11/10/15 Friuli Fruit Cake

"Una cena senza vino e come un giorno senza sole. (A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Cognac Risotto
  -Sausage with Mixed Vegetables
  -Friuli Fruit Cake

"Ciao di nuovo!" Thanks again for dedicating a few more minutes of your time to our little bakery. We are thankful for your participation with us via this newsletter. Thanks for everything you're doing and we will continue to find Italian and Sicilian recipes for your kitchen. Please share this newsletter only if you found it useful. More recipes next week.

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Buccellati

"Italian Buccellati" A soft and chewy fig cookie with a crisp outside and tender inside. Made exclusively from our own home grown natural figs, almonds, the freshest farm eggs, milk, flour and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 10.49 Euro (11.00 - 11.50 U.S. Dollars) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 10.49 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-8 days) for a total of 19.19 Euro (20.50 - 21.00 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Cognac Risotto

Cognac Risotto
Risotto al Cognac


15 small white mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and quartered
7 cups chicken stock
4 medium shallots, peeled and minced
2/3 cup cognac
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 and 3/4 cups arborio rice
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Melt 2 tbsp butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.

Add mushrooms and saute until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes.

Add cognac, bring to a boil.

Reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes.

Lower heat to medium, add cream, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

Bring stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Heat remaining 2 tbsp butter with olive oil in a deep, heavy medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add shallots and cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes.

Add rice and stir to coat with butter and olive oil.

Add simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Wait until liquid is almost completely absorbed before adding more, about 20 minutes.

Stir in mushroom mixture and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with parsley. Serves 4-6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Sausage with Mixed Vegetables

Sausage with Mixed Vegetables
Salsiccie con Verdure Miste


4 sweet Italian sausages
1/4 small savoy cabbage, shredded
1 thinly sliced, peeled small yellow onion
1 thinly sliced, peeled carrot
1 thinly sliced celery stalk
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1 clove garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add garlic, cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove and discard.

Add yellow onion, carrot, celery.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are soft, 6-10 minutes.

Add shredded cabbage to skillet and cook until wilted.

Add Italian sausages and cook until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes.

Add wine, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Uncover, increase heat to medium, and cook until liquid has been completely absorbed.

Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve with soft polenta or sliced boiled potatoes. Serves 2-4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Friuli Fruit Cake

Friuli Fruit Cake
Torta di Frutta Friuli


For the Dough:
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup warm milk
4 egg yolks
3 and 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp dark rum
One (1 and 1/4-oz) packet active dry yeast
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt

For the Filling:
3 tbsp grated semisweet chocolate
1 tbsp candied fruits
4 tbsp crushed amaretti cookies
3/4 cup raisins
6 pitted prunes, chopped
6 dried figs, chopped
3/4 cup pine nuts, finely chopped
3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
2 oz dark rum
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt


Prepare the Dough:
Dissolve yeast with 1 tbsp sugar in 1/4 cup of the warm milk.

Combine egg yolks, butter, and remaining sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer.

Set to medium and beat until well mixed.

While beating, add 3 cups of the flour.

Add lemon zest, salt, rum, and yeast.

Gradually mix in remaining 1/2 cup milk until dough is smooth.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5-7 minutes.

Transfer dough to a large bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and set in a warm place until it doubles in size, 1-2 hours.

Prepare the Filling:
Combine raisins, prunes, figs, and rum in a large bowl and set aside to macerate for about 1 hour.

Mix in pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, chocolate, candied fruits, amaretti, 3 tbsp of the sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt.

Preheat oven to 375?F.

Roll out risen dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12 by 16-inch rectangle.

Brush around edges with beaten egg.

Spread filling evenly over dough, avoiding edges.

Working from long side, roll up dough jelly-roll style.

Curl into a spiral.

Place on a baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel, and set aside to rise for about 30 minutes.

Brush with egg.

Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp sugar, and bake until browned, about 50-55 minutes. Serves 12.

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:

3 reasons why soap operas and Italian life are similar

Vatican City - February 3, 2015 - People should not waste valuable prayer time by watching soap operas, Pope Francis said.

"They should also not spend time that could be given over to prayer by listening to idle gossip," the pope said at a Mass in St Martha's House, the Vatican hostel he lives in.

"At home, 15 minutes, pick up the Gospel, a small passage, imagine what happened and talk with Jesus about it," said Francis, who has often stressed the importance of prayer.

"So your eyes will be fixed on Jesus and not so much on a TV soap opera, for example. "Your ears will be focused on the words of Jesus and not so much on your neighborhood gossip", said the pope.

We know, we know...soap operas and other "works of the flesh" are of zero value to the spiritually-minded Italian Christian. They will not help us ?grow in grace and knowledge." We've heard them all from Padre Nino on Sundays when he expresses himself like Yul Brenner.

But what the good Pope doesn't understand is Italians need soap operas because...we live the made-up dramas of soap operas every day! So, we need the tips we pick up from Brooke, Ridge and Stephanie on Bold and Beautiful (Italy's favorite all time soap) to help us stay one step ahead in the Italian life.

Similarities between soap operas and Italian life:

1) Familiar family dramas:
Soap opera families are just as recognizable as Italian families, and they mean business. The dramas are dead serious, so much so that it's not uncommon for them to last 40 years or more. Example: (Think of any seemingly rational argument that suddenly turned into absolute idiocy that reached higher and higher levels.): "Fanculo, I can't believe what I'm hearing! Where am I? Do you want the kitchen knife back or should I leave it in my back!?"

2) Our story lines last forever:
They evolve over time, so something that happened years ago could still affect the characters now. Family members that were enemies become family and then enemies again! And innocent relatives closely watch, just to see the next evolution of the plot.
Example: There's always the belief that 82% of inheritances go to family members who don't deserve them, and as a result an entire family generation could be declared an enemy. You see, most poor Italians have so-called "nothing" to pass on...but there are always the long and heated discussions on how much of that nothing a relative should get.

3) Cliffhangers:
Who has more cliffhangers than soap operas and Italian families. Soap operas take you right up to the edge on a Friday afternoon (with Italians, at large family lunches on Sundays) and then leave you dangling, wondering what's going to happen.
Examples: What's going on? Another backstabbing? What did she say she did with the money? He's cheating again with who? What do you think the baby will be, another jackass or whore?
Suspense like that definitely keeps viewers and relatives coming back.

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