11/05/13 Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage, Eggplant and Tomatoes

"Nella botte piccola c'?il vino buono." (The good wine is in the small barrel.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Roasted Potatoes with Pancetta and Parmigiano Cheese
  -Spaghetti with Anchovy and Garlic Sauce
  -Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage, Eggplant and Tomatoes

"Baci ed abbracci per tutti!" Remember, people will forget what you say and forget what you do, but people will never forget how you make them feel. Thanks again and enjoy your recipes.

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Dolce per La Festa

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 Recipe: Roasted Potatoes with Pancetta and Parmigiano Cheese

Roasted Potatoes with Pancetta and Parmigiano Cheese
Patate Arrosto Con Pancetta e Parmigiano


3 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 inches in diameter)
6 ounces pancetta (about 6 slices)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


Halve the pancetta lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.

Preheat oven to 425?F with rack in lowest position.

Generously cover potatoes with cold water in a 4-quart pot and add 1 tablespoon salt.

Bring to a boil.

Simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are just tender when pierced with a small sharp knife, about 10-12 minutes.


Cool potatoes to warm, then peel and cut in half crosswise.

Cook pancetta in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until cooked through but still flexible.

Drain on paper towels, reserving fat in skillet.

Brush bottom of a 15 by 10-inch shallow baking pan with olive oil and half of reserved pancetta fat.

Sprinkle potatoes with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and arrange, cut sides down, in baking pan.

Bake until undersides are golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 375?F.

Turn potatoes over, then sprinkle with cheese, bacon, and garlic and drizzle with remaining pancetta fat.

Bake until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley. Makes 8 (side dish) servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spaghetti with Anchovy and Garlic Sauce

Spaghetti with Anchovy and Garlic Sauce
Spaghetti con Salsa Acciughe ed Aglio


One (2-oz) tin oil-packed anchovies, mashed into a paste
4 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste
4 tbsp butter, cubed and chilled
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch crushed red chile flakes
8 oz spaghetti
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, for garnish


Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.

Add garlic.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 2-3 minutes.

Add anchovy paste and chile flakes.

Cook until deeply caramelized, about 5-6 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low.

Slowly stir in butter to make a smooth sauce.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.

Cook spaghetti until 'al dente', about 9-10 minutes.

Add spaghetti and parsley to skillet and season with salt and pepper.

Toss to coat.

Divide among serving bowls and garnish with Parmigiano cheese. Serves 2-4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage, Eggplant and Tomatoes

Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage, Eggplant and Tomatoes
Rigatoni con Salsiccia Piccante, Melanzane e Pomodori


1 lb spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
One (28-oz.) can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, undrained and crushed by hand
1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp crushed red chile flakes
5 cloves garlic, minced
16 fresh basil leaves, torn by hand
8 oz rigatoni
2 oz Pecorino Romano cheese, grated


Heat oven to 500?F.

Put eggplant into a bowl and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil.

Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper.

Transfer eggplant to baking sheet and bake, turning occasionally, until soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Transfer to a rack.

Set aside.

Heat remaining olive oil in a 6-qt saucepan over medium heat.

Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5-6 minutes.

Add chile flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until garlic softens, about 3-4 minutes.

Add sausage and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up into small pieces until browned, 15-18 minutes.

Add tomatoes and half the basil.

Season with salt, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just 'al dente', about 10 minutes.

Drain pasta and transfer to tomato sauce.

Stir in reserved eggplant and toss to combine.

Stir in remaining basil and season with salt.

To serve, transfer pasta to a platter and garnish with Pecorino cheese. Serves 2-4.

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:

Leave the Gun...and Even the Cannoli

Venice - October 1, 2013 - A proud Italian who was so irritated with what he saw displayed in a window shop in Venice decided to take a photo and send it to the Palermo edition of Italy's largest-circulation daily newspaper; a fake Sicilian cannoli advertised as the real thing.

"It represents a damage to the entire Sicilian pastry tradition and an insult to tourists who think they are tasting one of the best products of that tradition," he wrote to the paper.

The cannoli on display in the Venice store are made with puff pastry and filled with whipped cream. A real Sicilian cannolo is made with crispy dough and filled with sweet and creamy ricotta cheese.

Cannoli are so important in the culinary tradition that they have been included in the list of "Italian traditional food products" by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies of the Italian Government.

"Disgraziati", no shame. If you're expecting a rant against those Venetians, forget it. Not in today's issue. (Give us a chance to finish dusting the office.)

"Si", we realize it's insulting to us Sicilians, but if you suggest to a Venetian that he/she shouldn't burn their bridges the typical arrogant response you'll get is, "Oh, minchia, that's ok! I have a boat right outside. Next topic!"

Those Venetians are who they are. But, "mamma mia", our Italian compatriots who emigrated to the United States are another story.

The cannoli versions with which Americans are most familiar tend to involve variations on the original concept of the Sicilian dessert. This is definitely due to the adaptations made by bored Italians who emigrated to the USA in the early 1900s...and jokingly claimed the limited availability of important ingredients.

Cannoli (warning: can only be found on the black market):
2 quarts whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup superfine sugar
Confectioner's sugar (for dusting)
and crispy tube-shaped shells

"Oh, no, no,'s not the same. Per favore, please, don't insist. It's not the same."
The bull crap sounds familiar, doesn't it?
And what's insulting is they'll say it with a straight face.

Pete (American baker): "How about a custard of sugar, milk, and cornstarch?"
Gaetano (emigrant comic): " It could work. Try the corn."
Pete: "Still doesn't taste right. We can flavor it with vanilla or orange flower water."
Gaetano: "Ah, ah, ok. Water the flower."
Pete: "By the way, my wife had a great uncle from Salerno who came over on the boat after the war."
Gaetano: "If she says so..."

Note: If we may defend Italians for a quick moment. Italians don't lie. They just say things that, one generation later, turn out to be untrue.

"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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