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 12/30/08 Paella Risotto from CookiesFromItaly.com

"Chi fa da s, fa per tre." (He who works for himself does the work of three (people). If you want something done, do it yourself.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Linguine with Tomatoes and Artichoke Hearts
  -Spinach, Ricotta, and Prosciutto Cannelloni
  -Paella Risotto

Thanks again for subscribing and a great New Year!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       


 Cookie of the Week: Santo Trio

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 Recipe: Linguine with Tomatoes and Artichoke Hearts

Linguine with Tomatoes and Artichoke Hearts
Linguine con Pomodori e Carciofi

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
One 16-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
One 14 and 3/4-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
12 ounces linguine, freshly cooked
1 and 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano cheese (about 5 ounces)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.

Add onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, reserved juices, basil and oregano and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Add artichokes with marinade to sauce and cook 2 minutes.

Add pasta and 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese to sauce.

Toss until sauce coats pasta and mixture is heated through, about 2 minutes.

Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer pasta to large bowl. Serve, passing remaining 1 cup Parmigiano separately. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spinach, Ricotta, and Prosciutto Cannelloni

Spinach, Ricotta, and Prosciutto Cannelloni
Cannelloni con Spinaci, Ricotta, e Prosciutto

Ingredients:

Two 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach
One 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
1 and 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano cheese (about 5 ounces)
3 large eggs
1/4 lb thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped fine
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves (preferably flat-leafed)
Ten 7-inch squares instant (no boil) lasagne*
About 6 cups winter tomato sauce

Directions:

Cook spinach according to package instructions and drain well. Squeeze spinach dry by handfuls and chop fine. In a bowl stir together spinach, ricotta, 1 cup Parmigiano, eggs, prosciutto, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350F. and oil a 13-by 9-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl of cold water soak lasagne squares until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain squares and pat dry between paper towels.

Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce on bottom of prepared dish. Working with 1 square at a time, spread about 1/3 cup filling along one edge and roll up to enclose filling, leaving ends open.

Arrange cannelloni as formed, seam sides down, in one layer in dish. Spoon 2 cups sauce evenly over cannelloni, covering them, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmigiano.

Bake cannelloni in middle of oven 30 minutes and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serve cannelloni with remaining tomato sauce, heated. Serves 6 as an entree.

*Note: Available at specialty foods shops and many supermarkets

That's it!

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 Recipe: Paella Risotto

Paella Risotto

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 lb hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 lb clams, scrubbed
1/2 lb mussels, scrubbed, debearded

Four 8-ounce bottles clam juice
1 teaspoon saffron threads

2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 lb uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
One 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
2 large plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped

Directions:

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.

Add chopped onion and cook until almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add sausage meat.

Cook until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up with fork, about 5 minutes.

Add clams and mussels.

Increase heat to medium-high, cover and cook until shells open, about 5 minutes.

Transfer clams and mussels to medium bowl, discarding any that do not open. Cover shellfish and keep warm.

Meanwhile, combine clam juice and saffron threads in small saucepan; bring mixture to simmer.

Reduce heat to low; keep warm.

Add arborio rice to same saucepan that clams and mussels were cooked in and stir 2 minutes over medium heat.

Add dry white wine and cook until wine is evaporated, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes.

Add warm clam juice mixture and simmer until rice is just tender and liquid is creamy, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.

Mix shrimp, peas and chopped tomatoes into risotto and cook until shrimp are just cooked through, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.

Season risotto to taste with salt and pepper.

Top risotto with clams and mussels and serve immediately. Serves 4.

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:

Tomb Raiders Resume Shoveling

Rome - October 14, 2008 - Tomb raiders have made a surprise comeback on the Italian art trafficking scene, art police said Tuesday.

Presenting a report on thefts and recoveries in the first nine months of 2008 to Culture Minister Sandro Bondi, art police chief Gianni Nistri said that after years of decreased activity, tomb raiders had illegally dug up relics at 53 archaeological sites in Italy this year.

But Nistri said that the number of thefts was nevertheless down since 2007, with a provisional total of 13,403 culturally important items stolen and 784 thefts of artworks reported. The nine-month period showed an "extremely considerable" improvement in the recovery of stolen artifacts with over 48,000 items seized both in Italy and abroad, Nistri said.

The value of goods retrieved also increased compared to 2007, at around 80 million euros for artifacts of cultural relevance, 30 million euros for counterfeit works and another 16 million for other types of confiscation.

Congratulating the art police on their work, Bondi said they deserved their international reputation and served as "a model for other countries".

"Sta pippa", it's amazing the leaning Tower of Pisa hasn't been dismantled and smuggled out of the country yet.

Unfortunately, the illicit trade in stolen Italian antiquities is allowed to flourish because dealers, collectors and museum curators have persuaded governments around the globe to turn a blind eye.

Italy's tomb raiders, the "tombaroli", with their shabby clothes and broken fingernails, wait for dusk to ramble through the hills and valleys of northern Lazio and Sicily, scanning the terrain for a bulge, an indentation, a type of flower, anything that might give a clue to the ancients. The most important tools of their trade are:

- matches (to test for the presence of toxic gas in the tombs),
- a torch,
- a shovel and
- a "spiedo" (a thin iron rod which is inserted into the earth at an angle and twisted until it hits something solid).

They probe the earth, and where it hits something solid, they dig.

The "Nonno" (grandfather) of Lazio's tombaroli is a 66-year-old, mint-sucking, chain-smoking, Viterbo native called Antonio.

Nonno Antonio: "I am not a criminal," he said. "I find things and I sell them. You should not judge us - without us, these things would stay underground." Antonio has, he estimates, ransacked 2,200 tombs in his career - "mostly Etruscan, they're shallower - the Romans I'm leaving to future tombaroli".

The Italian keystone cops: "The only way to stop those guys is to hide a man behind every bush every night, and we can't afford to do that. To convict, we need to catch them red-handed, which is almost impossible. If the tombaroli see us coming, they drop everything and say they were out for a walk." His superiors felt that, in the absence of better resources, it was more productive to concentrate on burglaries and speeding tickets than on the elusive tombaroli.

WARNING: Tourists looking for black market bargains have been known to be conned by tombaroli who lead them to tombs where they place cheap vases two months earlier.

"What a magnificent amphora, Signore Antonio! - Grazie! Thank you! Merci! Danke!"

"Uh, what is the cultural significance of the symbols "P.R.C." on this amphora...you grandissimo figlio di una meretrice?"

"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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