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 11/24/09 Campanelle Pasta with Squid, Tomatoes, and Capers

"Il marito una cosa Pasticciata - un figlio una cosa creata." (A husband is a sticky/sneaky thing - a child is a created thing.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Campanelle Pasta with Sausage and Beans
  -Campanelle Pasta with Squid, Tomatoes, and Capers
  -Strawberry, Mascarpone, and Marsala Budini

"Auguri e saluti" to all our readers. Enjoy this week's 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 Saturday, December 12, at 12:00 PM EST. Click here to order!


 Recipe: Campanelle Pasta with Sausage and Beans

Campanelle Pasta with Sausage and Beans
Campanelle Pasta con Salsiccia e Fagioli

Ingredients:

1 head of garlic, left whole, plus 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb fresh sweet Italian sausage, casings discarded
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallot
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes in juice, drained, or 2 large fresh plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 (15 to 19-oz) can small white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 lb campanelle (bell-shaped pasta), rotini (corkscrew pasta), or medium shells
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 oz finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (1/4 cup)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut off and discard top of garlic head to expose cloves, then wrap head in foil and roast in middle of oven until cloves are tender, about 45 minutes.

Open foil carefully and cool to warm.

Squeeze garlic from skins into a small bowl, then mash to a paste with a fork.

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook sausage, stirring and breaking up large pieces, until browned, about 4 minutes.

Add sliced garlic, shallot, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot is pale golden, about 2 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, beans, garlic paste, and stock and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a 6 to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente', then drain in a colander.

Toss pasta with sausage mixture, parsley, basil, cheese, and salt to taste in a large bowl (or in pasta pot) until combined well.

Serve with additional cheese, if desired. Makes 4 main-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Campanelle Pasta with Squid, Tomatoes, and Capers

Campanelle Pasta with Squid, Tomatoes, and Capers
Campanelle Pasta con Calamari, Pomodori e Capperi

Ingredients:

1 lb cleaned squid, bodies and tentacles separated but kept intact
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 (1 and 1/2-inch) fresh red or green Thai or Serrano chile, halved crosswise
1/2 lb grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup drained bottled capers, rinsed, patted dry, and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb campanelle (small bell-shaped pasta) or fusilli pasta
1/2 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 (1 by 1/2-inch) strip fresh lemon zest , finely chopped

Directions:

If squid are large, halve ring of tentacles, then cut longer tentacles, if attached, crosswise into 2-inch pieces.

Pull off flaps from squid bodies and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices.

Cut bodies crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick rings.

Pat squid dry.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute garlic and chile, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add squid and saute, stirring, 1 minute.

Add tomatoes and wine and simmer, stirring, 2 minutes.

Add raisins and capers and simmer, stirring, 30 seconds.

Remove from heat.

Cook pasta in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander.

Add pasta to tomato mixture with 1/4 cup reserved cooking water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute.

Remove from heat and stir in basil, pine nuts, zest, and salt and pepper to taste. If pasta looks dry, moisten with more cooking water.

Divide pasta among 4 plates, then drizzle each serving with some of remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Makes 4 first-course servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Strawberry, Mascarpone, and Marsala Budini

Strawberry, Mascarpone, and Marsala Budini
Fragola, Mascarpone e Marsala Budini

Ingredients:

One 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese*
6 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine (preferably imported)
3 tablespoons whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups sliced hulled strawberries (about 15 ounces)

2 and 1/4 cups coarsely crumbled Amaretti cookies (Italian macaroons; about 4 and 1/2 ounces)*

Directions:

Combine mascarpone, 3 tablespoons Marsala wine, cream, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl.

Stir gently until well blended.

Combine strawberries, remaining 3 tablespoons Marsala, and 1 tablespoon sugar in another medium bowl; toss to blend.

Cover mascarpone and berry mixtures; refrigerate 30 minutes.

Place 2 tablespoons crumbled cookies in each of 6 goblets.

Divide strawberry mixture with juices among goblets.

Top berries with mascarpone mixture, then remaining cookies.

Cover and chill at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Makes 6 servings.

Note: *Mascarpone (Italian cream cheese) and Amaretti cookies are available at Italian markets and many supermarkets.

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:

Latin Teacher Shocks Italian Government With Berlusconi Translations

Rome - November 13, 2009 - A Latin teacher in southern Italy who had students translate phrases about Premier Silvio Berlusconi caused a furor on Friday when the story received front-page coverage in a right-wing newspaper.

Reported in a daily owned by Berlusconi's brother, Angela Di Nanni's exercises referred to trials facing the premier after an constitutional court ruling last month quashing a law granting the premier immunity from persecution.

"Silvio Berlusconi will be called before judges," read one of the passages.

"Berlusconi is accused of corruption and fraud, but says he will not resign," read another.

The news article described Di Nanni as "a political militant" and accused her of "using a dead language to insult the premier".

The article concluded with a plea for teachers "not to contaminate the classics with their political anger".

But the principal of the school where Di Nanni teaches, Luciano Gigante, said she had no such intention.

"Di Nanni was just trying to get some of her more difficult students interested in the lesson," he said

The principal explained that the exercise came from a website popular among teachers that offers Latin versions of top news items.

"The students also translated a piece about the death of Michael Jackson," Gigante said.

"This is as all just a tempest in a teapot".

Local education officials called an emergency meeting after the article came out to decide whether the translations called for disciplinary action.

You see, sometimes, you have to motivate these Italian kids to strive for academic success (If they're not motivated, they simply vote with their smelly feet). And what better way to motivate the little nincompoops than with Latin and Italian politics?

"(Porca vacca!) Hey Mamma! I'm having a hard time translating this crap!"

Latin Homework Assignment: Translate the ramblings of a chuckle-faced Prime Minister:

1. "There are only about 100,000 people in law enforcement, while there are millions of beautiful women... Women have to be defended." (When asked by reporters about a proposal to deploy 300,000 troops to fight crime following a series of sexual assaults in Rome and other cities.)

2. "Italy is now a great country to invest in...Today we have fewer communists and those who are still there deny having been one. Another reason to invest in Italy is that we have beautiful secretaries." (During a visit to the New York Stock Exchange in 2003, he touted the benefits of doing business in Italy.)

3. "I trust the intelligence of the Italian people too much to think that there are so many 'coglioni' around who would vote against their own best interests." (He decided to insult his own fellow citizens by making this statement less than a week before parliamentary elections in Italy.

"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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