12/16/08 Linguine with Mussels from

"Al contadino non far sapere quanto Ť buono il formaggio con le pere." (Don't let the farmer know how good cheese is with pears.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Spicy Marinated Mozzarella with Oregano and Capers
  -Linguine with Mussels
  -Veal Piccata

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Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Sesame Seed Cookies

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 Recipe: Spicy Marinated Mozzarella with Oregano and Capers

Spicy Marinated Mozzarella with Oregano and Capers
Mozzarella Piccante con Origano e Capperi


12 ounces fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons capers, chopped


Overlap cheese slices on medium platter.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in small skillet over medium heat.

Add garlic and crushed pepper and stir just until garlic begins to color, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat; stir in oregano, salt, and pepper. Cool.

Stir in capers and remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil.

Spoon over cheese slices. Makes 6 appetizer servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Linguine with Mussels

Linguine with Mussels
Linguine con le Cozze


2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
1 lb cultivated mussels, scrubbed
6 oz dried linguine
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Cook shallots in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until shallots are softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic, bell pepper, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until pepper and celery are just tender, about 4 minutes.

Add mussels and cook over moderately high heat, covered, until they just open, 4 to 6 minutes, checking periodically after 4 minutes and transferring mussels as opened to a bowl. (Discard any unopened mussels after 6 minutes.)

While sauce is cooking, cook linguine in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until 'al dente'.

Reserve 3/4 cup cooking water and drain linguine in a colander.

Add linguine to skillet along with cream, salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup pasta cooking water and bring to a simmer.

Add mussels and toss carefully, adding more cooking water if pasta seems dry. Serve immediately, sprinkled with parsley. Serves 2.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Veal Piccata

Veal Piccata
Vitello alla Piccata


For the sauce:
1 and 1/4 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the veal:
2 lb veal cutlets* (also called scallopini; 1/4 inch thick)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 lemon, thinly sliced


Prepare the sauce:
Boil stock and wine in a 2 to 3-quart heavy saucepan until reduced by about half (to about 3/4 cup), about 3 minutes.

Whisk together flour and water in a cup, then whisk into stock.

Boil, stirring, 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in butter, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep sauce warm.

Prepare the veal:
Cut veal into 3-inch pieces, then pat dry with paper towels.

Lightly oil a grill pan and heat over high heat until just smoking.

While pan is heating, sprinkle veal with salt and pepper.

Grill veal in batches, without crowding, until browned, about 30 seconds on each side, transferring with tongs to a platter.

Grill lemon slices, in batches if necessary, until lightly browned, about 1 minute per side, transferring to platter with veal.

Stir parsley into warm sauce and pour over veal. Makes 8 servings.

*Note: If uncooked cutlets are more than 1/4 inch thick, pound to 1/4 inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic wrap with a rolling pin.

That's it!

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 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:

NATO Personnel Rent Villas Owned by Naples Mafia

Rome - October 27, 2008 - American NATO officers have been renting a villa near Naples for years that belongs, indirectly, to Antonio Iovine, a clan chieftain of the Camorra, the Neapolitan Mafia.

Mr Iovine, 44, nicknamed "o'ninno" or "the baby" because of his small stature, is wanted for murder and other crimes, and is listed among the 30 most dangerous criminals in Italy. He has been on the run for 12 years.

According to an investigation that was published in a local paper yesterday the villa of Mr Iovine may be only the tip of an iceberg. Italian police sources suggested that there were scores of similar cases in the Naples area of NATO service personnel living in houses that were owned by the Camorra. There are several NATO facilities in the area, notably a US telecommunications center in Bagnoli and the US Air Force base at Capodichino.

"Itís ludicrous, isn't it? The coffers of NATO, to which Italy also contributes, are helping to fill the coffers of the Camorra," Franco Roberti, the coordinator of the local anti-Mafia bureau, said.

The villa rented by the American officers, near the town of San Cipriano díAversa, was bought in 1986 by Mr Iovine's mother, with what investigators believe were the wages of his criminal activities. Because it is registered in her name, prosecutors have so far failed to present sufficient evidence of its criminal origins.

The two-story villa is surrounded by a high wall topped by a fence with several video cameras along its perimeter. It is only 18 miles from the US bases.

Colonel Carmelo Burgio, who heads the 1,360 Carabinieri in the Naples area, which is infested by the many family-based clans that make up the Camorra, said: "Last year we succeeded in sequestering 100 million Euro (79 million GBP) of assets belonging to the Bianco-Corvino clan of the Camorra, including about 50 villas. We then discovered that 40 of these were rented out to NATO personnel. Most of them are still living there, with the difference that the rent, which ranges between 1,500 and 3,000 Euros a month, is now paid into a state fund."

Colonel Burgio said that the Camorra clans were masters at camouflaging their purchases, which were used to launder illegal earnings. He said that Mr Iovine's wife, who was arrested in July for extortion and for managing contacts between her husband and other clan chiefs, "has letters from friends saying they gave her as presents everything of any value in her house, furniture, TVs, clothes everything". There were even hundreds of pairs of expensive shoes, each with a "present note" from a friend.

The military duty officer at the US Embassy in Rome said that he had no knowledge of the situation and declined to comment. Military personnel at the American Joint Forces Headquarters in Naples and at the Capodichino airbase also said that they knew nothing of the matter, and that nobody was available to comment.

Proverb: "Ambasciator non porta pena." (The ambassador does not carry the blame.)
"Holy cornuto", who should get the blame for this?

Renting a Villa in Naples: What You Should Know:

- Be careful and ask if the villa you are going to rent has everything that you will desire. If so, make absolutely sure nothing is taken when you leave including the complimentary soaps.

- Find out what's included. Does the villa have a full time staff, such as cooks, and housekeepers, or does it only have minimum housekeeping service that stops by regularly to make sure you are keeping the house spotless and in order. Ask if the lion chained to a marble column in the garden can be removed for the safety of the children.

- Are services such as air conditioning and heating extra? Most of the time these services are complimentary for the owners themselves do not receive city utility bills. It's quite difficult to read gas and electric meters don't have any.

- Ask to view photos of the villa, its layout, the gardens and a floor plan. Are the beds double, queen or twin? No need to ask why the villa has a remarkable resemblance to Tony Montana's villa in "Scarface".

- Are you planning to cook? If so, you will find a nice sized meat locker large enough to hold a couple of cows and sheep, a 100 gallon aquarium for the fresh lobster, a restaurant sized kitchen with all the modern conveniences and a lovely and impressive set of sharp cutlery.

- Does the villa staff, such as housekeepers and gardeners live in the villa or on the grounds? Find out if privacy will be an issue. You don't want a villa where your NATO paperwork will find their way to Iran and North Korea.

- Find out if there are emergency services quickly available. Where is the nearest hospital and does one of the hidden tunnels under the villa lead to it?

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