10/07/08 Cod Fish Soup from

"Belle parole non pascono i gatti." (Fine words don't feed cats.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Zuppa di Baccala
  -Bucatini con le Sarde
  -Pennette con Pettini di Mare e Broccoli

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Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Zuppa di Baccala

Zuppa di Baccala
Cod Fish Soup


5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
5 large ribs of celery (with leaves)
3/4 cup tomato puree (or 4 tbsp tomato paste)
2 large heads escarole
1 whole cauliflower
1/4 cup pignoli nuts
6 dried figs, cut in pieces
1/2 cup dark raisins
1 lb. piece dried baccala
Salt and pepper


Soak baccala in water for 2 days, covered in the refrigerator. Change water 3 times a day. (You can now buy pre-soaked baccala).

Cut celery and leaves into 1 inch pieces, set aside.

Wash escarole, cut into bite size pieces, scald and drain. Set aside.

Cut cauliflower into small flowerets and scald, drain and set aside.

In an 8 quart soup pot, saute onion in olive oil, until limp.

Add celery, saute for 1-2 minutes, then add tomato puree.

Stir to mix well. Remove from heat.

Add escarole, cauliflower, pignoli, figs and raisins.

Cover vegetables and fruit with water.

Add salt and pepper. Stir gently to mix.

Cut soaked baccala into 2 inch pieces, place on top of vegetable mixture. Do not stir!

Mix vegetables gently during cooking with a fork. Cover and simmer 25-30 minutes, adding water as needed.

Remove baccala to a platter.

Serve vegetable and broth in soup bowls. Place pieces of baccala on top. Serves 3-4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Bucatini con le Sarde

Bucatini con le Sarde
Bucatini with Sardines


1/2 cup currants
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 lb fennel, bulb finely chopped, fronds chopped and reserved
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed
2 lbs fresh sardines (trimmed and deboned, yielding 1 and 1/4 lbs) or 1 lb canned
1 lb Bucatini pasta
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup capers, rinsed
Freshly ground black pepper.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Combine the currants, red-pepper flakes and wine in a bowl; set aside.

In a small saute pan, melt the butter.

Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until golden brown.

Transfer to a bowl, stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and set aside.

In a heavy skillet, heat 1/2 cup olive oil over medium-low heat.

When hot, add the onion, garlic, fennel bulb and fennel seeds.

Season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is tender, about 25 minutes.

Add the wine mixture and the sardines, breaking them into pieces with a fork.

Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 10 minutes.

Add enough salt to the boiling water so that it tastes salty.

Boil the bucatini until 'al dente', 6 to 8 minutes; strain.

Return the pasta to the pot and set over low heat.

Fold in the fennel-sardine mixture.

Toss in the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil.

Add 3/4 of the fennel fronds, the pine nuts, the capers and a quarter of the bread crumbs.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide pasta among plates and sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs and fennel fronds over each.

Serve immediately. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pennette con Pettini di Mare e Broccoli

Pennette con Pettini di Mare e Broccoli
Pennette With Sea Scallops and Broccoli


1 lb broccoli
12 ounces sea scallops
1 lb pennette pasta
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped
1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Fill a large bowl with water and ice.

Cut the florets of broccoli from the stems.

Add enough salt to the boiling water so that it tastes salty.

Boil the broccoli stems for 3 minutes, then add the florets and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to the ice bath.

Strain when cool.

Divide the large florets into bite-size pieces and slice the stems into thin rounds.

Keep the boiling water over low heat for use later.

Rinse the scallops, removing the tough muscle if necessary.

Pat scallops dry with a kitchen towel and slice them crosswise into thin rounds.

When ready to serve, bring the water back to a boil.

Add the pennette and cook, stirring occasionally, until 'al dente', about 8 minutes.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook, stirring until very soft; do not let brown.

Add the scallops, thyme, red pepper and paprika.

Season with salt.

Cook just until the scallops turn opaque, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the broccoli and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

Drain the pasta and add it to the broccoli scallop mixture.

Set the skillet back over medium-high heat and toss until combined.

Stir in the Parmigiano and serve immediately. 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:

Shocked Parents Must Maintain Children Who Quit Jobs

Rome - September 25, 2008 - Parents must start paying for the upkeep of their children again when they quit jobs that have helped them fly the nest, Italy's highest court ruled Thursday.

The Cassation Court, whose sentences set precedents, turned down an appeal from a Modena man who said he shouldn't be obliged to pick up the tab for his adult son if he decided to leave a good job.

The court ruled that parents were obliged to support their children "as long as their aspirations were in line with their aptitudes".

David, 20, walked away from a slaughterhouse job de-boning pigs to pursue his dream of becoming a hairdresser.

The father, Salvatore, was ordered to pay 300 euros towards the upkeep of his son until he can pay his own way again.

"Porca l'oca", how many of you fell off your chairs when you read young Davide went from gutting pigs to cutting hair?

"Cazzo, figlio mio, what in the world happened in that slaughterhouse?"

"Ah, pay? Is that so, your honor?"
"Andate tutti a 'fanculo!"

Maybe there was no fresh air in that court room and the lack of ventilation generated dizziness on these judges.

Poor Sal! What a metamorphosis! He still can't believe his son went from bringing home free pork chops and loins to shampoos and conditioners. Not only is he out 300 Euros, he has to put up with the yapping of his typical day at the salon and his newly found interest in house cleaning.

We're going to mail Sal some prosciutto and handles to put on his walls so that they'll be easier to climb.

"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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