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 11/04/08 Raspberry and Almond Tart from CookiesFromItaly.com

"Chi ha moglie ha doglie." (He who has a wife has pains.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Polenta Pasticciata alla Valdostana
  -Caciotta Cheese Ravioli With Basil and Tomato
  -Raspberry and Almond Tart

Thanks again for subscribing and enjoy the recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

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 15, at noon EST. Click here to order!


 Recipe: Polenta Pasticciata alla Valdostana

Polenta Pasticciata alla Valdostana

Ingredients:

11 oz (300 grams) coarse polenta flour
3 oz (80 grams) butter (plus extra for greasing)
11 oz (300 grams) Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
3 oz (80 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper 

Directions:

Prepare Fairly Stiff Polenta:
Bring 2 pints of salted water to a boil and keep another pan of water boiling in case it is needed.

Sprinkle the polenta flour into the pan while stirring constantly.

As soon the polenta thickens, soften it with a drop of the reserved hot water. This is the secret to cooking polenta successfully, as polenta thickens with heat and softens with water.

Cook the polenta from 45 minutes to 1 hour; the longer the cooking time, the easier for the polenta to be digested.

Prepare the Dish:
Pour the polenta on to a work surface or tray and leave to cool and set.

Cut into slices.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4 and grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Arrange a layer of polenta in the prepared dish.

Place the slices of fontina cheese on top, sprinkle with the Parmigiano cheese and dot with the butter.

Continue making alternate layers, ending with a layer of polenta dotted with butter.

Season with pepper and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Serves 4.

That's it!

That's it!

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 Recipe: Caciotta Cheese Ravioli With Basil and Tomato

Caciotta Cheese Ravioli With Basil and Tomato
Ravioli di Caciotta Al Pomodoro e Basilico

Ingredients:

14 oz (400 grams) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
3 and 1/2 fluid oz (100 ml) extra virgin olive oil
9 oz (250 grams) fresh Caciotta cheese, diced
1 fresh marjoram sprig, chopped
1 egg, separated
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 lb (500 grams) cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 pint (150 ml) passata (cooked tomato concentrate or paste)
10 fresh basil leaves
Salt

Directions:

Mix the flour with half the olive oil to a dough and leave to rest in a cool place.

Prepare the Filling:
Mix together the caciotta cheese, marjoram, egg yolk and a pinch of salt.

Lightly beat the egg white.

Prepare the Ravioli:
Roll out the half the dough on a lightly floured surface and brush with beaten egg white to seal.

Spoon the cheese mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm (1/2 inch) plain nozzle and pipe small mounds of filling at regular intervals on the dough.

Roll out the remaining dough, brush with egg white and place on top of the first sheet.

Press around the mounds of filling and cut out the ravioli using a small round cutter.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and passata and season with salt if necessary.

Add the basil, stir and turn off the heat.

Cook the ravioli in a large pan of salted, boiling water for about 2 minutes, then drain well and tip into a serving dish.

Pour the sauce over them and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Raspberry and Almond Tart

Raspberry and Almond Tart
Crostata di Lampone

Ingredients:

For the pastry:
4 oz (100 grams) plain white or Italian type '00' flour
3 oz (75 grams) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
3 oz (75 grams) superfine sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon
Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
3 oz (75 grams) ground almonds
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 egg white

For the filling:
8 tablespoons (120 ml) raspberry conserve
8 oz (225 grams) fresh or frozen raspberries
A little superfine sugar

Directions:

Prepare the pastry:
Sift the flour into a large bowl.

Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and ground almonds.

Stir in the egg yolks and mix with a round-bladed knife until the mixture binds together.

Gather the mixture with one hand to form a smooth dough. Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F), Gas Mark 4.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry and use to line a 9 inch (23 cm) loose-bottomed flan tin.

Roll the rolling pin over the edge of the tin to remove excess pastry.

Line with greaseproof paper and weigh down with a heavy can.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the sides of the pastry are crisp.

Remove the lining and heavy can.

Lightly beat the egg white and brush a little over the base of the flan.

Return to the oven for 5 minutes until the bottom is crisp.

Mix the jam with the raspberries and spoon into the pastry case.

Level the top with a palette knife.

Brush the rim of the pastry case with egg white.

Roll out the pastry trimmings and cut into long, thin strips with a sharp knife or pastry cutter.

Arrange the strips carefully across the filling to form a lattice pattern.

Brush the pastry with the remaining beaten egg white and sprinkle over the sugar.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Serves 8-12.

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:

Priest Stabber Was Inspired by Dull "Da Vinci Code" Film

Rome - September 26, 2008 - A 25-year-old man who tried to kill a priest by stabbing him in a Rome church has told police that he did so after the watching the film "The Da Vinci Code" and believing himself to be the anti-Christ.

The priest, Rev. Caino Calitri, 68, was in critical condition in a Rome hospital after he was stabbed repeatedly in the neck Tuesday by Marco Luzi, according to Italian media reports.

Police found a note in one of Luzi's pockets reading "this is just the beginning, 666."

The number 666 is known as "the number of the beast" in the Book of Revelation in the Bible.

Luzi, who stabbed three other people who had tried to help the priest, told police after his arrest that he had watched "The Da Vinci Code" on television the night before.

They also found various references to the novel by Dan Brown in Luzi's apartment, including a print of the "The Last Supper" fresco by Leonardo Da Vinci.

One note read "I, the anti-Christ."

The theme of the anti-Christ and Leonardo's fresco figure prominently in the best-selling book and its film adaptation, both of which have been condemned by the Vatican.

"The Da Vinci Code" outraged the Vatican and some Catholics because of its storyline that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children, creating a royal blood line that Church officials kept secret for centuries.

"I, the anti-Christ."
"You, the figlio di una mignotta."

Let's face it. Dan Brown's best seller novel was evidently not present in the lackluster, bloated and crappy movie adaptation of "The Da Vinci Code". Although, one can almost compare the futile film to the real life of Marco Luzi:

A lackluster, bloated and crappy anti-Christ jackass who lived a life full of silly and arbitrary plot twists and sudden reverses surrounded by thinly sketched family members and peculiar friends.

It's too bad Luzi didn't watch "La Dolce Vita" because all he would have done is taken a bath.

"Police found a note in one of Luzi's pockets reading "this is just the beginning, 666." No, this is the end, "vaffanculo"!

"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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