09/20/11 Orecchiette with Broccoli

"Al bisogno si conosce l'amico." (A friend in need is a friend indeed.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Paprika Bechamel
  -Orecchiette with Broccoli
  -Smoked Swordfish with Radicchio

"GRAZIE!" THANK YOU for all that you do. It means the world to us! Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

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 ($19.25-$19.75) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 14.49 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (10-12 days) for a total of 23.19 Euro ($31.00-$31.50 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Paprika Bechamel

Paprika Bechamel
Besciamella Alla Paprica


18 fl oz (500 ml) milk
2 oz (50 grams) butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 oz (50 grams) plain flour
1 tablespoon hot paprika


Melt the butter in a saucepan.

Add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent and softened but not browned.

Whisk in the flour.

Pour in all the milk, whisking constantly until it starts to boil.

Season with salt.

Lower the heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for at about 20-22 minutes.

Stir in the paprika a few minutes before removing the saucepan from the heat. Serves 4.

Note: Perfect for meat, fish and boiled vegetables.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Orecchiette with Broccoli

Orecchiette with Broccoli


1 and 3/4 lbs (800 grams) broccoli, cut into florets
11 oz (300 grams) orecchiette pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 fresh chilli, seeded and chopped
Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese, freshly grated, to serve


Cook the broccoli in salted, boiling water for about 5 minutes.


Heat the olive oil in a saucepan.

Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add the broccoli and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until tender.

Cook the orecchiette in a large pan of salted, boiling water for 10 minutes until 'al dente'.

Drain and toss with the broccoli.

Serve with Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese. Serves 4.

Note: If you prefer, the broccoli may be cooked with the orecchiette.

In this case, drain everything.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with grated Pecorino cheese.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Smoked Swordfish with Radicchio

Smoked Swordfish with Radicchio
Pesca Spada Affumicato con Radicchio


For the Sauce:
7 oz (200 grams) fennel bulbs (boiled, drained and chopped)
5 oz (150 grams) mascarpone cheese
2 fl oz (50 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

For the Swordfish:
2 Treviso radicchio
12 smoked swordfish slices
5 oz (150 grams) celery, cut into thin strips


Prepare the Sauce:
Place the fennel, egg yolk, mascarpone cheese, and olive oil in a food processor and process to a smooth, thick puree.

Add 1 tablespoon warm water, white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar.

Season with salt and pepper and process briefly again.

Prepare the Swordfish:
Arrange the radicchio leaves on a serving dish in the shape of a wreath.

Place the slices of swordfish in the middle and the celery strips all around.

Spoon a little vinegar sauce on top and serve. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates & 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:

Red Light Camera Scandal Goes to Trial In Italy

Rome - September 28, 2010 - Italy's financial police force, Guardia di Finanza, announced that ten individuals would go to trial and another 300 public officials, police officers and corporate employees face indictment for fraud, forgery and public corruption involving the use of red light camera and speed camera equipment.

Salerno prosecutor Amato Barile kicked off the investigation known as "Operation Devius" in June 2009 with a series of dramatic raids in 120 cities that used the services of the private firm 'Garda Segnale' between 2007 and 2009.

The raids uncovered evidence that 'Velomatic 512' and 'Traffiphot III SR' photo radar units bearing the same individual serial number were being used by different municipalities located hundreds of miles apart. Under Italian regulations, each camera used for issuing citations must be properly calibrated and approved. The "cloned" serial numbers helped the firm avoid the cost of testing individual units, along with helping hide the fact that several of its camera units were configured in such a way as to read speeds between 10 and 30 km/h (6 to 19 MPH) faster, generating additional citations.

Prosecutors also believe that some of these the cameras were used in locations not authorized by ordinance, and their operators were not properly trained. Municipalities ignored ministerial directives by entering into per-ticket compensation schemes for the cameras.

Police gathered fifty speed cameras as evidence as well as computers, software, banking records and other documents used to establish a chain of illegal business practices. A total of 100,000 tickets worth 13 million euros ($18 million USD) were issued by the programs under investigation.

The Salerno prosecutor alleges that the mastermind behind the operation set up a chain of interconnected companies to compete for the photo enforcement contracts with Italy municipalities. Although it would appear that five or six companies were involved in a bidding war for the municipal business, each one was part of the same organization.

"Mi scusi Giudice", a 140 Euro fine for speeding with a 1977 FIAT tractor? I'll trade you a goat for the sum of the fine."

It's no surprise local authorities around the world generate a significant percentage of their revenue from fines collected for infractions of various non-penal laws, especially driving regulations. This happens nowhere more than our lovely country where many people and companies pay less income, sales and other taxes than they local towns and governments are forced to find other sources of revenue.

Mayor Minchione: "Buon giorno, I'm interested in purchasing ten 'Velomatic 512' cameras for my one horse town. With a name like 'Velomatic', does your company also produce vacuum cleaners?"

Let's look at a typical city: According to figures recently released by Florence city officials, every 40 seconds, a motorist in Florence receives a damn traffic violation. The traffic police "bastardi" issue approximately 90 tickets every minute, 1,253 tickets a day. Again, "bastardi!"

The fines on these tickets average out to about 140 Euros ($193 USD) per year, per motorist. They haul in about 52 million Euros ($72 million USD) to city hall each year, making it one of Italy's most heavily fined cities. Local officials note that the amount of money that enters the municipal budget through traffic fines has tripled in the last 10 years.

Mind you, these municipalities go through that budget money like our fat cousin, Massimo, goes through a bowl of 'Penne with sardines'.

"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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