10/02/07 Torta alla Nocciola from

"Un nemico troppo e cento amici non bastano." (One enemy is too many and a hundred friends aren't enough.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Risotto alle Erbe
  -Penne con Melanzane Grigliate e Radicchio
  -Torta alla Nocciola

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


Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Italian cookies for your Thanksgiving

Italian Thanksgiving? According to the fine pilgrim tradition, our Italian ancestors went over to the New World, America, celebrated and gave thanks for their new found fortune, freedom and prosperity. However, they were very reluctant to give up the traditions of their own, that is why they still serve manicotti, lasagna or stuffed shells prior to the turkey. Afterwards, you top off the feast with fine Italian pastries and cookies with espresso,

Why not order a scrumptious batch of Italian cookies for your Thanksgiving feast? They're perfect to adorn any Thanksgiving table and delicious to enjoy. If you would like to order in time for the Holiday, please keep in mind the following deadline:

All Thanksgiving orders must be placed by Monday evening, November 12, at midnight EST. Click here to order!

 Recipe: Risotto alle Erbe

Risotto alle Erbe
Herb Risotto


1 and 1/2 cups (loosely packed) fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
1 and 1/2 cups short-grain rice (such as arborio) or medium-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese plus additional for serving


Blend first 5 ingredients in processor until thick paste forms. Bring broth and 2 and 1/2 cups water to simmer in saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to very low; cover to keep warm.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat.

Add leek; saute until soft, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Add rice; stir until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Add wine; simmer until absorbed, stirring often.

Add warm broth mixture 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next and stirring often, until rice is tender but still firm to bite, about 20 minutes.

Cover; remove from heat. Let stand 3 minutes. Uncover; stir in herb paste, 1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese, and 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately in warm bowls. Serves 4 to 6.

That's it!

 Recipe: Penne con Melanzane Grigliate e Radicchio

Penne con Melanzane Grigliate e Radicchio
Penne With Grilled Eggplant and Radicchio


2 small eggplants (about 1 and 1/2 lbs)
1 large head of radicchio (about 8 ounces), quartered, cored
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup chopped seeded peeled tomatoes
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
12 ounces Penne or Fusilli pasta, freshly cooked
6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled


Cut eggplants in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place on layers of paper towels. Sprinkle eggplant lightly with salt; let stand for 30 minutes.

Prepare barbecue or grill (medium-high heat). Pat eggplant dry. Brush eggplant and radicchio with 3 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with salt. Grill until eggplant is tender and radicchio is wilted, about 4 minutes per side for eggplant and 1 minute per side for radicchio. Transfer radicchio to cutting board; chop coarsely.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; stir 2 minutes. Add parsley and thyme. Reduce heat to low; saute until onion is soft, about 10 minutes.

Add next 5 ingredients; simmer 8 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in eggplant and radicchio. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss pasta with 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl. Add eggplant sauce and toss. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese; serve. Serves 6.

That's it!

 Recipe: Torta alla Nocciola

Torta alla Nocciola
Hazelnut Cake


1 and 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and with the skins removed
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus some for the cake pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons soft butter, (additional for the cake pan)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 cup milk at room temperature
4 tablespoons semisweet chocolate, chopped by hand in small pieces


Chop the hazelnuts in a food processor to small bits (not to a powder). Set aside.

Whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Butter and flour the cake pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 F with a rack in the center.

In a mixer (preferably a heavy-duty one fitted with a whisk), cream the butter and sugar together until light, smooth, and fluffy; scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, olive oil, and orange zest in several additions, blending each in at slow speed, scraping the bowl, then beating at high speed for a couple of minutes to lighten.

On slow speed, add the dry mix in several additions, alternating with splashes of milk. Scrape the bowl when both are added, and beat briefly on high.

Fold in the chopped nuts and chocolate by hand, and blend in well.

Scrape the batter into the cake pan, and smooth the top.

Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes. The top should be lightly browned and just spring back to a light touch.

Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes or so, remove the side ring of the springform, and let the cake cool completely.

Cut in wedges, and serve topped with powdered sugar or whipped cream. The cake will keep in the refrigerator for a week, well wrapped in plastic, or you can freeze it for longer storage. When serving cake that has been chilled or frozen, toast the cut pieces in the oven (or toaster oven) to bring out the flavors. Serves 10.

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:

Venice: Job and Family Are Signs of Success For Italian Men

Milan - September 4 - A job and a family are a measuring stick of success for Italian males, according to a new study.

Commissioned by the Hugo Boss fashion house and based on a poll of 2,000 men over the age of 17, the study found that over 50% of Italian men felt their goal in life should be to become "a pillar and point of reference for one's own family" and to be "successful in one's own profession".

The multiple answer poll also found that concrete values were also a key to success, including determination (39%), honesty (34%) and professional commitment (21%).

Only 3% of those interviewed felt knowing the right people was important, 2% indicated luck and 1% power.

Old fashioned values remained popular among men between the ages of 17 and 29, with a job and a family considered the most important things.

"Sono un uomo e comando io, penso..." Hmmm...When did 17 year-olds become men?

Let's closely examine this so-called study commissioned from a company that must have been dizzy from all the cologne they wear and drink when they produced the results.

"Old fashioned values remained popular among men between the ages of 17 and 29, with a job and a family considered the most important things." The values they were referring to were the old fashioned cooking, cleaning and being served coffee in bed by their mothers because over 75% of Italian men between the ages of 17 and 29 still live at home with Mamma.

Values that are keys to success:

Determination (39%): An Italian man flirts like other men breathe regularly and naturally. From the days of that jackass, Casanova, Italians have had a pompous and rather arrogant reputation for charming women the world over and they never rely on looks alone. How many times have women, roaming the streets of Italy, heard the phrases, "Where are you from?" "Where are you going?" "Do you need some company? "How about some gelato?"

Although a southern Italian expects an initial negative response, he strongly believes that annoying persistence is the key. And the fact that he rarely gives up easily is a clear indication of some rate of success.

Honesty (34%): In a recent magazine survey, 68% of men claimed to have carried a book to the beach to encourage conversation with women. About 80% of those honest men had the "palle" to tote the Bible or Dante's Divine Comedy. The lesson for other honest men is that to be truly successful with women, you have to use all of your honest natural resources.

"Only 3% of those interviewed felt knowing the right people was important, 2% indicated luck and 1% power." These are proud honest members of the "World Association of Ugly People".

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