Santa Elisabetta
  -Torta Mantovana

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

Arrivederci!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       


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 Recipe: Panzanella

Panzanella
Italian Bread Salad

Ingredients:

2 large ripe tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, very finely minced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces with your hands
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar, plus more as needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 slices thick stale country style Italian bread, torn into bite-size pieces

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, garlic and basil. Drizzle with the 1/2 cup olive oil and the 3 tbsp vinegar, season with salt and pepper and toss well.

Place half of the bread in a wide, shallow bowl. If the bread is quite stale and dry, you should first spoon a few tbsp of water over the bread and let it soak some of the water up, then with your hands squeeze all of the water out and place bread in a different bowl before proceeding. If it isn't too stale or didn't have any, then you can skip this step.

Spoon half of the tomato mixture over the bread.

Layer the remaining bread on top and then the remaining tomato mixture.

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or until serving time.

Just before serving, toss the salad and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. At this point the bread should have absorbed the water from the tomatoes and be all moist. If the bread seems dry for some reason, add a little bit of olive oil and toss well. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

That's it!


 Recipe: Baccala Fritta alla Santa Elisabetta

Baccala Fritta alla Santa Elisabetta

Ingredients:

2 lbs. of salted cod
Flour
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice (2 lemons)
Fresh parsley-chopped
Pepper
3 eggs

Directions:

Bath the salted cod (baccala) in a pot of cold water for two days to reduce the salt content.

When ready heat 1 inch of olive oil in a deep skillet, dip the baccala in flour and shake off the excess.

Fry until golden, drain on paper towels, and serve with lemon wedges.

Alternative method: Make a marinade with olive oil, lemon juice and pepper.

Cut the baccala into 2 inch pieces, and marinate overnight.

Prepare batter by beating eggs together with 3 tbls. of flour, salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet

Dredge the baccala in flour and dip into the batter.

Fry until golden on both sides.

That's it!


 Recipe: Torta Mantovana

Torta Mantovana

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) butter
1 egg plus 4 yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 2/3 cups cake flour
1/2 cup (less two tablespoons) peeled almonds and pine nuts
1 teaspoon of baking powder

Directions:

Halve the pine nuts crosswise, and peel and sliver the almonds.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180C).

Melt the butter.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and the sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.

Add the lemon rind, the flour a bit at a time, the butter, and, finally, the baking powder.

Pour the batter into 9-inch baking pan that has been buttered and dusted with flour and powdered sugar; sprinkle the surface of the cake with the nuts.

Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry (it will also begin to pull away from the sides of the pan).

Once the Mantovana has cooled, dust it with powdered sugar and serve. It goes quite well with dessert wine. Serves 8.

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:

Italian Archbishop Shuts Down Convent After Nun Brawl

Rome - September 30 - A convent in southern Italy is being shut down after a quarrel among its last three remaining nuns ended in blows, reporters said Sunday.

Sisters Annamaria and Gianbattista, reportedly upset about their mother superior's authoritarian ways, scratched her in the face and threw her to the ground at Santa Clara convent near Bari in an incident in July that was kept quiet until now.

Archbishop Giovanni Battista Pichierri tried to reconcile the nuns but finally decided in late August that they had "clearly lost their religious vocation" and asked the Vatican for permission to close the convent.

Sisters Annamaria and Gianbattista moved to another convent, but Sister Liliana barricaded herself inside, refusing to leave, the reports said, adding that she suspected Battista Pichierri of planning to cede the convent to another community.

Liliana has been at the convent since its founding in 1963.

"Va a cagare, Suor Liliana!"

When will nuns learn that violence is not the answer.
Thou shalt serveth the Lord, not kick ass for Him.

We have to agree with the Archbishop. The sisters had clearly lost their religious vocation along with their holy marbles. But it must be written somewhere in the Bible that these grape stompers are supposed to be role models for the Catholic Church and Italian society.

Maybe there was no fresh air in the convent and the sisters became dizzy from the candle fumes and strayed too far from the chosen path.

Scratches to the face? We do not agree with this sort of punishment exhibited on poor Suor Liliana. After all, if you have ever attended Catholic schools as a youngster, the requisite brutality by certain specially trained nuns will bring back fond memories.

Paddling on the backside: Some paddles were even drilled with holes for better aerodynamics and stinging.

Kneeling for the entire school day: When JFK was assassinated, the nuns had blamed the students and so we were forced to kneel on the floor for the rest of the day... as if we knew who the second gunman was on the Grassy Knoll.

To the front of the class, arms out, holding textbooks: By the end of the school year, we had forearms bigger than "Popeye".

"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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