Posts

Salads are a perfect solution for summer and this Legumotti salad mixed in a smooth, velvety Swiss chard cream, completed by sweet caramelised Tropea onions will give you the pleasure of a great gourmet dish.

The recipe is naturally gluten free and is rich in vegetable protein and fibre, suitable to be eaten at lunch or dinner, warm or cold; it is perfect as a main course if eaten in a large portion, or as an appetiser or first course if served in smaller quantities.

The Swiss chard cream will be a real surprise that you can use for so many other preparations: use it as an accompanying sauce for flans and fresh stuffed pasta, roast meat, mixed salads and, of course, as a sauce for pasta dishes (gnocchi with this cream are delicious).

Caramelised Tropea onions don’t need to be introduced. The only attention we have to pay is to the sugar they contain, either naturally or by adding brown sugar to caramelise them. In fact, onions behave like some other vegetables (e.g. carrots and peppers) which, when cooked, considerably increase the amount of carbohydrates per 100g: the raw onion contains 5.7g/100g, whereas once cooked, the value rises to 23.6g/100g.

For this reason, I have given you the carbohydrate value of caramelised onions separately so you can better calculate the carb count when adding them to your dish or preparing them for many other applications. Oh yes, because once you have prepared the caramelised Tropea onion, you can use it to season a pasta dish, fill a sandwich or focaccia, accompany a meat or fish main course, or even to complete a spoon dessert that I happened to taste on one of my culinary adventures.

Insalata di Legumotti con cipolla di Tropea caramellata

Legumotti salad with Swiss chard cream, caramelised Tropea onion and topped with grated salted ricotta

Legumotti Salad with Caramelised Tropea onion

24.52g carbohydrates per 100g cooked Legumotti pasta with Swiss chard cream

47.62g carbohydrates per 100g caramelised Tropea onion

 

Ingredients for the Legumotti and Swiss chard cream

  • 250g Barilla Legumotti*
  • 300g fresh Swiss chard already cleaned (without the harder white ribs)
  • 80g spring onion
  • 20g extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salted ricotta
  • marjoram
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for caramelised onion

  • 450g Tropea onions
  • 30g apple vinegar
  • 20g extra virgin olive oil
  • 20g brown sugar
  • salt and pepper

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

Preparation

  1. Start with the caramelised onions, which are the most time-consuming preparation. Cut the onions in half and slice each half into fan shapes. Wilt them in a non-stick pan with extra virgin olive oil on low heat and with the lid on; after 10 minutes, add the apple vinegar and brown sugar; season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 10 minutes, leaving the pan uncovered in case there is liquid on the bottom. Put the onions aside.
  2. Wash and clean the Swiss chard. Put a pot of lightly salted water on the stove and when it boils, blanch the Swiss chard for a minute, drain it and throw it into cold water. Pour it into a colander so that it drains well.
  3. Chop the leek and put it in a non-stick pan with the extra virgin olive oil and the clove of garlic; add the lightly wrung Swiss chard; season with salt and pepper, a pinch of marjoram and leave to gain flavour for about ten minutes. Remove the garlic, transfer the vegetables to a food processor and blend them to a smooth, homogeneous cream.
  4. Put a pan of water on the stove, add salt and when it comes to the boil, cook the Legumotti for 9 minutes. Drain them and put them in a bowl. Dress them with the Swiss chard cream and serve them on individual plates. Complete with caramelised onions and a grating of salted ricotta cheese. You can eat Legumotti warm or cold as you like: I love them in all preparations, so here is another recipe that may interest you, Legumotti with vegetables.

Version with gluten

The recipe is naturally gluten-free, so no adaptation is required

Why Crostini with non-liver pâté? Tuscany is the home of liver pâté and Florence has become our adopted city because it is in this splendid city that Gaia and Nico are followed by the Meyer Hospital diabetology department, directed by our splendid Doc., Sonia Toni, who is always present, even at a distance, with timely information and medical and psychological support when worries prevail.

Not surprisingly, Dr. Toni is present in this blog to answer any questions about diabetes that you may have.

So, every three months, we go to the beautiful Medici city for my children’s regular check-ups and we always try, given the distance we cover and the fact that the day cannot include other commitments, to include a little visit to the city centre and maybe a lunch of Tuscan cuisine, which we love!

On one of many occasions, I went with Gaia to Trattoria Cammillo (https://www.facebook.com/Cammillo-201813633167651/) which, despite its name, is a fairly elegant and not exactly inexpensive restaurant in the centre of Florence, very close to the Arno river with a gluten free menu. Since Gaia had never tasted the typical Crostini with liver pâté and having finally found them gluten free, I recommended that she order this dish: I must say that Gaia and livers are not exactly in the same taste sphere! I’ll spare you the tale of some difficult moments at the table, and it’s a good thing I like Crostini so much, so with a quick exchange of dishes we got out of the impasse.

So I thought I would prepare some Crostini that are in every way similar to this Tuscan speciality, except for the ingredients used in their preparation: lentils! And I must confess one thing in all honesty: they did not make me miss the original!

Crostini with non-liver pâté   

16.29g carbohydrates per 100g

 Ingredients

  • 160g mixed lentils (red, yellow and green) (will be about 400g cooked)
  • 100g red wine
  • 50g sheep’s milk ricotta
  • 50g onions
  • 30 g butter
  • 1 bunch of aromatic herbs (sage, rosemary, parsley and thyme)
  • 1 truffle (to taste)
  • salt and pepper
  • bread (e.g. these gluten free rustic loaves)

Preparation

  1. Rinse the lentils, put them in a pot with the bunch of aromatic herbs, cover with water and boil for about 1 hour until the lentils are soft enough to mash.
  2. Chop the onion finely and sauté it in a pan with butter; add the wine and cook for about ten minutes. Put the onion and lentils in a food processor, add the ricotta and blend to a cream; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the pâté in a bowl sprinkled with truffle shavings and serve with bread croutons.

Version with gluten of Crostini with non-liver pâté

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