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Fonio patties, an ancient gluten free grain

What is this product that not even the Word spellcheck recognises as a term of the English language? It is an ancient gluten free grain that has been cultivated in Africa for over 5,000 years, yet only in 2018 the EFSA published its favourable opinion for the import and sale of this product, which is considered novel food as it has never before entered Europe.

It comes with such small grains that when I received the package to test and taste it, I thought I had been sent a flour!

Fonio is in some ways similar to millet, with an even milder flavour, but less sweet. From a nutritional point of view, it is a small marvel as it is rich in micronutrients, particularly iron and zinc, as well as essential amino acids not found in other cereals or pseudocereals. Its carbohydrate content is 74.4g per 100g of product, so very similar to other cereals, but it has a lower glycaemic index due to the presence of fibre and the absence of simple sugars, making it a valuable ally of ours.

The other element of great interest is the fact that this food grows on arid land with very little need for water, making it ideal for a world in which desertification and water scarcity are becoming increasingly urgent. I have to admit that I also like the idea of adding a new and environmentally sustainable member to the gluten free cereal family.

Fonio in the kitchen

On a purely gastronomic level, my surprise and satisfaction was mildness. These patties are an irresistible finger food and the almost ‘neutral’ taste of fonio, which can be somewhat compared to the ‘neutral’ taste of wheat, makes it suitable for so many preparations: in addition to crackers in which fonio has passed the test with flying colours, my next experiments will be bread and cakes, so I will keep you updated!

While waiting for it to be distributed in the various channels, those of you who want to learn more, taste and experience it, it will soon be on sale directly from the website of Obà Food.

While waiting to try fonio, you can replace it with millet when preparing these patties. Or try my Couscous patties.

Happy experimentation and bon appetit!

Fonio patties

18.82g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 300g previously prepared vegetable stock
  • 100g fonio grains*
  • 100g Delica pumpkin, peeled and with seeds removed
  • 60g ricotta cheese
  • 50g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 50g extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g breadcrumbs**
  • 40g leek
  • 30g sesame seeds
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for serving Fonio patties

sauces* as desired

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. In a saucepan, sauté the finely chopped leek in a little extra virgin olive oil; as soon as it has browned, add the diced pumpkin, then a ladle of stock and cook over a low flame. When the pumpkin is cooked, mash it with a wooden spoon, then add the remaining stock and throw in the Fonio grains. Let it cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool down.
  2. Once cold, add the egg, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and sesame and mix well; season with salt and pepper, then place in the fridge to cool and firm up for 2 hours (in case you don’t have time, skip the fridge step, but it will be a little more difficult to form the patties because the mixture will be softer; if it is too soft, add a bit of breadcrumbs). Form patties of the desired size: I made patties about 4 cm in diameter. Roll them on a dish containing some extra virgin olive oil, then in a second dish with breadcrumbs so that this adheres well to the surface of the patties.
  3. Place the patties on a baking tin covered with greaseproof paper, drizzle with a little oil and bake in a convection oven preheated to 200°C for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Serve the meatballs with sauces to taste, I served them with a mustard flavoured sauce.

polpette-di-fonio-senza-glutine-uno-chef-per-gaia

Version with gluten of Fonio patties

Replace the gluten free breadcrumbs with conventional breadcrumbs.

These Salt cod patties are perfect for a meal with family or friends, but are also ideal as finger food to enjoy standing in the garden. They are low in carbohydrates, making them a tasty and easy solution for bringing diabetes and celiac disease to the table.

The recipe is inspired by the patties eaten at the Osteria del baccalà in Vairano Scalo, in the province of Caserta, run by Antonio Ruggiero, a lecturer at the ISISS Marconi hotel school in the same locality, where I had the pleasure of tasting an entire menu based on salt cod, an experience that Antonio describes as “Therapeutic salt cod dinner“.

Starting from the story of Antonio’s preparation, I tried to remake them and I must admit that the result obtained is not very far from the original. The certain difference is that in this recipe they are breaded in corn flour, whereas the original Osteria recipe uses white flour.

Salt cod patties

13.18g carbohydrates per 100g patties without accompanying sauce

 Ingredients for the patties

  • 440g desalted cod
  • 150g boiled potatoes
  • 100g sheep or buffalo ricotta cheese
  • 65g coarse corn flour*
  • 50g milk
  • 35g gluten free white bread**
  • 5g salted capers
  • parsley
  • frying oil
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for the accompanying sauce

  • 300g Ciro Flagella tomato sauce
  • 25g triple tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • dried Crusco pepper or sweet paprika
  • chili
  • salt

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Cook the desalted cod for 20 minutes in a pan, covering it with equal amounts of water and milk. Remove the skin and any bones and let the cod cool down.
  2. Boil the potatoes, then peel and dice them. Soak the bread in milk.
  3. Prepare the accompanying sauce. Put a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and brown 1 clove of garlic; add the tomato paste and dilute it with a bit of water, then pour in the sauce; season with salt and cook for 15 minutes. Season with chopped Crusco pepper, or paprika, and chilli.
  4. Place the cooked cod in a bowl, crumble it with a fork, then add the diced potatoes, soaked bread, ricotta cheese, chopped capers and parsley and a pinch of pepper. Form small balls of 30g each, roll them in a dish containing a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil so that the corn flour sticks to the surface when rolled on it.
  5. Fry the patties in plenty of peanut oil until golden brown and serve with the spicy tomato sauce.
Polpette di baccalà

Salt cod patties

Version with gluten of Salt cod patties

Replace gluten-free bread with conventional bread in equal amounts.

Soy and pumpkin patties are a nice appetiser, a tasty dish that is hard to give up, a dish that comes when hunger starts to set in and prepares for the upcoming meal. That’s why it must certainly be appetising but, at the same time, balanced so as not to weigh you down and allow you to fully enjoy the following courses.

Soy and pumpkin patties fulfil all these characteristics: they are light, healthy and tasty. And to continue having fun with patties and meatballs, dive into the Patties and meatballs section: you will find a solution to make young and old happy.

And if you are looking for a salad to go with these patties, try this Dominican salad or just prepare a mixed green and tomato salad.

Ready to start cooking?

Soy and pumpkin patties

12.20g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 300g pumpkin cooked in the oven
  • 150g boiled yellow soy
  • 50g breadcrumbs**
  • 30g leek
  • parsley, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

Preparation

  1. Slice the leek thinly and put it in a pan with a little oil, brown it and add soy and pumpkin.
  2. Season with herbs and spices, add salt and blend in a food processor until creamy.
  3. Form into patties (we had about 14) and roll them in breadcrumbs. Brown in a non-stick frying pan with a little oil, then serve with fresh vegetables.

Polpettine-di-soia-e-zucca-senza-glutine-uno-chef-per-gaia

Version with gluten of Soy and pumpkin patties

The recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.

We are in the middle of the mushroom season, a foodstuff with intense aromas that can give that extra touch to even the simplest of dishes.
Today we are preparing them with meat and, precisely, with the food we consider to be ‘the favourite of young and old’: here is how to prepare delicious Turkey meatballs with porcini mushrooms.

And if you love meatballs, enjoy the “Meat balls and patties” section.

Turkey meatballs with Porcini mushrooms

1.8g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 550g minced turkey meat
  • 40g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 20g breadcrumbs**
  • 1 egg
  • 5g dried Porcini mushrooms
  • 5g salt
  • extra virgin olive oil

** Ingredients specific for celiacs

Preparation

  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in lukewarm water.
    Meanwhile, place the ground turkey meat in a bowl, add the egg, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and mix well. Remove the soaked mushrooms from the water and save the water for cooking the meatballs.
  2. Cut the mushrooms into small pieces, add them to the meat, season with salt and mix again. Form patties and place them in a non-stick frying pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil; brown them on both sides, then add the mushroom soaking water, put the lid on and cook the patties. After about 20 minutes, if a lot of liquid is present, remove the lid and brown the meatballs before serving.

ricetta-polpette-di-tacchino-ai-porcini-ph.-chiara-marando

Version with gluten of Turkey meatballs with Porcini mushrooms

Replace the gluten-free breadcrumbs with standard breadcrumbs.

By now you know, our ‘Meatballs and patties’ section is designed to collect many original recipes to prepare the food par excellence that both young and old ones enjoy. Today the proposal is Spinach meatballs.

So, today we propose a perfect version to get children to eat spinach, a vegetable rich in minerals that is often not very popular.

Here are the ingredients for our recipe. And if you want more ideas for meatballs and patties, have fun here!

Spinach meatballs

6.58g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 600g lean minced beef
  • 150g cooked spinach
  • 50g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 30g breadcrumbs**
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil
  • 20g wholemeal rice flour*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt, extra virgin olive oil, sage, milk

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation of the Spinach meatballs

  1. Mix the minced meat with the egg, breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan; add salt to taste. Finely chop the spinach and incorporate it into the minced meat mixture.
  2. Form patties of about 5cm in diameter, flour them lightly and place them in a non-stick pan with a little extra virgin olive oil, a clove of garlic and two sage leaves.
  3. Brown them on both sides, then lower the heat, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, adding a little milk and a few tablespoons of water if necessary.
  4. Serve piping hot.

polpette-di-spinaci-blog-uno-chef-per-gaia-ph-chiara-marando

Version with gluten of Spinach patties

Replace gluten-free breadcrumbs with standard breadcrumbs and rice flour with wheat flour.

For “Friends’ recipes” today we share an idea that Aura sent us: the recipe of Falafel.

The think that struck me in this recipe is that chickpeas are not cooked, but soaked in water for a long time to make the dried chickpeas soft enough to be blended to a creamy texture: this is something very different from the use we make of chickpeas in Italy.

This is an extremely tasty North African and Middle Eastern dish consisting of spiced and fried pulse balls. An appetising main course, also perfect for children and those who choose a vegan diet. To stay in the same geographical area, try an enchanting rosewater dessert: Mahalabiya.

Let’s see how to prepare them!

Falafel

20.78g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 150g dried chickpeas
  • 50g onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2g parsley
  • 2g cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate
  • ½ tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/3 tsp pepper
  • salt to taste, oil for frying

Preparation

  1. Soak the chickpeas for 24 hours, then dry them well on a tea towel.
  2. Blend in a processor until the mixture is not completely creamy, but remains somewhat grainy. Add finely chopped garlic, onion and parsley to the mixture, then add pepper, salt, cilantro, cumin and bicarbonate of soda and mix well (in case the ingredients remain too divided, blend again). Finally, add the sesame seeds.
  3. Using two soup spoons, form small elongated patties and fry them in hot oil. We made them round to speed up the process. Be careful not to overcook the patties, they must be thrown little by little into the boiling oil because the presence of bicarbonate in the mixture will make it fizz, so it is difficult to see when the patties are ready.
  4. Once golden brown on both sides, drain them and let them dry on kitchen paper.

Falafel

Version with gluten of Falafel

The recipe is naturally gluten-free, so no adaptation is needed.

 

They are the food that everyone likes, young and old, but they are also the ideal solution for making an appetising main course that is easy to prepare and convenient to store: Meatballs with tomato sauce.

Meatballs are a must in the kitchen that can be prepared according to tradition, or by combining new ingredients.

Today’s recipe means authenticity: these meatballs are perfect for dipping bread in the sauce when the meatballs are over. Try also Turkey meatballs with Porcini mushrooms.

Meatballs with tomato sauce

4.89g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 600g lean minced beef
  • 300g tomato sauce
  • 50g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 30g breadcrumbs**
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil
  • 20g wholemeal rice flour*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Roll up your sleeves… let’s get started! Mix the minced meat with egg, breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan, and season with salt. When the mixture is ready, form into balls about 3cm in diameter, flour them lightly and place them in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Brown them, then add the tomato sauce and the whole clove of garlic, previously peeled. Then season with salt, cover with a lid and leave to cook for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
La cottura delle polpette al sugo

Cooking meatballs with sauce

3. Serve the meatballs piping hot with their sauce.

Le polpette al sugo pronte per essere gustate

Meatballs with sauce ready to be enjoyed

Version with gluten of Meatballs with tomato sauce

Replace gluten free breadcrumbs with standard breadcrumbs, no other adaptation is needed.