11/06/07 Biscotti al Pistacchio e Arancia from

"Siccome la casa brucia, riscaldiamoci." (Since the house is on fire let us warm ourselves.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Zuppa di Lenticchie alla Stefanese
  -Pollo alla Toscana
  -Biscotti al Pistacchio e Arancia

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In".


Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookies for Christmas

Cookies have always played an important part in Italian cuisine, whether you have them for breakfast with a cappuccino, or nibbled with a quick cup of espresso at a mid-morning or afternoon break. It is at holiday time however, particularly Christmas, when cookies truly shine.

In almost any Italian home, whether it be in Italy, or in North America, most families treat themselves to traditional cookies each Christmas, and often these cookies are from recipes that have been handed down through their families for generations.

If you are interested in ordering your own Italian cookie tray this Holiday season for your family or close friends, you might be interested in the following deadline: All orders must be placed by Wednesday morning, December 12, at noon EST. Click here to order!

 Recipe: Zuppa di Lenticchie alla Stefanese

Zuppa di Lenticchie alla Stefanese
Lentil Soup Stefanese Style


1 cup dry brown lentils
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/4 cup Italian parsley (flat leaf), chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 can tomatoes (28 oz.)
1 bay leaf
5 cups water (or more)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. basil dried or fresh
1 package of frozen spinach, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon


Rinse lentils under cold water.

Heat olive oil in a large pot and saute garlic and onions until golden, from 5 to 7 minutes. If vegetables begin to stick add a little water.

Add lentils, parsley, celery, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, bay leaf, water, salt, pepper, basil and lemon juice.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently for one hour or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. If soup becomes too thick stir in hot water to desired consistency.

Adjust seasonings to taste. Serves 8.

That's it!

 Recipe: Pollo alla Toscana

Pollo alla Toscana
Chicken Tuscany Style


2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 and 1/2 lbs chicken breast tenderloins
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, chopped
6 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups beef broth (not chicken broth)


Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat.

Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, half the chicken pieces, and a couple of crushed cloves of garlic.

Brown chicken 2 minutes on each side and remove from pan. Add remaining olive oil, another single turn of the pan, the remaining chicken pieces and garlic.

Brown chicken 2 minutes on each side and remove. Add vinegar to the pan. Let it cook off.

Add butter, shallots, and rosemary to the pan and cook 2 minutes, add flour and cook 1 minute more.

Whisk in wine, reduce 1 minute. Whisk in broth and bring liquids up to a bubble.

Return chicken to the pan and simmer over moderate heat 7 to 8 minutes to finish cooking chicken through. Serves 10.

That's it!

 Recipe: Biscotti al Pistacchio e Arancia

Biscotti al Pistacchio e Arancia
Orange and Pistachio Biscotti


1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp. grated orange zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped white chocolate
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 and 1/4 cup pistachio nuts, chopped


Preheat oven to 325 F.

Mix butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla extract in large bowl until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl.

Gradually beat sifted flour mixture into butter mixture.

Add all remaining ingredients.

Chill 30 minutes, and then turn onto floured surface and divide dough in two equal mounds.

Shape into 2 logs. Place on lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake 30 minutes, cool for 5 minutes.

Cut crosswise on diagonal, 1" thick slices, cut side down on baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes more, cool completely. Yields 24 biscotti.

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:

Italians Amazing Discovery: Six New Asteroids

Udine - September 19 - A group of amateur Italian astronomers have discovered six new asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The president of the astronomy association in the town of Remanzacco near Udine, Giovanni Sotero, said Tuesday:

"This is an exceptional event because they were all spotted at the same time and because they're really close together, all in the Pisces constellation".

"Chi cazzo se ne frega?!"

To all our subscribers who are puzzled as to why this made news: Italians need more pictures of outer space (more black background with lots of stars)!

Obviously, the six amateur "Galileos", who majored in astronomy because the chiropractic classes in college were full, do not realize the Italians have stopped caring about stars and constellations since 1977; the year they finally got color TV.

The next time the star gazers want to go comet chasing, they should say to themselves, "I should be wiping the dust off my wine barrels."

"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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