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 12/18/07 Hazelnut Pudding from CookiesFromItaly.com

"Una buona mamma vale cento maestre." (A good mother is worth a hundred teachers.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Peperoni Ripiene con Funghi e Briciole di Pane
  -Gnocchi di Latte
  -Budino Di Nocciole

Enjoy the recipes and the complimentary news article report from "Only In Italy.com".

Arrivederci!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       


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 Recipe: Peperoni Ripiene con Funghi e Briciole di Pane

Peperoni Ripiene con Funghi e Briciole di Pane
Peppers Stuffed with Mushrooms and Bread Crumbs

Ingredients:

4 large peppers (preferably green bell)
10 white Mushrooms - chopped coarsely
2 medium anchovy fillets - chopped very fine
4 cloves garlic - chopped coarsely
16 pitted olives (preferably black Sicilian)
1 and 1/2 cups bread - stale pieces about 3/4 to 1 inch in size
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Place the bread into a bowl and add warm water. Allow to soak for about 15-20 minutes, then squeeze out all excess water.

Cut the tops off of the peppers, and rinse to remove the seeds. Turn upside down on paper towels to drain.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Mix the mushrooms, anchovy fillets, garlic, olives, bread and olive oil. Mix to coat all the ingredients. Add enough water to make a loose, but not wet filling. Let this sit for about 5 minutes to allow the ingredients to absorb some of the water. Add salt and pepper to taste, and mix again.

Pour a little olive oil into each pepper and stuff each with about 1/4 of the stuffing. Top each pepper with its original cut top. Any excess stuffing can be baked along with the peppers.

Place the peppers in an oven proof casserole just large enough to hold them upright. Drizzle olive oil on them and bake for 1 hour.

Serve hot or warm. Serves 4.

That's it!


 Recipe: Gnocchi di Latte

Gnocchi di Latte
Milk Gnocchi

Ingredients:

1 quart of milk
1 and 1/4 cups sifted potato starch
8 yolks
Vanilla extract to taste
3-4 level tablespoons sugar to sweeten the gnocchi (optional)

Directions:

Mix everything together as if you were making cream, and set it to cook in a pot, stirring constantly.

Continue cooking for a few minutes longer after the mixture has stiffened, then pour it out on a plate or pan so it's a finger and a half high.

Cut it into squares once it has cooled.

Stack the squares in a symmetrical pattern on a heat-proof dish, sprinkling them with bits of butter, and heat them through in the oven; serve hot.

That's it!


 Recipe: Budino Di Nocciole

Budino Di Nocciole
Hazelnut Pudding

Ingredients:

3 cups milk
6 eggs, separated
1/2 lb shelled hazelnuts
3/4 cup sugar
6 ounces savoiardi (light, airy cookies, substitute ladyfingers if need be)
4 teaspoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Blanch the nuts, peel them, and dry them either in the sun or by the fire, then grind them very finely in a mortar, adding the sugar a little bit at a time.

Set the milk on the fire, and when it comes to a boil, crumble the savoiardi into it.

Boil the mixture for five minutes, then stir in the butter and pass the mixture through a strainer. Return it to the fire and add the sugar-nut powder, cooking until the sugar melts.

Let the mixture cool, then stir in the yolks, one at a time.

Whip the whites until firm, fold them into the pudding, and cook it between two flames or bake it (at 350 F) for about a half hour. Serve cold. Serves 6-8.

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:

Battle of the Oranges

January 16 - In Ivrea, a northwestern Italian town near Torino, one of the strangest and most ancient Italian carnival celebrations takes place every year. Although the tomato throwing battle "La Tomatina" which takes place the last week of August in Bunol, Spain claims to be the world's largest food fight, they are incorrect in their claim. This is the world's largest food fight without a doubt!

Let's go to the history of the Carnival. The first revolt was that of Violetta in 1194, a second revolt appears in the annals for 1266, when the men of Ivrea "expelled" the Marquis of Monferrato. This event is enshrined in the "Preda in Dora" ceremony described in the account of the Carnival of Ivrea that follows. But the most important and remembered event took place in 1194. At that time a Count that ruled the town, (Conte Rainieri di Biandrate) had made a new law to sleep with every new bride, he called it the "right of the first night".

Well, he got away with it until a miller's daughter named Violetta rebelled against him.

Violetta's father ran one of the floating mills that once exploited the waters of the Dora. She killed him with a sword she had hidden under her dress, and then she proceeded in showing his cut off head to the people, she then started a fire in the castle (Castellazzo), which started a revolt against the tyrant's troops. They fought by mainly throwing stones to them, and they won. That fight for liberty is recreated with the Battles of the Oranges, which substitute stones.

Every year there is a new Mugnaia (miller's daughter) chosen who is the heroine of the festivities and is accompanied by a corollary of characters that represent the historical heritage of the town including: the General and his staff, soldiers, musicians and more than 1,500 masked characters that perform in historical parades and pageants throughout the period. Then, 400 tons of oranges are used as ammunition as rival factions battle in a satirical but well-fought re-enactment of the peoples revolt against their lords many centuries ago.

There are more than 40 carri (decorated horse drawn carts) that carry 12 paying throwers (who represent the castle) through the 5 piazzas of the city where over 3,500 rebellious warriors representing 9 teams attempt to overwhelm them with their vicious orange throwing techniques. The winning team is determined by a jury who takes into account the decorations of the piazza (each team gets a half of a piazza to decorate) and the fury and accuracy of their orange throwing talents. The streets, walls and participants take on the color of the squashed and splattered fruit.

Events draw to an end with the final burning of the scarli (which are large wooden poles) and a codfish and polenta feast in the Borghetto area of the city plus, during breaks in the ceremonies, there are dishes of fat beans being handed out (a tradition which dates back to 1325).

"Ignoranti, cacchio!"

The United Nations should ask Italy if it has any initiatives on solving the world hunger crisis. It would be fun to hear it explain the ammunition arsenal of 400 tons of oranges it builds up every year.

Italy is the most powerful generator of emotions in the world. Emotions for us are not something to be ashamed of but some idiot Italian towns just don't know what to do with themselves when in the pursuit of emotions (and tourists).

So, what do they come up with? They exceed their production quota of oranges as agreed within the European Economic Community so that the excess comes to be destroyed (just to keep up the retail price).

Our incredibly brilliant co-citizens cooperate in the difficult path towards a unified Europe by pelting each other (and tourists) in the face with oranges.

And you, the naive but much appreciated tourist!

What would drive you to visit an unknown town in northern Italy in the middle of the January cold so that you can participate in a citrus fruit fight and possibly lose an eye or tooth? But at least you can enjoy the scrumptious codfish, polenta (cornmeal) and fat beans while you're recovering from your injuries in your hotel.

"Only In Italy" advice: Go to any simple but nice little Italian restaurant, sit at an outdoor table, order a nice dish of pasta with a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, admire the piazza, the locals and live a little.

"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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