Posts

When talking about white wine in the strip of land from Parma to Piacenza, the first thought is Malvasia because this grape, whether vinified to obtain a sparkling, still or raisin wine, gives rise to an Aromatic Malvasia that is perfect for dishes prepared with local ingredients, just like this Cous cous with lentil sauce.

Aromatic Malvasia: Emilia lifestyle

Malvasia is part of the Emilia everyday life and in the province of Piacenza, in September, this wine is celebrated at the Valtidone Wine Fest, four weekends dedicated to wine & food living, i.e. dedicated not only to the discovery of local wines, but also of typical gastronomic specialities and of the historical-cultural heritage.

To enrich the festival with new ideas for dishes to be paired with Malvasia Aromatica di Candia dei Colli Piacentini, the organisers asked the Italian Food Blogger Association to select 30 Italian Food&Wine Bloggers to create a recipe with the ingredients of a Mystery Box containing food products from Piacenza and a bottle of wine selected by the Strada dei Vini e dei Sapori dei Colli Piacentini involving its local wineries.

Did you see what my Mystery Box contained? My protagonist is a bottle of Malvasia Aromatica di Candia, which I am expected to pair with a recipe prepared using at least 2 of the following ingredients: Pancetta piacentina, Borgotaro Porcini mushrooms, Valtidone saffron, honey and shallots.

My Malvasia di Candia is produced by the Mossi 1558 Winery and bears a decidedly romantic name: Baciamano, i.e. hand-kissing, because it is gallant and sensual, just like this ancient gesture, characteristics that have enabled it to be awarded the Gold Medal by both The Wine Hunter and the Japan Women’s Wine Awards.

My recipe to be paired with Aromatic Malvasia

My recipe is the result of combining ingredients I generally use in the cooler months of the year with cous cous, a dish I love to enjoy in summer because it enables me not to use the oven and to prepare fast and tasty one-course meals. Since the perfect one-course meals for my children are prepared with pulses and vegetables, here is my culinary proposal to be paired with Malvasia Baciamano.

Its spicy aroma pairs perfectly with the notes of shallot and dried Porcini mushrooms. Its intense flavour with marked acidity complements this dish whose personality is enhanced by the unmistakeable sapidity of a super crispy Pancetta that completes the sensory experience of a cous cous that we can serve in any season of the year never feeling to have prepared something wrong.

Cous cous with lentil sauce and crispy Pancetta paired with Malvasia aromatica di Candia Baciamano

Cous cous with lentil sauce and crispy Pancetta paired with Malvasia aromatica di Candia Baciamano

Cous cous with lentil sauce

19.44g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4-6 servings

  • 400g tomato sauce
  • 200g Chickpea and red lentil Cous cous Bia*
  • 200g carrots
  • 150g lentils
  • 60g Pancetta piacentina*
  • 15g dried Porcini mushrooms
  • vegetable or meat stock*
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • dried oregano
  • 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

  1. Prepare the cous cous adding 200g warm slightly salted water to the cous cous; leave to rest for about 15 minutes, then separate the cous cous grains well using a fork.
  2. Soak the Porcini mushrooms in lukewarm water.
  3. Boil the lentils in plenty of slightly salted water for about 25 minutes, then drain them.
  4. In a large pan, heat up 20g of extra virgin olive oil and brown the finely chopped shallot and the cloves of garlic. Add the carrots sliced in rounds and the soaked mushrooms in small pieces; allow to sauté for some minutes, then add totamo sauce and oregano and cook for 15 minutes. Finish adding the boiled lentils, some ladles of stock to cover the lentils with liquid, then cook for another 15 minutes or anyway until the lentils are perfectly cooked. Remove the cloves of garlic.
  5. Cut Pancetta into strips of the desired size; put it in a frying pan (better if a steel pan like the ones used to prepare amatriciana sauce) with a dribble of oil until the strips are perfectly crispy. Drain the strip from the fat that has melted.
  6. Serve the cous cous topping it with the lentil sauce and complete with the crispy Pancetta strips. Enjoy the recipe pairing it with a glass of Malvasia Baciamano.

Version with gluten of Cous cous with lentil sauce

This recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, however you may decide to replace the type of cous cous used.

Since the heat does not leave us this summer, I am constantly looking for cold recipes that can satisfy the palate, be healthy and above all be pleasantly refreshing, which is why I propose the Cream of peppers and lentils with anchovy croutons, this time paired with a fantastic wine!

In fact, a dear friend who knows my passion for wines gave me a bottle of Viognier Linea Ars Magna by Omina Romana vintage 2017, for which I wanted to create an ad hoc recipe. So here is my pairing because its intense and complex bouquet of aromatic herbs goes perfectly with the sweet scent of peppers, enlivened by the savouriness of anchovies and slivers of 36-month Parmigiano Reggiano cheese that masterfully reflect the mineral note that the wine draws from the volcanic soils where the vines grow.

The recipe is rich in fibre thanks to the peppers and lentils, it is also an excellent source of vitamins, the anchovies provide us with Omega 3, and the 36-month Parmesan cheese not only allows us to get calcium, but also makes the recipe suitable for those who are intolerant to dairy proteins: in short, a “supplement recipe”  as my friend Alessandra Bosetti, clinical dietician at the Buzzi Hospital in Milan, would call it, just like the Venere rice towers with almond cream and tomatoes.

When staying in the city while others are on holiday, the best way to treat oneself to a few moments of pleasure and relaxation is to indulge in good food and a glass of wine of those that remain in the memory file like photos taken in summer.

Omina romanaViognier

Cream of peppers and lentils with anchovy croutons

12.74g carbohydrates per 100g of Cream of peppers and lentils without croutons

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 1kg bell peppers (2 red and 2 yellow)
  • 100g hulled lentils
  • 2 slices of gluten-free wholemeal bread**
  • 30g Parmigiano Reggiano 36 months old
  • 4 anchovy fillets in oil
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • chili
  • salt and pepper
  • edible flowers for decoration

** Ingredients specific for celiacs

Preparation of Cream of peppers and lentils

  1. Clean the peppers, cut them in half, remove the stalk, seeds and white filaments, then cut them into quarters and place in the oven under the grill at 200°C until the skin is slightly dark. Seal the peppers in a paper bag and, when cold, peel and set them aside.
  2. Boil the lentils in lightly salted water until cooked: with hulled lentils it will take about 15 minutes. Drain and leave them to cool.
  3. Place a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, melt the anchovies drained from oil and when melted, add the diced wholemeal bread and toast it well on all sides.
  4. Now prepare the cream by putting the peeled peppers and lentils in a blender and when you have obtained a smooth and even cream, add salt, pepper and chilli.
  5. Divide the cold cream into 4 bowls, sprinkle the surface with Parmesan shavings and the anchovy croutons, then top with edible flowers.

crema di peperoni e lenticchie

Version with gluten of Cream of peppers and lentils with anchovy croutons

For the gluten-free version of the recipe, replace the gluten-free wholemeal bread with standard bread.

 

As the cold weather arrives, the best thing to do is to pamper yourself with food that will warm even the coldest of days, providing the right amount of nutrients without forgetting taste, and for this there is nothing better than a steaming Lentil soup.

Well, the season of soups, the main dish for winter evenings, has begun again. The protagonists of our recipe are pulses and, more precisely, lentils. If you like lentils, discover Rascino lentils and how to cook them to prepare a Pulse pasta with Rascino lentils.

So, ready to prepare it?

Lentil Soup

12.26g carbohydrates per 100g soup without pasta

Ingredients

  • 200 g lentils
  • 100g carrots
  • 90g onions
  • 50g celery
  • gluten-free Ditalini rigati pasta** (optional)
  • water, parsley, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

Preparation

  1. Cover the lentils with water in a large saucepan, add the carrot, celery, a small bunch of parsley and the onion in large pieces and cook without salt.

zuppa-di-lenticchie-uno-chef-per-gaia

  1. Once the lentils are ready, drain them but keep the cooking water and remove the parsley.
    Put the carrot, celery and onion (if you do not like onion, you can remove it) and possibly some of the lentils in a food processor with a few tablespoons of cooking water and blend to form a cream.
  2. At this point, you can decide whether to complete the soup with or without pasta. In case you decide to prepare it with pasta, cook some Ditalini rigati in the cooking water of the lentils and, only at the end of cooking, pour the cooked lentils and the vegetable cream in the pan with pasta. If, on the other hand, you do not want to use pasta, assemble the soup by mixing the cooked lentils with the vegetable cream and the amount of cooking water necessary to reach the desired density.
  3. Then serve the soup hot with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

zuppa-di-lenticchie-uno-chef-per-gaia

Version with gluten of Lentil soup

The recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten. If you add pasta, replace gluten-free pasta with standard pasta.