11/19/13 Cream Of Shrimp And Bean Soup

"E' inutile piangere sul latte versato." (It's useless to cry over spilt milk. It's useless to regret past actions or errors over and over.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Sausage Crostini
  -Cream Of Shrimp And Bean Soup
  -Chianti-style Meatloaf

"Buon giorno amici." THANK YOU for all that you do. It means the world to us! Live for today...for tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.

Arrivederci and grazie again!

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, please keep in mind our ordering deadline: All orders must be placed by Thursday, December 5, at 12:00 PM EDT. Click here to order!

 Recipe: Sausage Crostini

Sausage Crostini
Crostini Con Salsiccia


3 Italian sausages, skinned
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
5 oz (150 grams) stracchino cheese, such as robiola or taleggio, crumbled
4-6 country-style bread slices


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

Crumble the sausages into a bowl.

Mix in the fennel seeds and crumbled cheese.

Season with salt to taste and stir well.

Spread the mixture on the slices of bread.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Arrange on a platter and serve immediately while still hot.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cream Of Shrimp And Bean Soup

Cream Of Shrimp And Bean Soup
Crema Di Gamberetti e Fagioli


For the Vegetable Stock:
3 cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 turnips, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 potatoes, coarsely chopped
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped

For the Soup:
7 oz (200 grams) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
7 oz (200 grams) fresh cannellini beans
1 shallot, chopped
3 oz (80 grams) butter
3 and 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) dry white wine
2 oz (50 grams) plain flour
5 tablespoons double cream
1 fresh thyme sprig, leaves only
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Vegetable Stock:
Place all the vegetables in a large saucepan, pour in 1.5 liters (2 and 1/2 pints) of water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then strain into a bowl pressing down well on the vegetables with a wooden spoon.

Prepare the Soup:
Cook the beans in boiling water until tender.

Drain and pass through a food mill.

Melt 1 oz (25 grams) of the butter in a pan.

Add the shallot and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the wine and cook until it has evaporated.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a food processor and process to a puree.

Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a saucepan.

Melt the remaining butter in another pan.

Stir in the flour.

Pour in the bean puree.

Gradually stir in the boiling vegetable stock.

Cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes.

Add the thyme and cream to the shrimp puree.

Pour into the bean mixture.

Pour into a soup tureen and serve. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chianti-Style Meatloaf

Chianti-Style Meatloaf
Polpettone alla Chiantigiana


For the Meatloaf:
2 pounds beef (top round or sirloin, in one piece)
4 sweet sausages (without fennel seeds) or 12 ounces pork (in one piece)
1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
3 slices white bread, crust removed
2 medium-sized cloves garlic
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon dry red wine
4 large fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 juniper berries
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Kitchen twine

For the Sauce:
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 whole clove garlic
2 whole fresh sage leaves
1 cup dry red wine


Prepare the Meatloaf:
Stir the white bread and 1/2 cup of the red wine in a saucepan over medium-high heat until a paste has formed, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes and remove the skin from the sausages.

Using a meat grinder, grind the beef, sausages, juniper berries, garlic and sage all together into a bowl, using the disc with the smallest holes.

Add eggs, olive oil, and remaining tablespoon of wine to the bowl and mix well.

Add the bread paste.

Season with salt and pepper, and mix again.

Arrange the prosciutto on a board with the slices overlapping to form an unbroken layer.

Shape the prepared meat mixture into a thick cylinder about 11 inches long and 4 to 5 inches wide.

Place the meat on the prosciutto and carefully wrap the prosciutto layer around it. Use a bit of thin kitchen twine to tie up the roll, and then lightly flour it.

Prepare the Sauce:
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic and sage leaves for a few minutes over medium heat.

Add the meatloaf, turn up the heat, and saute 1 minute on each side until golden brown.

Preheat the oven to 375?F.

Transfer the meatloaf to a large baking dish.

Pour the wine over the meat then bake for 45 minutes, turning the meat twice and basting it several times with its own juices.

Remove the meatloaf from the oven.

Transfer it to a serving platter, cover, and let stand for about 5 minutes.

Untie the meat and carefully cut it into slices approximately 1/2-inch thick. Serves 8.

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:

Pope Very Disappointed: "Why Are Nuns Without Joy? SMILE!"

Assisi - October 4, 2013 - During a visit to a cloistered convent in the central Italian city of Assisi, Pope Francis berated nuns whose fixed smiles betray "a lack of joy that comes from within".

"I am so disappointed when I meet nuns who are joyless, who may smile with the smile of a flight attendant but not with the smile of joy that comes from within", the pontiff told nuns at the Santa Chiara cloistered convent.

Living in an enclosed order must not be "purgatory", Francis told the nuns.

"Nuns must not be too spiritual, and must endeavor to be experts in humanity in order that convent life is not purgatory," he said.

He urged the nuns to embrace communal living and to live together like members of a happy, loving family.

"Know how to forgive, how to tolerate each other because the devil takes every opportunity to divide us. Nurture friendships with each other and family life. And don't brag!" he told the nuns.

He was accompanied to Assisi by eight cardinals, with whom he has spent the past three days discussing a radical program of reform for the scandal-tainted Vatican government beginning with the drafting of a new constitution.

Francis He wants to see an overhaul of the Church, bringing it closer to ordinary people.

AH, SEE? Here come the flashbacks again from those Catholic School years...along with the cold sweat, anger and the question that crossed our minds over and over, "Porca Eva, now what did I do?"

Pope: "I am so disappointed when I meet nuns who are joyless..." Eh, joyless?! That's puzzling to us because back in the good ol' days these delightful ladies seemed to be bursting with joy when it came down to giving violent recommendations:

"And what will YOU be giving up for Lent?"
AH, the trick questions that brought sure and quick violence. Didn't you miss them?
What habit or vice did they expect 8-year-olds to give up?
"Porca vacca", those representatives of Christ all knew the standard answer was always TV and candy!
And they all knew we spent every Easter vacation watching cartoons and eating chocolate bunnies!

Pope: "...who may smile with the smile of a flight attendant but not with the smile of joy that comes from within." "Cacchio", this is a given. We would have been more than happy to have gone to First Communion and Confirmation classes with flight attendants. The phony smiles, juice, extra pillow, blanket...and our choice of chicken or beef on "no-meat Fridays" during Lent could have only helped strengthen our faith.

Pope: "Nuns must not be too spiritual, and must endeavor to be experts in humanity..." Does he mean like the ones that ditched the habits, dressed "normally" and went undercover at the playgrounds and malls?
The sisters passing as ordinary folk...forcing the children to go back on red alert?

Pope: " together like members of a happy, loving family." No, there was no happiness and love in class...especially for the boys. Look, nobody in class was safe but we'll never understand why the ratio of physical rage against boys vs that of girls was about five to one. Thanks for the holy discrimination. "Grazie." Much appreciated.

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