10/19/10 Caponata Toasts

"Acqua cheta rovina i ponti." (Silent waters run deep.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Caponata Toasts
  -Fettuccine with Tuna, Capers, and Olives
  -Gremolata Shrimp

"Ciao a tutti" and enjoy this week's recipes! "A presto amici!"

Arrivederci e grazie!

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 Saturday morning, November 13, at noon EST. Click here to order!

 Recipe: Caponata Toasts

Caponata Toasts


18 (1/8-inch thick) slices ficelle or baguette
1 and 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 (6-oz) baby eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons finely diced pitted green olives (preferably Sicilian)
1 tablespoon drained bottled small capers, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons finely diced celery
Small fresh basil leaves for garnishing


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350F.

Toast bread on a baking sheet until crisp and pale golden, 12 to 15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.

Heat 1 and 1/2 cups olive oil in a 1 to 1 and 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over high heat until it registers 375F on a thermometer.

Fry eggplant in 4 batches, stirring frequently, until pale golden, about 3 minutes per batch, transferring with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 375F between batches.)

Cook onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and cinnamon and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Stir in water, vinegar, and sugar until combined, then add olives, capers, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add eggplant and celery and cook, stirring gently, 1 minute.

Transfer caponata to a bowl and cool to room temperature.

Serve toasts topped with caponata. Makes 18 hors d'oeuvres.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fettuccine with Tuna, Capers, and Olives

Fettuccine with Tuna, Capers, and Olives
Fettuccine con Tonno, Capperi e Olive


Coarse salt
1 pound dried fettuccine pasta
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
6 anchovy fillets, rinsed, dried, and minced
1 and 1/2 cups canned tomato puree
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
1/4 cup Gaeta olives, pitted and chopped
14 ounces excellent-quality tuna preserved in olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook just until 'al dente', about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a wide, deep saute pan set over medium heat.

Add the garlic and cook until golden-brown, about 2 minutes.

Add the anchovies and cook for 2 minutes more.

Stir in the tomato puree and capers.

Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, then strain the pasta.

Stir the olives and tuna into the sauce, then gradually stir in the reserved pasta water until the sauce attains a pleasing consistency.

Add the hot pasta and toss.

Season with pepper and toss again.

To serve, divide the hot pasta among individual warmed bowls, topping each serving with some chopped parsley. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Gremolata Shrimp

Gremolata Shrimp
Gamberi Gremolata


1 large lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
20 raw large shrimp in shell
Cayenne pepper (optional)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Peel the zest off the lemon with a potato peeler.

Pile the pieces up a few at a time and cut them across into short, thin strips.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan.

Add the shrimp and toss them over a high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, seasoning them with some cayenne pepper or black pepper and sea salt as you do so.

Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from one half over the shrimp.

Continue to cook until the juice has almost evaporated (the shrimp should be quite dry).

Take the pan off the heat and let the shrimp cool for about 1 minute.

Sprinkle with the lemon zest, chopped garlic, parsley and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and toss together well.

Pile the shrimp into a large serving dish and serve with some finger bowls and napkins. Serves 4.

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:

Earthquake Institute May Go Offline To Calm People Down

Rome - September 6, 2010 - Italy's eruptions and earthquake institute INGV may stop putting data on the Web because of the far-fetched conclusions some people are making, director Enzo Boschi said Monday.

"Our data on the Web are being used to reach conclusions that are frankly outlandish," Boschi said.

The National Geophysics and Volcanology Institute might have to restrict itself to more conventional ways of disseminating data, he said.

Civil Protection chief Guido Bertolaso said putting the latest data online "gives doom-mongers too much scope". Recently there has been limited seismological activity near the Abruzzo area hit by a catastrophic quake that killed 308 people in 2009.

People have gone online and panicked after reading alarmist assessments, despite reassurances that there isn't another big tremor on the way.

Hmmm...According to statistics, a 1/3 of Italians are semi-illiterate. They can't do simple tasks and have very little notion of history and science...and this includes the Napolitani. Don't have a tissy, folks. It's true. "Cazzarola", how are these Italians interpreting the assessments if most of them can't read their watch while sitting still at a red light?

You could just imagine the outlandish conclusions on the forums:

Naples: Napolitani! Stop drooling and read carefully! There was a tremor near the "Mount Etna" volcano in Sicily yesterday. So...this obviously means that our "Mount Vesuvius" is going to erupt any minute now seeing that volcanoes are connected with each other (my Uncle told me this). You want to end up like Pompeii?! "Minchia", empty your bank accounts and head for the hills!" (Tanino R.)

Pisa: I had lots of free time this week and decided to take a look at the latest readings from the INGV institute. "Cacchio", it doesn't look good. There's a 60% chance of a quake hitting the Leaning Tower. According to my calculations, there's an 80% chance it will lean even further (but not topple over) and a 17% chance it will completely straighten. There's also a 3% chance it will sink underground but that's ridiculous. By the way, I have a degree in Botanical Sciences but I took an extracurricular course in Greek mythology that made references to the ground shaking. (Angela S.)

Calabria: I was surfing the net with my "mago" or fortune teller (who I pay a fortune to every week) and we felt the ground shake a bit. I went over to the INGV site to see what the hell was happening and I saw a bunch of squiggly lines near my beloved Calabria. "Porca miseria", a major earthquake is on its way! My "mago" did not need to look at the screen for she knew it is coming. She told me leave immediately and go protect myself. After I paid the 150 Euro fee, I ran out the door and went to the safest place I know. I'm typing this on my Iphone while taking cover under my uncle's fat stomach. (Beppe F.)

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