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"A ogni uccello suo nido bello." (To each bird, his nest is beautiful.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Breaded Eggplant Surprise
  -Octopus In Red Wine
  -Almond Crumble Cake

Thanks again for subscribing and enjoy the recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Italian Cookies for the 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: Breaded Eggplant Surprise

Breaded Eggplant Surprise
Melanzane Impanate a Sorpresa


1 lb 5 oz (600 grams) round eggplants, cut into 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick slices
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) prosciutto, diced
4 and 1/2 oz (120 grams) smoked scamorza, provolone or other stretched curd cheese, diced
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped
2 tablespoons Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing and frying
2 eggs
3 oz (80 grams) breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper


Place the eggplant slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to drain for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the prosciutto, scamorza or provolone, parsley and Parmigiano cheese in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the grill to high.

Rinse the eggplants, pat dry carefully and brush with a little olive oil.

Grill until golden brown on both sides.

Sandwich the slices together in pairs filled with the prosciutto and cheese mixture.

Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt in a shallow dish and spread out the breadcrumbs in another shallow dish.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan.

Dip each eggplant sandwich first in the beaten eggs, then in the breadcrumbs.

Fry in the hot olive oil until evenly browned all over.

Remove with a fish slice and drain on kitchen paper.

Arrange on a warm serving dish. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Octopus In Red Wine

Octopus In Red Wine
Polpi al Vino Rosso


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 fresh sage leaf
1 fresh rosemary sprig
2 and 1/4 lb (1 kg) octopus, cleaned and cut into pieces
5 tablespoons red wine
2 bay leaves salt and pepper


Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion, garlic, sage and rosemary and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add the octopus and cook for a few minutes more, then pour in the wine, add the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer over a very low heat for 1 and 1/2 hours.

Serve hot or cold. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Almond Crumble Cake

Almond Crumble Cake
Torta Sbrisolona


11 oz (300 grams) plain white, or Italian type '00' flour
4 oz (100 grams) medium cornmeal
8 oz (225 grams) unsalted butter
7 oz (200 grams) chopped blanched almonds
7 oz (200 grams) superfine sugar
2 egg yolks
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
A few drops of vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 170C (325F) Gas Mark 3.

Grease a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake tin.

Put the flour and cornmeal in a bowl, then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in the almonds and sugar, then add the egg yolks, lemon zest and vanilla extract.

Knead to form a smooth, stiff dough.

Put the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.

Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes until firm to the touch.

Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Serves 10-12.

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:

What Would You Take On a Desert Island?

Milan - September 30, 2008 - Pasta, trousers, soap and a radio were among the top choices of Italians asked what they would take with them if they were stranded on a desert island.

The 1,000 Italians polled by national dairy association Assolatte seemed not to worry about best-before dates when asked what foods they would take with them to the island. Some 76% of Italians said "pasta and bread" while 39% chose classic Italian cheese such as Pecorino and parmesan. A further 38% opted for fruit, including exotic varieties such as pineapples and bananas as well as tomatoes and apples.

Trousers, T-shirts and bathing costumes were top of the clothing list for potential Robinson Crusoes, but around 15% of women opted for underwear.

Despite people being told they would spend five years alone on the island, make-up and conditioner still made it onto the list of personal items, headed up by soap, toothpaste and shampoo.

While 22% didn't feel the need to take any reading material to while away their five years of isolation, those who did want to take books opted for the Bible (7%), the Divine Comedy (4%), Alessandro Mazoni's I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed, 3%) and the Harry Potter books (2%).

"Let's see, pasta, bread, cheese, trousers, make-up and the Divine Comedy... Oh cavolo, siamo fottuti!"

Who better to poll than a race of argumentative and lazy people who want satisfaction over a small cold?

What would you bring if you were stranded on a desert island for 5 years?

- Pasta (Plenty of salt water for cooking. Nothing beats a nice dish of salty spaghetti with no sauce.)

- Bread (After 2 days it can be used to break open coconuts.)

- Radio (To listen to the only station it can receive, "Radio Vaticano"; while the batteries last, of course.)

- Cheese (Nothing like an expired piece of salty cheese and all the coconut milk to wash it down with.)

- Exotic fruit (Pineapples and bananas for Italians to lazy to take a walk around the island and pick it themselves.)

- Make-up and conditioner (To look attractive for Tom Hanks, "Wilson", Gilligan and the Skipper.)

"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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