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When you discover a product that you have never tasted and never heard of before, it is a bit like receiving a gift: so let me introduce Couve Manteiga, the cabbage originally from Brazil, now also grown in Italy, which I have cooked in two mouth-watering versions, namely in Pesto and in Vegetarian rolls with Couve pesto, perfect also for the little ones at home.

Couve Manteiga is a broad-leaved plant that is reminiscent, especially in its use and scent, of kale. Its leaves are beautiful and scented and, turned into pesto, give us a truly inviting emerald green colour, while eaten raw they are crispy and spicy with a typical bitter aftertaste.

la foglia di couve manteiga

Couve Manteiga leaves

It is a vegetable rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre, which is excellent for the diet of those with diabetes as well as for low-calorie diets since 100g contain only 5 carbohydrates and 32 kilo calories.

Personally, I discovered it thanks to the editors of Cuoci Cuoci, a platform where you will find lots of news and recipes, in addition to my proposal of Vegetarian rolls with Couve pesto.

If you want to order Couve, you can contact Azienda Agraria Evangelisti  (gabrieleeva@tiscali.it) or order it by phone at: +39 346-324-5132).

Vegetarian rolls with Couve pesto

21.5g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for the pesto (you will use about half)

  • 200g already blanched Couve Manteiga leaves
  • 30g Pecorino cheese, grated
  • 30g almonds, peeled
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for the rolls

  • 300g tomato sauce
  • 200g Stelline Massimo Zero pasta**
  • 8 leaves of Couve Manteiga
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation of pesto

  1. Wash the Couve Manteiga leaves well, remove the central rib and blanch the rest in boiling salted water for about 1 minute, then with a skimmer remove the leaves from the pot and throw them into cold water.
  2. Place the Pecorino cheese and almonds in a blender and blend to a flour.
  3. Add to this flour, 200g of the blanched and slightly squeezed leaves, a drizzle of oil, a pinch of salt and pepper. Add a little of the cooking water and process in the blender until creamy.

il pesto di couve manteiga

Preparation of rolls

  1. Blanch a further 8 Couve leaves cut in half at the central rib, which you have removed. As with pesto, once blanched, toss the leaves in cold water, then drain and lay them on a tray to dry slightly.
  2. Boil the Stelline pasta in plenty of salted water and, once drained, season them with Couve pesto: the amount prepared is larger than the amount needed to season the pasta, so you can also enjoy the pesto on a slice of toasted bread as an appetiser!
  3. Pour a little oil in a non-stick pan, add the tomato sauce, season with salt and let it cook for a few minutes.
  4. In the meantime, spread out the Couve leaves and stuff them with the Stelline pasta, closing them to form rolls.
  5. Place the rolls in the pan with the tomato sauce, let them season for 5 minutes, turning them and serve hot or warm.

involtini di couve manteiga

Version with gluten of Vegetarian rolls with Couve pesto

Replace the Stelline Massimo Zero pasta with a durum wheat pasta, while no other adaptation is necessary.

Vegetables are fun, colourful, tasty and healthy. In short, there are many good reasons to use them in the kitchen in the preparation of tasty dishes that can become complete meals. They are never missing from our table, and today I want to propose a perfect recipe for a meal full of that goodness we love so much: Vegetable mix au gratin.

The appearance of the pie will certainly make the vegetables more attractive to the little ones at home, who are generally not very attracted to them, but in this preparation, the presence of other tasty and stringy ingredients will win their aversion… so we will be able to ‘train’ taste so that vegetables become an unfailing companion of all meals. And for this unusual workout, I also recommend the Three-colour flan irresistible!

Vegetable mix au gratin

19.22g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 700g peeled yellow potatoes
  • 100g yellow pepper
  • 100g red pepper
  • 100g smoked semi-hard cheese
  • 60g red onion
  • 60g extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g pitted green olives*
  • 50g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 50g breadcrumbs**
  • 1 egg
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Boil the potatoes until soft; mash them with a potato masher and let them cool, then season with grated Parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, place the thinly sliced red onion in a non-stick frying pan, or wok, with 30g of oil and brown it. Add the diced yellow and red pepper and let it cook for about ten minutes to soften.
  3. Take an oven dish and form a layer of mashed potatoes with half of the mixture, cover it with the sautéed peppers, the green olives cut in half and the slices of smoked cheese. Cover everything with the remaining potatoes, sprinkle the surface with breadcrumbs and drizzle with 30 grams of extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Finally, place in a convection oven preheated to 200°C for about 20 minutes, the surface should turn golden.
verdure-gratinate-senza-glutine-uno-chef-per-gaia

Vegetable mix au gratin

Version with gluten of Vegetable mix au gratin

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

Finding a product that is perfect for both the needs of diabetes and celiac disease is a rather rare occurrence, so discovering Barilla Legumotti on supermarket shelves was more than a surprise: it was a real joy and I decided to cook Legumotti with vegetables.

In fact, the label of Legumotti with red lentils, chickpeas and peas shows only these three ingredients in the quantities of 60%, 20% and 20% respectively. The total carbohydrate value of Legumotti is 48.3g per 100g of dry product, which is then half as much once cooked, as they double their weight by absorbing some of the cooking water. By adding the vegetables, we then provide lots of fibre which will slow down the absorption of the complex carbohydrates from the pulses… and this is what made our day with perfect blood glucose levels!

But all with a truly unexpected treat for the palate: my children expressly asked us to unleash our creativity to bring this ‘mini-pasta‘ (which reminds us so much of the Sardinian fregola that we love, but have never found in a good gluten free version) to the table at least once a week.

I’d say we really like this challenge, since with the kids on summer holiday the need to prepare a midday meal as well needs an extra effort of organisation and imagination!

Legumotti with vegetables

14.94g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 350g courgettes
  • 300g Barilla Legumotti*
  • 200g carrots
  • 100g semi-hard cheese
  • 90g cherry tomatoes
  • 60g pitted black olives
  • 50g onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • basil, extra virgin olive oil and salt as needed

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Chop the onion finely and sauté it with the garlic clove over high heat in a wok or non-stick pan with a little extra virgin olive oil, stirring constantly. In the meantime, cut the carrots into rather small cubes and the courgettes into slightly larger cubes (so that the cooking time is the same, as the carrot generally takes a little longer) and add them to the onion.
  2. Always keep the heat fairly high and stir occasionally so that the vegetables cook quickly without burning. Once ready (they should remain crispy), season with salt, remove the garlic and set aside.
  3. Cook the Legumotti in salted water, drain them and stop cooking by running them under cold water for a few seconds.
  4. Pour the Legumotti into a bowl, add the sautéed vegetables, quartered cherry tomatoes, pitted olives, diced cheese and season with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, chopped basil to taste and a pinch of salt if required.
  5. Serve the Legumotti warm or cold.

legumotti-alle-verdure-barilla

Version with gluten of Legumotti with vegetables

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

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.