10/15/13 White Lasagne with Parmigiano and Besciamella

"Finisce tutto a tarallucci e vino." (Everything ends on a happy note with tarallucci and wine.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Crostini with Ricotta and Cherry Tomatoes
  -Cheese and Bread Soup
  -White Lasagne with Parmigiano and Besciamella

"Ciao a tutti i nostri amici!" This continuing warm weather is making this fall season extra special. So, please take advantage. Remember, it takes just one small positive thought in the morning to make your day.

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 U.S. Dollars) + 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: Crostini with Ricotta and Cherry Tomatoes

Crostini with Ricotta and Cherry Tomatoes
Crostini con Ricotta e Pomodorini


Handful of cherry tomatoes
1 to 1 and 1/2 cups ricotta cheese, room temperature
1 garlic clove, peeled
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 loaf of ciabatta or another peasant-style bread
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Parmigiano cheese


Toss tomatoes in a small skillet.

Drizzle with olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Set 5 inches under broiler element, and leave until the tomatoes have burst and start to release their juices, about 8-10 minutes.

Set aside.

Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire in a grill or set gas grill to medium-high heat.

Cut bread into 1/2-inch thick crosswise slices.

Drizzle the bread with olive oil.

Grill bread slices until both sides have grill marks and slightly charred crusts, 4-5 minutes.

While hot, rub bread with garlic.

Slather 1 tbsp of the ricotta on top of each toasted slice.

Spoon cooked cherry tomatoes onto ricotta.

Garnish with thin shavings of Parmigiano cheese and more black pepper. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cheese and Bread Soup

Cheese and Bread Soup
Zuppa di Crasse


3 and 1/2 cups beef or chicken stock
1 lb Taleggio cheese, sliced
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
5 tbsp unsalted butter
10 oz Italian breadsticks
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Bring stock to a boil in a saucepan.

Remove from heat.

Grease bottom of a 3-qt high-sided skillet with 1 tbsp butter.

Break breadsticks into 2 and 1/2-inch pieces.

Place 1 layer of breadsticks in a skillet.

Cover breadsticks with layer of cheese.

Continue layering breadsticks and cheese.

Ladle stock over breadsticks one ladleful at a time and heat skillet over low heat.

Bring to a simmer.

Cook, without stirring, for about 30 minutes.

Melt remaining butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.

Add onions.

Cook, until onions are soft, about 8-10 minutes.

Set a fine sieve over a small bowl.

Strain butter, pressing onions with back of a spoon.

Discard onions.

Drizzle butter over soup.

Continue cooking for 10 more minutes.

Spoon onto serving plates. Serves 8-10.

That's it!

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 Recipe: White Lasagne with Parmigiano and Besciamella

White Lasagne with Parmigiano and Besciamella
Lasagne In Bianco


3/4 cup minced shallots (about 6)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 and 3/4 cups whole milk
1 cup rich chicken stock or chicken broth
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 pound grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1 cup), divided
Twelve (7 by 3-inch) no-boil egg lasagne sheets


Preheat oven to 350?F with rack in middle.

Cook shallots in butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4-5 minutes.

Add flour and cook over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, about 3 minutes.

Add nutmeg, then slowly whisk in milk and stock.

Bring to a boil, whisking, then simmer, stirring occasionally, just until sauce lightly coats back of spoon, about 1 minute.

Remove from heat and cool to warm, stirring occasionally.

Stir in eggs, Marsala wine, sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 cup cheese.

Spread about 1 and 1/4 cups sauce over bottom of an 11 by 8-inch baking dish.

Cover with a layer of 3 lasagne sheets.

Repeat layering 3 more times, then top with remaining sauce and remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake, uncovered, until browned, 45 to 55 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

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:

Gas Prices At the Italian Pump Up 20%, 3rd Most Expensive On the Planet

Rome - May 14, 2012 - Gasoline is over 20% more expensive in Italy than it was a year ago, ISTAT said on Monday when releasing figures that look set to feed public anger about fuel prices.

The national statistics agency said gas prices were 20.9% higher in April with respect to the same month in 2011, the biggest year-on-year increase since May 1983.

Consumer groups have accused oil companies and distributors of unfairly jacking up prices over the last year, with prices approaching two euros ($2.50 USD) a liter.

Several companies cut their prices by up to two euro cents last week after the government made a "firm" call for them to bring their prices into line with the European average.

1) Norway $9.69 a gallon
2) Denmark $9.37
3) Italy $9.35

We thank everyone for the congratulations. So close to grabbing that silver medal. Give us a couple of days...

Face it, driving in Italy is not for the intimidated, it?s often delirious and vivacious with vehicles squeezed onto streets designed as alleys for livestock. You need to be on alert at all times, have a thick skin and keep a close eye on the gas gauge.

Here are our essential Italy driving tips for saving gas:

1) Gas attendants in most southern regions: Get out of your car, do not smile nor greet the attendant, clearly state your request in 3 words in an unfriendly manner (ex. "25 euro verde" OR "25 euro diesel"). Make sure the pump is reading zero before the attendant begins to fill your tank or the "figlio di una battona" may make you pay double.

2) We all tailgate because it reduces aerodynamic drag...and because we're irresponsible jackasses behind the wheel. So, get used to it and don't take it personally. By the way, we also never use our rear view mirrors, so you should do the same. Pay attention to who you're tailgating in front of you and leave your rear to the others.

3) As soon as the light turns green we WILL honk at you. So, move it! We can't waste gas sitting idle at a light while you're busy gazing at the scenery.

4) You're not going to find parking in our cities. Period! Don't waste gas by circling the streets looking for a spot. Most of our sidewalks serve as parking spaces so make sure you master the art of parallel sidewalk parking.

5) Naples is an irrational world in itself. (I think we've mentioned this before.) The godforsaken drivers are barbaric and more aggressive than anywhere else on the continent. Before entering the complex city maze, make sure you have a full tank of gas and that you've watched the entire 'Mad Max' film series twice.

"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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 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!
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