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Rice Pudding and "Baci delle Monache"

from Nice Cortelli Lucrezi, "Le Ricette della Nonna" - L'Arte del Mangiar Bene in Abruzzo, Japadre Editore, L'Aquila 1974 - out of print - reproduced by courtesy of Ms Cortelli's son, Dr Alfonso Lucrezi - all rights reserved

Rice Pudding with Mushrooms

Ingredients (for 4 persons): Rice 500 gr, mushrooms 500 gr, tomatoes 500 gr, two eggs, oil, onion, parlsey, celery, salt, pepper

Preparation:
Carefully clean the fresh mushrooms, wash them and chop into small pieces. Prepare a "soffritto" (fried mixture) with garlic, parlsey, celery, chopped onion and oil. When the mixture is "appassito" (soft) add the mushrooms and let cook. Sieve the tomatoes and add them when the mushrooms are almost cooked, then let the sauce on the fire to boil gently. Meanwhile boil the rice in salted water and drain when not yet completely cooked. Mix two eggs and add to the rice. Take an oven container, oil it and place layers of rice and mushrooms. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbles and bake for 20 minutes.


Baci delle Monache ("Kisses of the Nuns")
Ingredients: eggs (only the whites), white sugar (one tbs. for each egg), chopped almonds (one tbs. for each egg), round hosts.

Preparation: Mix the egg whites until they are solid. Add very delicately one tablespoon sugar and another of almonds for each white, always mixing. Sprinkle with flower an oven tin, and line the round hosts on it. Place a small pellet of compound on each host, and bake at moderate temperature.

Tradition: These cakes, so soft and light, were invented by those sweet creatures who pass silently along dark corridors, living in the shadow of the Sacrament in total devotion.

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