12/13/11 Mushroom Soup with Gremolata

"Non dare consigli a chi non il chiede." (Never give advice to those who don't ask for it.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Tuna and Bean Salad
  -Mushroom Soup with Gremolata

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

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Santo Trio

"Santo Trio" Almond Cookies: A soft and chewy Italian almond cookie with a crisp outside and tender inside. Made exclusively from our own home grown natural almonds, coconut, amaretto, lemon, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

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 Recipe: Ratatouille



1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
5 sweet peppers, green and red, seeded, cut into strips
5 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar


Heat olive oil in a large skillet.

Add onions and peppers.

Saute over medium heat until onions are light golden and peppers have softened.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper.

Cover and cook over medium heat 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add vinegar and mix well.

Cook uncovered 10 minutes longer.

Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Tuna and Bean Salad

Tuna and Bean Salad
Insalata di Tonno e Fagioli


1 and 1/2 to 2 cups dried white kidney beans
1 large red onion
Two (7-ounce) cans Italian tuna, or other tuna in olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


Place beans in a large bowl.

Add enough cold water to cover and let stand overnight.

Drain and rinse beans thoroughly.

Place beans in a large saucepan.

Add enough cold water to cover.

Cover and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat.

Simmer 50 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain beans and let cool.

Slice onion into thin strips.

Place in a small bowl with enough cold water to cover.

Let stand 1 hour, changing water several times.

Drain onion.

Pat dry with paper towels.

Place beans in a salad bowl.

Add onion to beans.

Drain oil from tuna and flake.

Add to salad bowl.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add olive oil and vinegar; toss gently.

Serve at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Mushroom Soup with Gremolata

Mushroom Soup with Gremolata
Zuppa di Funghi con Gremolata


1 and 1/2-ounce package dried Porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 and 1/4 cups chopped onion
1 cup sliced peeled carrot (about 1 large)
1 pound crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced (about 6 cups)
3 cups (or more) vegetable broth
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
1 garlic clove, chopped

12 ounces assorted fresh wild mushrooms (such as chanterelle, crimini, and stemmed shiitake), sliced (about 5 cups)


Place Porcini in 1 cup hot water.

Let soak until soft, about 20 minutes.

Strain, reserving soaking liquid.

Coarsely chop Porcini mushrooms.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium-high heat.

Add onion and carrot and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 pound crimini mushrooms; sprinkle with salt.

Saute until mushrooms are soft and browned, about 5 minutes.

Add Porcini and saute 3 minutes.

Add 3 cups broth and reserved Porcini soaking liquid and bring to boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until mushrooms are soft and flavors blend, about 20 minutes.

Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree in blender until smooth, adding more broth by 1/2 cupfuls as needed.

Return soup to pot.

Mix parsley, olive oil, hazelnuts, orange peel, and garlic in small bowl.

Set gremolata aside.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add 12 ounces assorted mushrooms and saute until soft and browned, about 10 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide soup among bowls.

Top with sauteed mushrooms and gremolata. Serves 6.

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:

Thief On The Run Takes Wrong Turn And Ducks Into Police Station

Florence - August 31, 2010 - A fleeing thief realized he had made a wrong turn in Florence Tuesday when he found himself staring at bemused police officers instead of the post-office crowds he had hoped to melt away into.

The young Romanian snatched a bag out of a car and set off with a married couple in hot pursuit, witnesses said.

Trying to dodge them he ducked into what he thought was a central post office but instead discovered was a municipal police office, in a scene reminiscent of Italian neorealist comedy classic "I Soliti Ignoti".

The couple arrived hot on his heels and he was arrested.

"Cornuto diavolo", this is a guy who’s happy he gets his shoes on the right feet...and that’s a lottery every day.

Thank God he came to this country. What a shame. It would have been much more entertaining if the thief was, let's say, Calabrese or, you guessed it, Napolitano. Regardless, we still think all the officers in that station must have tripped over themselves to make the easy arrest.

We're sure that the Romanian has learned his lesson...or maybe not. "Che se ne frega?" He would have to admit the episode is pretty embarrassing to his fellow countrymen who rob houses in Italy by performing circus acrobatics from balcony to balcony.

No, we're not kidding.

The only advice we can give the befuddled "testa di minchia" is to get directions next time. "TomToms" and "Google Maps" are doing wonders these days.

Please let us end the story with a few great lines from the classic comedy, "I Soliti Ignoti":

Capannelle: Tell me something, tough kid, do you know a certain Mario who lives around here?
Bambino: Around here there's about a hundred Marios.
Capannelle: Yeah ok, but this is one who steals.
Bambino: Still, about a hundred...

Ferribotte (at Cosimo's funeral): It's always the best ones that go!
Dante Cruciani: That's life. Today you, tomorrow him.

"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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 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!
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