11/20/04 Tagliatelle Ai Funghi Porcini from

"Ciao a tutti!" A big warm welcome to all our present and new subscribers!

All of us at the bakery here in Santo Stefano Quisquina hope everyone is doing just fine! Winter is here and, hard to believe, Christmas is already around the corner! Where has the time gone?

Where have we been?

"Busy busy busy!" We've been working hard this past summer on growing and further expanding our farm crops of almonds, figs, squash and eggs. And harvest time could not have been more fruitful. Our bakery is stacked and ready for the upcoming Christmas Holidays!

We've remodeled our web site, "", improved our shipping methods and added some delicious new Italian cookies to our web menu like our "Sesame Seed" biscotti. Take a look!

We've also added a few more Italian recipes and promise to keep adding as much as you like. Give them a try for the upcoming Holidays!

I hope you enjoy the 3 new recipes in this week's issue and the complimentary news article from "Only In" explains about who DaVinci's Mona Lisa really was.

Enjoy the issue!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Riso in Rosa

Riso in Rosa


2 cups Canaroli rice
3 ½ ounces grams prosciutto (raw ham)
6 tablespoons butter
1 ¼ cup grated Parmigiano cheese
salt to taste


Cook the rice according to the directions on package in plenty of salted water, drain carefully and place in a heated serving dish. Sprinkle Parmigiano cheese on top.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan heat the prosciutto which has been cut in julienne strips in the butter, add to the rice, mix well, and serve immediately. Serves 6.

That's it!

 Recipe: Ragł alla Bolognese

Ragł alla Bolognese
Bologna Style Tomato sauce


150 grams of ground veal
150 grams of ground beef
100 grams bacon
60 grams butter
1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk
1/4 cup of red wine
tomato sauce
1/2 cup broth
salt and pepper


Chop in fine pieces the onion, carrot, celery and bacon. Place everything in a saucepan, add the meats and mix well.

Add the butter and cook over a slow fire, then add the wine and 1/4 cup broth. When the broth is absorbed add another 1/4 cup broth and let it evaporate. Add a bit of tomato sauce, salt and pepper.

Cover the meat with a bit of boiling milk and continue cooking until it has been absorbed. This sauce can be used on all types of your favorite pasta.

That's it!

 Recipe: Tagliatelle Ai Funghi Porcini

Tagliatelle Ai Funghi Porcini
Tagliatelle with Porcini Mushrooms


500 grams tagliatelle
350 grams funghi porcini (porcini mushrooms)
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper


Clean the porcini mushrooms well, wash them and slice them.

Heat a bit of oil in a saucepan with 2 cloves of garlic, sliced or chopped fine, and add the mushrooms. Let them cook over a low fire, adding a bit of salt and pepper, and if necessary adding a spoonful or two of hot water.

Boil the pasta in plenty of boiling water, drain it when tender, and mix it with the sauce.

Add more oil if necessary, place on a platter, and garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 4.

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:

Italian Professor Solves Da Vinci Mystery, Identifies Her.

(Agencies) - - September 14 - Italian scholar Giuseppe Pallanti claims in a new book to have identified Mona Lisa, the woman whose mysterious smile has intrigued art lovers ever since Leonardo da Vinci painted her portrait 500 years ago.

"I used nothing but archival records," Pallanti told AFP in an interview. "This is not a novel."

A recent blockbuster work of fiction, "The Da Vinci Code", suggests that Mona Lisa was Leonardo's disguised self-portrait. Another theory is that she never existed at all.

But Pallanti said his research shows that she was, as his title asserts, a real person, who in 1495 married a wealthy Florentine silk merchant, Francesco del Giocondo.

"When Del Giocondo took Lisa Gherardini as his second wife, she moved up in the world," Pallanti said.

"Her husband supplied textiles to the Medici family," then the dominant force in Florentine politics and culture, he noted.

One of the documents that supports his research is the will drawn up before Francesco's death in 1538, which is addressed to his wife, Pallanti said.

"Lisa Gherardini divided her life between Florence and Chianti," a wine-producing town in Tuscany, he said.

Lisa was about 24 years old when Leonardo began her portrait, which now hangs in the Louvre in Paris and is known in French as La Joconde, a corruption of the subject's married name, La Gioconda.

Pallanti's book highlights places such as Leonardo's birthplace, Vinci, and the village of Santissima Annunciata, where the painter lived from 1501 until 1503 and where Lisa prayed regularly in a chapel owned by her husband's family.

It notes that Leonardo's father was one of the most important notaries in Florence and that Del Giocondo was his client.

Lisa Gherardini was originally identified as the subject of the world's most famous painting by Leonardo's first biographer, the 16th-century Italian writer Giorgio Vasari.

But his claims were disputed after the painting was stolen from the Louvre in August 1911 and returned to the museum about two years later.

"Congratulazioni! Finalmente!"

You'll see how our lives will significantly change now that we know who Mona Lisa really was.

Our cappuccinos will taste better.
Roman ruins will stop crumbling.
We're going to celebrate this wonderful news by putting extra sauce and chopped sausage in our lasagna this weekend.

And what a surprise! The famous Lisa was the wife of a wealthy Florentine businessman/politician; "Ciao Lenny. I'm certain you'll find time in your busy schedule to paint a wonderful and free portrait of my lovely wife."

From 1495-1503, life was a high school prom for Mona and she was the queen!

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