11/22/11 Parmigiano and Bread Crumb Soup

"Batti il ferro quando caldo." (Strike while the iron is hot.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Mortadella Mousse
  -Parmigiano and Bread Crumb Soup
  -Baked Penne with Bolognese Sauce

"Buongiorno!" My bakery family and I are grateful for your participation with us via this newsletter. Thanks for everything you're doing and for your understanding. We will continue to find ways to be helpful. Please share this newsletter, if you found it useful. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Mortadella Mousse

Mortadella Mousse
Spuma di Mortadella


1/2 pound piece mortadella
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 pound ricotta cheese
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
12 to 14 slices firm-textured white


Cut mortadella into pieces and place in a food processor fitted with the metal blade.

Process until mortadella is very finely chopped.

Add Parmigiano and ricotta cheese and season lightly with salt.

With motor running pour in broth through feed tube until mortadella is completely pureed and mixture is thoroughly blended.

Place mixture in a medium bowl and fold in cream.

Transfer mousse into a small, attractive serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight.

Leave mousse about 1 hour at room temperature before serving.

To serve, preheat oven to 400F (205C).

Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Trim crust from bread and cut each slice of bread with a 2-inch round cookie cutter, or cut them into triangles or rectangles.

Arrange bread on baking sheet and place on middle rack of oven.

Bake until bread has a light golden color.

Turn pieces and brown other side, about 5 minutes.

Place bowl with mousse on a large, round dish and serve with toasted bread for spreading. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Parmigiano and Bread Crumb Soup

Parmigiano and Bread Crumb Soup
Passatelli in Brodo


10 to 12 cups prepared meat broth
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
1/2 cup fine, dry unflavored bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs
Additional Parmigiano cheese


On a pastry board or in a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup Parmigiano cheese, bread crumbs and nutmeg.

Mix well.

Add eggs.

Mix ingredients thoroughly and work into a ball. Dough should be smooth and pliable.

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan.

Put dough into a ricer or food mill and rice directly into broth.

Reduce heat.

Simmer 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve hot with Parmigiano cheese. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Baked Penne with Bolognese Sauce

Baked Penne with Bolognese Sauce
Penne al Forno con Ragu alla Bolognese


For the Bolognese Sauce:
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 onion, chopped
9 oz (250 grams) ground beef
1 tablespoon concentrated tomato puree
Salt and pepper

For the White Sauce:
1 and 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

For the Pasta:
1 pound Penne pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon butter


Prepare the Bolognese Sauce:
Heat the butter and olive oil in a small sauce pan and add the carrot, onion, celery, and ground beef.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix well and cook over a low heat for just a few minutes until the vegetables have softened and the beef starts to cook and turn brown.

Mix in the tomato puree with a little bit of water to dilute it and add to the sauce pan.

Cover and cook over a very low heat for 1 and 1/2 hours, adding a little hot water if the sauce appears to be turning dry.

Prepare the White Sauce:
Bring milk almost to a boil; set aside.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan.

When butter foams, stir in flour.

Let mixture bubble gently over low heat 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not let mixture brown.

Whisk in milk all at once.

Whisk until smooth.

Season with salt.

Simmer 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly until sauce has a medium-thick consistency.

Reduce or increase cooking time for a thinner or thicker sauce.

Prepare the Pasta:
Preheat oven to 400F (205C).

Generously butter bottom and sides of a baking dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add pasta and cook uncovered over high heat until pasta is cooked only halfway through and has a firm consistency.

Drain pasta and place in a large bowl.

Add 2 and 1/2 cups of meat sauce, 2/3 cup of white sauce and about half of Parmigiano cheese.

Mix until pasta and sauces are well combined.

Put pasta in prepared baking dish, sprinkle top with remaining Parmigiano cheese and dot with butter.

Place dish in middle rack of oven and bake until top has a nice golden color, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove dish from oven and let it settle a few minutes. Makes 6 servings.

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:

Italian Police Stop Jackass Political Party From Throwing Bear Barbecue

Rome - July 3, 2011 - Police have broken up a banquet of bear meat hosted by Berlusconi's powerful coalition partner in northern Italy after government ministers and animal rights groups described the event as scandalous.

The order came as about 200 people lined up to devour grilled and stewed bear at a rally in Imer in the Italian Dolomites organized by the Northern League.

Organizers said they had bought the meat legally in Slovenia to get round a ban on bear hunting in Italy, but food safety officers from Italy's paramilitary Carabinieri police objected to the lack of import documentation for the 50kg of meat.

Foreign minister Franco Frattini and tourism minister Michela Vittoria Brambilla had condemned the bear feast as "a scandalous initiative", while environment minister Stefania Prestigiacomo described the get-together as "barbarous".

In his blog, Frattini said the banquet was particularly offensive since Italian bears were "almost extinct and we are trying with great effort to bring them back to the mountains that have hosted them for centuries".

The brown bear population has risen to about 35 in and around the Dolomites after 10 were reintroduced there a decade ago. But instead of celebrating their return, some locals have complained that the bears are attacking chickens and sheep. Claims made for lost livestock rose to 100,000 Euros ($143,000 USD) last year, and farmers were fed up, said Maurizio Fugatti, an MP for the anti-immigrant Northern League.

Hence the banquet, which, said Fugatti, had been planned to "send a clear signal to citizens who have the right to reconquer their territory and freely circulate".

To protect locals from marauding bears, he added, "we prefer to eat them like this."

Fugatti said half of the bear meat had been cooked for the canceled banquet but the remainder was frozen and ready for a new dinner date should the paperwork be put in order.

"The idea was to attract attention to a bear repopulation plan which has got out of hand, resulting in locals being followed by bears through woods normally frequented by families. Even if the banquet doesn't happen, we have made our point," he went on.

The Northern League has long specialized in controversial statements and stunts. In 2007 Senator Roberto Calderoli proposed dissuading Muslims from building a mosque in Bologna by parading a pig across the chosen site, defiling it.

Yogi Bear: "Mamma mia, Boo-Boo, these animals are out of their mind."

Have you ever wondered how some mental Italian politicians who give a personal name to each one of their kitchen knives are able to win glory, wealth, fame, and an enduring place in Italy's sagas while others have to settle for plundering a few small towns in Calabria and Sicily?

Welcome to the world of the "Lega Nord".

It’s easy to see how simple and foul-mouthed the tone of their language is. It is the same linguistic style used by Lega representatives, a trick they have used to reach a wider public (a stupid and illiterate public, mind you, who is usually full of crap and immobile from eating too much polenta, slurping grappa, and belching) in the past elections and "conquer" a new electorate with so-called hot issues such as national security, immigration...and bear invasions.

So, what principles separate these Northern Italian Vikings from ordinary political ravagers? Well, the Lega Nord embraces the plunder approach which states that all the resources and success of a country should be held by the territory responsible for it...their territory.

1. Be arrogant and destructive
Accept responsibility for your actions in order to take control of the situation (a bear barbecue). You can be either reactive or destructive. When you are reactive, you blame other Italians for your problems. When you are destructive, other Italians blame you for their problems.

2. Principles of personal victory
Set long term goals based on the total victory principle. Visualization is an important tool. Visualize overwhelming the Southern Italian warriors with soap and jobs, plundering their little towns, and carrying off their women and cattle (leader of the Lega Nord, Bossi, is married to a Sicilian). Unless your longship has limited cargo space, in which case you might want to visualize leaving some of the ugly and fat women behind.

3) Go nuts
Going nuts is a very effective way to overwhelm an Italian government. Avoid decision making. Apply destructive problem solving. Employ brute force to promote successful confrontation. Embrace and leverage annihilation (Bossi once referred to immigrants as "bingo bongos" and has suggested that immigrant boats off Italy's shores be fired upon with cannons).

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