11/11/08 Viennese Apple Pie from

"Chi non fa, non falla." (He who does nothing, does not fail.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Creamy Mussels
  -Rigatoni with Tomatoes, Pesto, and Cream
  -Viennese Apple Pie

Thanks again for subscribing and enjoy the recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Italian Cookies for Christmas Holidays

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 Friday, December 12, at 6:00 PM EST. Click here to order!

 Recipe: Creamy Mussels

Creamy Mussels
Cozze alla Crema


3 and 1/4 lb (1.5 kg) mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
Juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise

For the garnish:
8 fresh basil leaves
1 tomato, diced


Put the mussels in a pan with the olive oil, garlic and lemon juice, cover and cook over a high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, for about 5 minutes until the shells open.

Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard any mussels that remain shut and the empty half-shells.

Place the mussels in their half shells on a serving dish.

Mix the mayonnaise with 1-2 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid and spoon the mixture over the mussels.

Season with a little pepper and garnish with the basil and diced tomato. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Rigatoni with Tomatoes, Pesto, and Cream

Rigatoni with Tomatoes, Pesto, and Cream
Rigatoni con Pomodoro, Pesto e Panna


For the Pesto:
25-30 fresh basil leaves
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) pine (pinoli) nuts
3 and 1/2 oz (100 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 oz (25 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
1 oz (25 grams) Pecorino cheese, freshly grated

For the Sauce:
11 oz (300 grams) fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced, or canned chopped tomatoes, drained
7 fl oz (200 ml) double cream
12 oz (350 grams) rigatoni pasta
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated


Put the basil leaves in a food processor with the olive oil, pine nuts and a pinch of salt.

Process briefly at medium speed.

Add the two grated cheeses and process again.

Pour the cream into a saucepan, add the tomatoes and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pesto.

Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni in a large pan of salted, boiling water until 'al dente', then drain and pour into a warm serving dish.

Sprinkle the pasta with the Parmigiano cheese and spoon the sauce over it. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Viennese Apple Pie

Viennese Apple Pie
Torta Viennese Alle Mele


11 and 1/2 oz (320 grams) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
3 oz (80 grams) superfine sugar
Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
2 eggs
5 and 1/2 oz (165 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces, plus extra for greasing
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

For the Filling:
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) sultana (Thompson seedless) grapes
4 apples
4 ladyfingers, crumbled
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) shelled walnuts, chopped
2 and 1/2 oz (65 grams) superfine sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter


Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a mound, make a well in the center and add the sugar, lemon rind and eggs.

Mix with your fingertips to a fine, crumbly mixture, then gradually work in the butter.

Shape into a ball and leave to rest in a cool place for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling.

Place the sultanas in a bowl, add warm water to cover and leave to soak for 15 minutes, then drain and squeeze out.

Peel, core and dice the apples, place in a large bowl, add the ladyfingers, sultanas, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter and mix well.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Grease a rectangular pie dish with butter.

Roll out two-thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface and line the prepared dish.

Spoon the tilling evenly on top.

Roll out the remaining pastry, place on top of the pie and crimp the edges to seal.

Brush with the beaten egg yolk and bake for 45 minutes.

Leave to cool before serving. Serves 8.

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:

Spirit of Mussolini Still Lives

Rome - September 29, 2008 - The rehabilitation of the wartime dictator is gathering momentum as neo-Fascists flex their muscles on the city streets.

His monuments still dominate Rome's skyline; his name is chanted at football matches and a notorious episode of his rule was recently re-enacted, complete with men dressed as SS stormtroopers. The rehabilitation of Benito Mussolini, Italy's wartime dictator, may not yet be complete but it is not for want of trying.

Yesterday urban planners and architectural historians from across Italy gathered in Rome to honor the "glories" of Fascist architecture. The conference, at Latina, a model "new town" created in reclaimed marshland south of Rome by Mussolini in 1932, is the brainchild of Giorgio Frasinetti, the head of urban planning at Predappio, the town in Emilia-Romagna where Il Duce was born and is buried.

Mr Frasinetti admitted that Fascism had its "ugly" aspects but he insisted that the buildings erected throughout the country under Mussolini should not be seen as an embarrassment, but deserved "re-evaluation". The move follows the restoration of an obelisk bearing the word "Dux" (Duce) outside the Olympic Stadium in Rome and of Mussolini's Rome residence, the Villa Torlonia. This month a "wartime enactment association" wearing Nazi uniforms re-created the rescue of Mussolini by SS commandos at Campo Imperatore in the Abruzzo mountains, where he was held after being deposed in September 1943. Massimo Castelli, head of the association, insisted that the event arose solely from a "passion for military history".

There is, however, growing disquiet on the Left and among Jewish and Roman Catholic groups. They fear that neo-Fascists are taking advantage of a perceived shift to the right in Italy since elections last April, which brought to power a coalition headed by Silvio Berlusconi. It includes not only the anti-immigrant Northern League, but also Alleanza Nazionale, the reformed descendant of Mussolini's Blackshirts.

Mussolini's tomb at Predappio has become a shrine for neo-Fascists, who have grown increasingly assertive, plastering Rome with far-Right posters and massing on football terraces and at political rallies with their close-cropped hair and black shirts.

In April, Gianni Alemanno of Alleanza Nazionale was elected Mayor of Rome, the first rightwinger to hold the office since the Second World War. Recently, critics have accused Mr Berlusconi who last week announced plans to merge his Forza Italia with Alleanza Nazionale next year of encouraging racist attacks on immigrants by blaming gypsies and illegal immigrants for street crime.

All the more surprising, then, that the man who has cried "enough" is Gianfranco Fini, the head of Alleanza Nazionale, who once described Mussolini as "the greatest statesman of the 20th century". The Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament told a meeting of Azione Giovani, the Alleanza Nazionale youth wing, that the Italian Right had to be "unambiguously anti-Fascist".

What is at stake for Mr Fini is his calculated transformation of the postwar remnants of the Fascist Party into a mainstream, democratic, conservative party and a springboard for power.

He faces formidable resistance, however, in the form of Alessandra Mussolini, the granddaughter of the Duce, who is heading a grassroots revolt. Ms Mussolini, a former model and actress who has forcefully defended her grandfather's reputation since entering politics in 1992, and who is the niece of Sophia Loren, appeared in Parliament recently wearing a striking T-shirt reading "Proud to be on the wrong side", a reference to those who fought for Fascism rather than Resistance during the war.

"Oh, non mi scazzare i coglioni!" It's amazing the amount of free time the world financial crisis has brought to this pizza republic.

"This month a "wartime enactment association" wearing Nazi uniforms re-created the rescue of Mussolini by SS commandos at Campo Imperatore in the Abruzzo mountains, where he was held after being deposed in September 1943." Are we insane? Has sanity left us? Is anybody reading this stupid newsletter? Why aren't Italians running out into the streets rioting over this?

"Cacchio", how could anyone have taken this man seriously? This is an imbecile who would ward off the evil eye by touching his testicles. What does this tell you? It tells us, for hygiene reasons never shake hands with a fascist.

Obviously, he was right in touching himself because it derived from a famous political slogan used by fascists and plastered on walls and buildings everywhere in the country.

"Mussolini ha sempre ragione" or "Mussolini is always right!"

Influenced by the concepts of the Roman Empire, with Benny viewing himself as a modern day Roman Emperor, he dreamt of making Italy a nation that was "great, respected and feared" throughout Europe, and indeed the world.

It was his dream to make the Mediterranean mare nostrum ("our sea" in Latin), and he established a large naval base on the Greek island of Leros to enforce a strategic hold on the eastern Mediterranean.

He succeeded in attacking and annexing the African country of Ethiopia, setting up a puppet regime in Albania and ruthlessly consolidated Italian power in Libya, which had been a colony (loosely) since 1912. An occupation and colonization of a country which costed the Italians 5 billion Euros as part of a 2008 "so sorry" pact signed between Gaddafi and another modern day Roman Emperor, Berlusconi.

Benny: "The truth is that men are tired of liberty." No, the truth is Italians are tired of everything; neo-fascists, neo-nazis, communists, soccer, the traffic, etc. Who needs the aggravation?

Why don't they pursue something more promising like professional ice skating?

"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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