12/09/08 Polenta with Rosemary and Walnuts from

"Chi va piano va sano e va lontano." (Go slow, go strong and go far.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Topping
  -Polenta with Rosemary and Walnuts
  -Orecchiette Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, and Cream

Thanks again for subscribing and have a happy and healthy Christmas Holiday Season!

Arrivederci e a presto!

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, you might be interested in the following deadline:

All orders must be placed by Friday, December 12, at 6:00 PM EST. Click here to order!

 Recipe: Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Topping

Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Topping
Arrosto di Melanzana e Peperone Rosso


3/4 lb eggplant, left unpeeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Preheat oven to 450F.

Toss vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl, then spread in an oiled large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pan.

Roast vegetables in middle of oven, stirring occasionally, until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack, then coarsely mash with a potato masher and stir in basil.

Makes 6 servings (as part of crostini)

That's it!

Printer Friendly Version

 Recipe: Polenta with Rosemary and Walnuts

Polenta with Rosemary and Walnuts
Polenta con Rosmarino e Noci


2 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup grated Gruyre cheese
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
8 walnut halves


Butter 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish.

Bring broth to boil in heavy medium saucepan.

Gradually whisk in corn meal.

Reduce heat to medium and whisk constantly until mixture thickens, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add cheese and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons butter; stir until cheese melts.

Stir in chopped walnuts and rosemary.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer polenta to prepared dish; using buttered knife, spread evenly. Cool until polenta is firm, at least 1 hour.

Line baking sheet with foil.

Cut polenta into 8 wedges.

Transfer wedges, bottom side up, to prepared sheet.

Dot wedges with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons butter. Place 1 walnut half in center of each wedge. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bake polenta until heated through, about 12 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

That's it!

Printer Friendly Version

 Recipe: Orecchiette Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, and Cream

Orecchiette Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, and Cream
Orecchiette Pasta con Piselli, Prosciutto, e Crema


1 lb Orecchiette pasta
3 tablespoons butter
1 small white onion, diced, (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup frozen or shelled fresh peas
2 tablespoon water
4 ounces cooked prosciutto, cut into thin strips
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, warm 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until translucent, stirring often.

Add the peas and water to the pan and cook 3 minutes, stirring.

Stir in the prosciutto and cook 2 minutes.

Add the cream; bring to a low simmer and cook 5 minutes.

Drain pasta; place in large serving bowl.

Stir remaining 2 tablespoons butter into the cream mixture over low heat until melted.

Stir in the cheese.

Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

That's it!

Printer Friendly Version :: Submit Your Thoughts


 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:

Trained Gourmet Police Officers On The Prowl For Fake Olive Oil

Rome - October 26, 2008 - Italy has trained a special squad of gourmet police officers to sniff out fraud in the multi-million Euro olive oil trade.

Italian police have stepped up their battle against olive oil fraud. The 20 officers have just graduated from a course in which they were taught to distinguish fake extra-virgin oil from the real thing.

While customers pay a premium for Italian extra-virgin olive oil, often it is neither Italian nor extra-virgin, but lower quality oil brought in by tanker truck and ship from Spain, Greece or Tunisia.

During an intensive training course arranged by the National Olive Oil Association, the police officers were schooled in how to detect an oil's provenance just by taste.

"This initiative will strengthen the defense of the quality of one of the symbols of the Mediterranean diet," said Massimo Gargano, the head of the association.

It would send "an unequivocal signal" that the olive oil industry was determined to ensure quality and clamp down on fraudulent practices, he said.

Italian police have recently stepped up their battle against unscrupulous growers and producers, amid fears that adulterated or wrongly labeled oil will harm Italy's image.

In March, in an operation called Golden Oil, police arrested 23 people and confiscated 85 farms after a investigation into suspect producers.

A month later another racket was busted, with police closing down seven olive oil plants and arresting 40 people in an investigation spanning nine provinces. Officers seized more than 25,000 liters of suspect oil. Those arrested were accused of adding sunflower and soybean oil to the genuine product and selling it as extra-virgin oil in Italy and abroad.

Police said they intercepted large shipments of the fraudulent oil just as they were about to be exported to Germany, Switzerland and the US.

Flavoring and other chemicals had been added to the blended vegetable oil to give it the distinctive golden luster of high-quality olive oil.

Although Italy is Europe's second-biggest olive oil producer after Spain, its production was down 15 per cent last year and the country fails to produce enough to satisfy even domestic demand.

The temptation for growers and producers is to buy in cheap oil from other Mediterranean countries and pass it off as Italian.

Last year the amount of oil imported from Greece, Spain and Tunisia jumped 12 per cent.

"You find bottles with Italian flags all over them and yet the oil is from Spain or Morocco or Turkey or wherever," said Johnny Madge, a British olive oil expert who has lived in Italy for 26 years, producing and selling oil in the Sabine Hills north of Rome.

"But it is possible to taste where different oils come from. There's a Spanish olive, for instance, that has a very distinctive coriander taste, which makes it instantly recognizable even if it has been blended with other oils."

"Mamma mia", all I did was try to fry some Bacala with this "new and improved" olive oil and the kitchen caught fire...along with my hair!

Extra virgin is the highest quality and most expensive form of olive oil. It comes from the first pressing of the olives. It is the least acidic and has the fruitiest flavor.

Much of what is sold as "Italian Olive Oil" is really oil imported from Spain, Greece and Tunisia, packaged in Italy and sold as Italian. In fact, 60% of all olive oil produced in Spain is bought by Italy.

Most gourmet stores try to stump and fleece you with the different types of extra-virgin olive oils available on the market:

"Well, this recipe calls for a fruity and fragrant oil..."
"That lamb dish needs a peppery oil..."
"Luckily, you can substitute the green and grassy oil with an herbal one..."

You must understand. Italians consume only one type of oil on a daily basis and that is extra-virgin olive oil from Southern Italy. There are no peppery, fruity, or chocolate kinds with different colored bottle caps. And it is not sold in 'Chanel' type bottles.

Ask a kitchen veteran in Italy what's the best grassy oil for your salad and you'll get a filthy and angry stare. You'll almost be able to make out the word "vaffanculo" on their forehead.

An excellent way to test the quality of your olive oil is to do what pregnant women did in Ancient Rome which is to apply it to your skin to help prevent stretch marks. Many Italian women today still follow this practice. Make sure to film the process and show it to your family and friends.

"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!

 Caterina Collezione, shop for Italian sterling silver directly from the factory in Italy; wedding gifts, anniversary gifts, flatware, plates, centerpieces, silverware, tea sets, dinnerware and more. All limited editions and made to order.

 Angela's Italian Organic Oregano is grown on a small mountain in Italy; an all natural herb, strictly certified organic, and shipped directly from Italy to you. It's the secret ingredient for all your Italian recipes.

 Adriana's Homemade Italian Gourmet Cookies; Italian gourmet almond, fig, pistachio and sesame cookies baked and shipped from our bakery in Italy to you; all natural, fresh, and baked to order. Great Italian recipes!

 Italian humor and news; visit and subscribe today and feed your sense of intellectual superiority by reading and wondering how Italy still survives after 56 governments in 50 years!
 Only In

 Read Past Issues
 What's New?
 Our Cookies
 Order Our Cookies!
 People are Talking!
 Try Our Almonds!
 Tour Our Bakery
 About Adriana
 Customer Service
 Italian Sources
 Our Privacy Policy

 Submit Your Thoughts
 Email Adriana

 Subscribe to the feed! Subscribe!
 Add to My Yahoo!
 Add to My Google
 Add to My Netvibes

 Budino al Cocco e Nocciola
 Caponata with Fennel, Olives and Raisins
 Creamy Mussels
 Fegatini alla Veneta
 Fried Codfish alla Santa Elisabetta
 Insalata con Spinaci e Funghi
 Lenticchie Brasate
 Octopus In Red Wine
 Pizza al Cioccolato
 Pumpkin Tortelli
 Salsiccia al Pomodoro
 Torta all'Amaretto

 More Recipes!

Questions: Need more Italian recipes? How about Italian gift ideas? Or just plain Italian fun?

Subscribe to these interesting newsletters from our closest and trustworthy Italian affiliates located here in Italy? Just click the sites that may interest you and sign up:

 Silver From
 Oregano From
 Only In


Copyright 2000-2007 FromItaly di Ciccarello. ISSN: 1724-7985. All Rights Reserved. Please read our Privacy Policy

This newsletter is powered by Libero. It no longer uses NOR does it recommend the services of Tiscali S.p.a.