09/18/07 Fresh Homemade Ricotta from

"A tutto c'è rimedio, fuorchè alla morte." (There is a cure for everything except death.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Olive Focaccia Dough
  -Fresh Homemade Ricotta
  -Pumpkin Gnocchi

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


Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Sicilian Orange Almond Cookies

"Sicilian Orange" 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 with bits of candied Sicilian oranges, 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 ($20.00-$20.50) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 14.49 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-9 days) for a total of 23.19 Euro ($32.25-$32.75 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Olive Focaccia Dough

Olive Focaccia Dough


3/4 cup warm water (105°F - 115°F)
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 and 1/4 to 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped brine-cured black olives


In bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook stir together water, yeast, and sugar and let stand 5 minutes, or until foamy.

Stir in 2 and 1/4 cups flour, salt, pepper, olive oil, and olives and knead dough, scraping down dough hook occasionally and adding enough of remaining 1/4 cup flour to form a soft, slightly sticky dough, about 3 minutes.

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat, and let rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Dough may be made 1 day ahead and chilled in bowl, covered with plastic wrap.

That's it!

 Recipe: Fresh Homemade Ricotta

Fresh Homemade Ricotta

This ricotta is more delicate in flavor than any version you'll find in a store and has a lovely dry curd.


2 quarts whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Special equipment:
Large sieve,
Fine-mesh cheesecloth


Line a large sieve with a layer of heavy-duty (fine-mesh) cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.

Slowly bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.

Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour.

After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta, covered; it will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 days. Makes about 2 cups.

That's it!

 Recipe: Pumpkin Gnocchi

Pumpkin Gnocchi


One 2 and 1/2 to 3 lb kabocha or butternut squash, or pumpkin
1 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
10 tablespoons (1 and 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
12 sage leaves
6 ounces white truffles (optional), brushed clean


Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Remove the stem, if present, from the squash or pumpkin, then slice between the vertical grooves to produce thick, half-moon slices.

Scrape out and discard the seeds and strings.

Place the squash on their sides in one layer on a large baking sheet.

Roast until a knife easily pierces the flesh, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.

When cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh from the skin into a sieve. Using a rubber scraper or spatula, work the squash through the sieve into a bowl. Measure 1 and 1/2 cups of squash puree.

Transfer the puree to a medium saucepan and add the water, salt, and nutmeg.

When it begins to boil, add a cup of the flour, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture pulls together as a smooth, bright orange ball, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and beat in the egg, then 1 and 1/2 cups of the cheese.

Turn out onto a clean work surface and let cool slightly.

When cool enough to handle, knead the remaining 1/2 cup flour into the dough to form a smooth ball.

Divide the dough into eight pieces and roll each into a 1/2 inch thick log, dusting the work surface with flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Cut the logs into 1 inch long segments.

Spread some flour on a baking sheet, add the gnocchi, and shake to lightly coat. Set aside until ready to cook. The gnocchi can be stored, covered, and refrigerated, for up to a day.

To prepare the sauce, in a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sage and cook until it starts to crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Salt the water and cook the gnocchi in four to five batches until they rise to the surface, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked gnocchi to the skillet with the sauce.

When all of the gnocchi are cooked, place the pan over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes and toss the gnocchi with the sauce.

Remove from the heat, add the remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese, and toss again.

Divide the gnocchi among serving plates and shave the white truffles, if using, over the top. Makes 6 first course servings.

That's it!

Submit Your Thoughts


 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:

Mafia Bosses Held Meetings In Police Station

Naples - September 29 - Mafia bosses normally try to avoid going anywhere near jail, but crime leaders near Naples have been discovered holding meetings in their local police station.

Mobsters linked to a notorious Camorra clan used the station telephone and snorted cocaine at the command post of the traffic police in San Cipriano d'Aversa. Investigators believe that the red carpet was rolled out to gang members by Giuseppe Iovine, a former policeman and the brother of feared Casalesi clan boss Antonio Iovine, who has been on the run since 1996 and is wanted for murder.

Giuseppe Iovine was fired from the traffic police in 1995 for his mob connections, but continued to frequent the police station and even borrow police cars in order to tour local businesses to demand protection money, investigators said. He was accompanied on his rounds by serving officers and even the station chief, who could now face charges of extortion.

"Thanks to the influence he enjoyed as a relation of one of the historic bosses of the Casalesi clan, Iovine wielded absolute power at the police station," investigators wrote in a report released as they raided the homes of local police this week.

Investigators suspect Antonio Iovine's ability to evade arrest is thanks in part to mob infiltration of local government.

The Casalesi clan is believed to be one of the most powerful groups within the Naples Camorra, specializing in construction and keeping a lower profile than clans that focus on drug dealing.

"Oh, porca di quella troja!" It's fascinating what that Vesuvius volcano can spew out from time to time.

At the first sight, Naples appears to have such an overmanned and overgunned police force that tourists wonder if Neapolitans have ever heard of civil liberties. At times it feels like you're under martial law and you get the urge to run for the hills towards Switzerland.

In addition to the normal police, they also have something funny here called the 'Carabiniere' who are military runway models of the police force.

While the mafia is busy with cocaine and taking emergency calls at police command posts, Carabiniere stand around all day, in very flashy costumes with a trademark white diagonal leather sash across their breasts and a huge gold motif on their hats, brandishing machine guns.

Over the centuries, Carabiniere have carefully nurtured their image as so-called heroes of the people of ridiculous folk proportions, and there's a wide range of promotional crap merchandise such as calendars, pens, posters and toys which they distribute. Much of it is free because no one will pay for it.

However, traffic cops do little more than sit basking at the side of the road wearing shiny leather jackets, sunglasses and guns, trying to look like Starsky and Hutch, only randomly pulling in the odd looking, sap motorist just to keep their reports up to quota.

Nonetheless, we certainly hope the Polizia di Napoli were able to hold whatever dignity there was left and decline the mobster's requests for coffee and croissants at the command post.

A bit of advice: if you're a tourist in Naples and happen to smell smoke, it's best not to call the Fire Department. They'll send a rescue unit of arsonists to the scene and burn down your hotel room.

"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!

 Caterina Collezione, shop for Italian sterling silver directly from the factory in Italy; wedding gifts, anniversary gifts, flatware, plates, centerpieces, silverware, tea sets, dinnerware and more. All limited editions and made to order.

 Angela's Italian Organic Oregano is grown on a small mountain in Italy; an all natural herb, strictly certified organic, and shipped directly from Italy to you. It's the secret ingredient for all your Italian recipes.

 Adriana's Homemade Italian Gourmet Cookies; Italian gourmet almond, fig, pistachio and sesame cookies baked and shipped from our bakery in Italy to you; all natural, fresh, and baked to order. Great Italian recipes!

 Italian humor and news; visit and subscribe today and feed your sense of intellectual superiority by reading and wondering how Italy still survives after 56 governments in 50 years!
 Only In

 Read Past Issues
 What's New?
 Our Cookies
 Order Our Cookies!
 People are Talking!
 Try Our Almonds!
 Tour Our Bakery
 About Adriana
 Customer Service
 Italian Sources
 Our Privacy Policy

 Submit Your Thoughts
 Email Adriana

 Subscribe to the feed! Subscribe!
 Add to My Yahoo!
 Add to My Google
 Add to My Netvibes

 Cannelloni con Carne
 Dolce di Fichi
 Fegatini alla Veneta
 Insalatona Pantesca
 Orange Polenta Cake
 Pollo alla Marinara
 Risotto with Radicchio

 More Recipes!

Questions: Need more Italian recipes? How about Italian gift ideas? Or just plain Italian fun?

Subscribe to these interesting newsletters from our closest and trustworthy Italian affiliates located here in Italy? Just click the sites that may interest you and sign up:

 Silver From
 Oregano From
 Only In


Copyright ©2000-2007 FromItaly di Ciccarello. ISSN: 1724-7985. All Rights Reserved. Please read our Privacy Policy

This newsletter is powered by Libero. It no longer uses NOR does it recommend the services of Tiscali S.p.a.