12/07/10 Italian Lady's Fingers

"A tavola non si invecchia." (You do not become old at the table with good friends and family.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Tagliatelle with Eggplant
  -Monkfish In Red Wine
  -Italian Lady's Fingers

Hope all your Holiday Season plans are filled with serenity, love, and above all, good health! Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e grazie!

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

 Recipe: Tagliatelle with Eggplant

Tagliatelle with Eggplant
Tagliatelle Alle Melanzane


2 eggplants, thinly sliced
9 oz (250 grams) tomatoes, peeled and chopped
10 fresh basil leaves
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
10 oz (275 grams) fresh tagliatelle pasta
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) firm ricotta cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper


Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan.

Add the eggplant slices and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes until golden brown all over.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan.

Add the tomatoes and garlic and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes.

Remove and discard the garlic.

Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

Chop one of the basil leaves and stir in.

Cook the tagliatelle pasta in a large pan of salted, boiling water until 'al dente', then drain and place in a warm serving dish.

Cover with the ricotta, then spoon the tomato sauce over it.

Top with the eggplant slices and sprinkle with the remaining basil. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Monkfish In Red Wine

Monkfish In Red Wine
Coda Di Rospo Al Vino Rosso


2 oz (50 grams) butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons brandy
12 fl oz (350 ml) red wine
4 fresh sage leaves
1 fresh thyme sprig, leaves only
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) monkfish fillets, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon plain flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) baby onions, chopped
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) mushrooms
Salt and pepper


Melt half the butter in a pan, add the shallot and carrot and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until lightly browned.

Add the brandy and cook until it has evaporated.

Add the red wine, sage, thyme and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Cover and simmer very gently for about 20 minutes.

Strain the sauce, return it to the pan and reheat thoroughly.

Add the fish and cook for 10 minutes.

Remove the fish from the pan with a slotted spoon and keep warm.

Increase the heat under the sauce to high and cook until reduced.

Meanwhile, mix together the remaining butter and the flour to a paste, then stir it into the sauce to thicken.

Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in another pan, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened.

Add the mushrooms and stir in the sauce, then add the fish and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes.

Transfer to a warm serving dish. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Italian Lady's Fingers

Italian Lady's Fingers


3 free range eggs, separated
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
3 oz (75 grams) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt
3 oz (75 grams) caster or superfine sugar


Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Beat the egg yolks until thick, then beat in the vanilla extract.

Sift the flour and baking powder together.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff then whisk in the salt and sugar until the whites are glossy and very stiff.

Using a metal spoon, fold in the egg yolks, then the sifted flour.

Drop tablespoons of the batter onto an ungreased baking tray, forming fingers measuring about 8 x 2 and 1/2-inch (20 x 6 cm).

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden.

Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. Makes 12.

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:

Romans Finally Get Bullsh_t Translator

Rome - October 11, 2010 - Lazio, the region around Rome, has started using a 'jargon translator' to help citizens and firms cut through the impenetrable legalese and 'bureaucratese' most Italian public documents are written in.

"How can you expect an unemployed man with a primary-school education to understand what the standard-issue benefit claim is saying," said Regional Labor Councilor Mariella Zezza, who helped put together the 'simplifier'.

"I took a leaf out of my experience as a journalist and started off from the basic five Ws - Who? What? Where? When? and Why? - Zezza said.

Zezza was presenting a ten-million-euro tender for firms to get subsidies for hiring disadvantaged workers. It was the third such announcement to be simplified using Zezza's translator, which has been dubbed 'Tribe'.

Zezza said info for the sight-impaired would be put through Tribe before going into Braille while Tribe-treated documents for immigrants would be translated into a slew of languages.

"Tribe has been online from today on the revamped website of the employment agency with the aim of spelling out how to use procedures and get benefits," said Lazio Governor Renata Polverini.

Italians have been grappling for decades with the Byzantine and tangled lingo used for all kinds of applications and procedures, and many turn to agencies whose sole business is making sense of them.

An Italian president once famously said a tax form contained "lunar" language. That same year there was a rash of suicides among tax consultants.

"Signore e Signori, it’s my firm opinion that the fiscal budget should be apprehended in its entirety, and the authenticity of the outcome is a reality."
"Ma vaffanculo!"

Bureaucracy in Italy is legendary, and not for its efficiency. Just imagine a mule sitting in the middle of the road, blocking traffic, refusing to budge...and laughing. It can be frighteningly slow to get anything processed or done. In fact, our Italian government offices often offer a peculiar two speed system: one for normal applications which will be handled nice and slowly, and another which receives fast track processing but for which you must shell out some cash.

The basic five Ws for understanding our bureaucracy:

Who: Who cares anymore?! "Minchia", if I knew what the hell the electric company wanted to hook up my electricity I'd win $64,000!

What: From what I understood, the state wants to endorse the sale of spray paint and free sneakers for Napolitani.

Where: I have to obtain this paperwork from my local town hall, then bring it to a lawyer to have it deciphered, stop by the provincial office to have it looked at for one minute and then finally have it deposited in some labyrinth in a regional government building. "'Fanculo", looks like I'll need Indiana Jones for help in selling my Vespa!

When: How long?! No no, "coglione", I can't wait until Haley's Comet returns.

Why: I don't know how I wound up on the roof of the house! I was reading this and trying to get through all the 'bureaucratese', and before I knew it, I hypnotized myself! "Look into my own eyes..."

"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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