10/29/13 Penne with Butternut and Sage Sauce

"Togliere le castagne dal fuoco." (Taking the chestnuts away from the fire. Don't let a problem linger, solve it before it burns.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Sausage and Bread Stuffing
  -Spaghetti Sicilian Style
  -Penne with Butternut and Sage Sauce

"Abbracci a tutti!" Just a minute of your precious time to let you know all of us at our little bakery are thankful for your participation with us via this newsletter. Thanks for everything and letting us be a small part of your family. Please share this newsletter, only if you found it useful.

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Sausage and Bread Stuffing

Sausage and Bread Stuffing
Ripieno di Salsiccia e Pane


2 lbs sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, divided
1 (3/4 to 1-pound) round Italian bread loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
3 medium onions, chopped
4 large celery ribs, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (2 ounces)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Preheat oven to 350?F with rack in middle.

Generously butter a 4-qt shallow ceramic or glass baking dish.

Put bread in 2 shallow baking pans and bake, switching position of pans halfway through baking, until just dried out, about 10 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers.

Cook half of sausage, stirring and breaking it into small pieces, until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes.

Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

Brown remaining sausage in remaining tablespoon olive oil, transferring to bowl.

Pour off fat from skillet and wipe clean.

Heat butter over medium heat until foam subsides.

Cook onions, celery, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Add vegetables and bread to sausage.

Whisk together eggs, 1/2 cup cream, chicken stock, cheese, and parsley.

Stir into stuffing and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Reserve 5 cups stuffing to stuff turkey and spoon remainder into baking dish, then drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup cream.

Cover stuffing and chill.

About 1 hour before stuffed turkey is finished roasting, bring dish of stuffing to room temperature.

When turkey is done, increase oven temperature to 425?F and bake stuffing, covered tightly with foil, until hot throughout, about 20 minutes.

Remove foil and bake until top is golden and crisp, about 15 minutes more. Makes 8 (side dish) servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spaghetti Sicilian Style

Spaghetti Sicilian Style
Spaghetti alla Siciliana


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1-2 tsp red chili flakes
4 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
500 grams spaghetti-
Hard cheese like Grana Padano or Parmigiano (to taste)


In a large pot of boiling and salted water cook the spaghetti according to package direction until it is 'al dente'.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and add the minced garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and red chili flakes.

Cook while stirring over low heat for 1 minute.

Add half of the chopped parsley.

Set aside.

Drain the cooked spaghetti and toss everything together in the same pan.

Add salt to taste and remaining half of chopped parsley.

Serve with grated cheese on top. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Penne with Butternut and Sage Sauce

Penne with Butternut and Sage Sauce
Penne con Salsa di Zucca e Salvia


1 lb peeled butternut squash pieces
1 small onion, quartered
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1 cup) plus additional for serving
1 lb Penne Rigate pasta


Process squash and onion in a food processor until finely chopped, about 1-2 minutes.

Heat butter in a 5 to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until foam subsides.

Add sage and cook until fragrant, about 15-20 seconds.

Add chopped squash mixture, water, salt, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until water is evaporated and squash is very tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and remove squash mixture from heat.

While squash mixture simmers, cook penne in a 6 to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water.

Drain pasta in a colander.

Add 1/2 cup cooking water to squash mixture.

Add drained pasta, tossing to combine.

Thin sauce with additional cooking water as desired and serve pasta with additional cheese. Makes 4 to 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:

Pope: Yes, I'm A Sinner...But So Are My Cardinals

Vatican City - October 2, 2013 - From cardinals to popes, the Catholic Church is filled with people who sin, Pope Francis said Wednesday. The Church itself is holy, but it is "made up of sinners" because it is made of humans, Francis said during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.

More than 45,000 people crowded into the square to hear the pope ask how the Church can be good when "its path through the centuries has been full of difficulties, problems, dark can it be a holy Church made of sinful men, sinful women, sinful priests, nuns, bishops, cardinals, popes?"

The answer, Francis concluded, is that because God created the Church, it was made holy. "The Church is holy because it proceeds from a God who is faithful and never abandoned (humans) the power of evil".

It's hard to argue with this updated version of the Pope (and believe us, we would love to). The reasoning, love, modesty and humbleness are all there and out in the open.

So, one should wait until Pope Francis turns around, then grab the nearest cardinal by the ear, and explain to him that without honest and transparent examination of the root causes, and a basic change in the moral structure of that Vatican, any claims that "all of that is in the past" will go in one ear and out the other.

The Church is "made up of sinners"...fine. Got it! So, it's only right its members are also accompanied to a dark box to speak to someone who is blurred from their vision about sins.

"Puttana della miseria", what indignity! Oh, if we could only go back in time to the Catholic days of our "first confessions".

"Uh, Father, I'll be brief because my family is right outside filming this Broadway show and the restaurant reservations for celebrating my acquittal are for 1:30."

"Forgive me Father for I have sinned...I really have nothing to confess because I'm 8 years old. Besides, I have obese relatives over to my house on a daily basis who have nothing else better to do other than to pass judgement on me (no sins there, of course). Regardless, I'm very sorry again for being convinced I'm morally on par with God Himself."

"I'm very sorry! I don't know what sin is worth confessing other than speaking with my mouth full of food! And I still don't understand how I got into this! I've explained this situation to the nuns back in the rectory on numerous occasions but it always ends on a negative note."

"Oh, by the way, I'm curious: Which commandment does tax fraud fall under? I've been hearing this discussion a lot lately amongst some family friends...along with the continuous reference to JESUS CHRIST!"

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