Limoncello – Week 2

 Shake it up!

Message From The President

Buon giorno e ciao a tutti!
Good morning and hi to everyone!

The month of October may be gone, but we still have our fundraising dinner, An Evening in Sicily, on November 9th that will conclude our Heritage Month.

During this past week a few of our board members taught a Limoncello class and I can tell you that it was a huge success.

As we begin to prepare for our American holiday of Thanksgiving the Italians (who don’t have this festivity) are organizing something more regional and relating to the different areas of Italy; these are what is commonly known as the Sagre di paese.  A Sagra di paese is a popular festival that generally occurs at a time between the end of September to the middle/end of November and is a festivity celebrating the harvest of local produce that includes wine, olives, vegetables, meats, cheeses and much more. Many times, this is accompanied with a fair and market which can last for days. People gather together as family and friends to participate in these Sagras. In many instances this also coincides with the Patron Saint festival of the town, which adds a religious aspect to this celebration.

Initially, even the United States and Canada celebrated a regional form of Thanksgiving beginning in 1621 that varied in dates from September to December. Modern Thanksgiving in the U.S. was officially proclaimed in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln as the final Thursday in November in an attempt to create a sense of unity between the Northern and Southern states. However, some states were reluctant to recognize this and a nationwide date was not realized until the Reconstruction was completed in the 1870s. On December 26, 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint resolution changing the date of Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November hoping that this earlier date would provide the country with an economic boost.

In any case, I am happy that in the world (no matter whether one is in a small town in Italy or a huge U.S. metropolis) we can find a time to unite with family and friends and celebrate nature’s bounty and can offer thanks.

Auguro a tutti Voi un Felice Giorno del Ringraziamento
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving
Thank you

Paolo Bartesaghi, President

Limoncello – Week by Week

Week 1: By now, your liquid should be starting to change color.

Don’t forget to shake it up!

Also – the Limoncello recipe handed out at our class was correct – CORRECT FOR TWO JARS.

You will need to divide it in half for one jar.

Giving Locally

We love filling out this BIG check!!

2017 Festival donations surpassed $5,600 for the Food Bank of Iowa.

Thank you everyone for helping us support this fine organization.

Halloween in Italy

Read how this USA holiday is celebrated in Italy.

2017 Outstanding Citizens


Rose Russo and Nancy Danca were presented the Outstanding Citizen Award at this year’s Columbus Day Dinner for their ‘above and beyond’ contributions to the Italian-American community.

Thank you, ladies, for your continued service.

An Evening in Sicily

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the rich cuisine of Italy prepared by Sicilian chefs at this one-of-a-kind annual dinner on November 9, 2017.

Reserve your seat …

Limoncello Class


Please check back for the next scheduled class.

Learn how to make this popular Italian liqueur in a hands-on class,

October 25th at the Italian-American Cultural Center of Iowa.

More information.

Read more

Italian-American Heritage Festival of IA

July 28th & 29th 2017

Western Gateway Park

See what’s happening


Italian Easter Bread

This traditional Easter bread is topped with colored raw eggs, which cook as the bread bakes. It makes for a pretty centerpiece.




2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup 2% milk

3 tablespoons butter, divided

2 eggs

1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit

1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds

1/2 teaspoon aniseed

5 uncooked eggs, dyed


1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk

Decorator candies, optional


In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a large saucepan, heat milk and 2 tablespoons butter to 120°-130°. Add dry ingredients; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down; turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in fruit, almonds and aniseed until blended. Let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a 24-in. rope. Loosely twist ropes together; place on a greased baking sheet and form into a ring. Pinch ends together. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Gently separate ropes and tuck dyed eggs into openings. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. For glaze, in a bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over bread. Sprinkle with candies if desired. Yield: 1 loaf (20 slices).