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What does our lunch box contain today? When Gaia lifts the lid of the container, there are always new ideas waiting for her for lunches away from home, and today’s Legumotti with vegetable ragout and Jerusalem artichokes will be a surprise in terms of taste and energy.

Legumotti will provide you with carbohydrates and plant proteins that will help  you keep your blood sugar under control thanks to the fibre present in the many vegetables on the plate. What about Jerusalem artichoke? Do you know this exotically named ingredient?

Jerusalem artichoke is the root of a plant that is very common throughout Italy, so vital that it is considered almost a weed, growing in wet environments, preferably along watercourses. The root can be eaten either raw or cooked, just like in our lunch box, so you can enjoy its artichoke-like flavour when cooked and its pleasant crunchiness when eaten raw.

It is very suitable for people with diabetes as it has a low carbohydrate content and a high percentage of fibre, in addition to its high digestibility which makes it suitable for everyone. So what are you waiting for to try the recipe?

Follow me not to run short of ideas for out-of-home meals! And if you are looking for a lunch with a lower amount of carbs, try my Roastbeef with aubergine cream.

Legumotti with vegetable ragout and Jerusalem artichokes

42.26g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 280g Jerusalem artichokes
  • 80g carrot
  • 50g leek
  • 40g celery
  • 70g Barilla Legumotti*
  • 30g Parmigiano Reggiano 36 months
  • 20g shelled walnuts
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 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. Chop the leek and sweat it in a non-stick pan with a little oil; dice the carrot, celery and some Jerusalem artichokes and add them to the pan with leek, then cook all the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook Legumotti in lightly salted boiling water, removing with a skimmer the foam that forms on the surface during cooking. Drain Legumotti and mix them with the vegetable ragout, seasoning with a little oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Preparate l’insalata di topinambur. Slice the Jerusalem artichokes with a mandoline or a well-sharpened knife; add Parmigiano Reggiano cheese cut into slivers, then season with lemon, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, then top with walnuts.
  4. Fill the lunch box by placing Legumotti in one of the containers and the Jerusalem artichoke and Parmigiano Reggiano salad in another container. Close everything and take the lunch box with you!

legumotti con rafù di verdure e topinambur

Version with gluten of Legumotti with vegetable ragout and Jerusalem artichokes

The recipe does not need any adaptations for the version with gluten.

Welcome Spring! And what better way to do this than by preparing a Creamy beetroot risotto to pay homage to the pink colour of the blossoming trees? Because the typical pink colour of the peach tree is given precisely by the beetroot, which we can buy already cooked, perhaps baked, from our greengrocer.

Creamy beetroot risotto: pink on the plate.

The second star of the risotto is one of my absolute favourite cheeses, namely Gorgonzola, the Italian blue cheese par excellence, whose light spiciness gives the slightly earthy flavour of beetroot a boost of flavour.

Furthermore, you know well I love adding a crunchy touch to risottos, the perfect complement to the creaminess of well-roasted and smooth grains, and a very simple and effective idea are slivers of Jerusalem artichoke and slivers of Parmesan cheese.

ingredienti del risotto cremoso alla barbabietola

The ingredients of creamy beetroot risotto

Jerusalem artichoke: a zero-mileage tuber

Despite the name that makes us think it comes from who knows what distant country, Jerusalem artichoke is a herbaceous perennial plant with an underground tuber native to the American continent whose name probably comes from the South American Tupinamba tribe that made abundant use of it.

Like potato and tomato, Jerusalem artichoke has adapted perfectly to the climate of our country where it grows wild and almost weedy, especially along watercourses, and we recognise it by its beautiful yellow flowers on tall, straight stalks. So don’t be afraid to buy this kind of lumpy potato: it will be a constant surprise when you eat it raw, as in this risotto, or cooked as a side dish or cream.

So if you are looking for recipes for Easter, simple but surprising recipes and ideas to colour your table, here is a solution! And to complete the menu, try Easter pie.

Creamy beetroot risotto

25.35g carbohydrates per 100g  

 Ingredients for 4 servings

  • approx. 1.5 litres of previously prepared vegetable stock
  • 320g rice
  • 100g baked beetroot
  • 80g Gorgonzola
  • 70g red wine
  • 40g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 30g shallot
  • 30g butter
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese for crisps

Ingredients to complete

  • 1 Jerusalem artichoke
  • Parmesan shavings
  • 2 slices of baked beetroot

Preparation

Put a little oil in a pan and very slowly brown the thinly sliced shallot and diced beetroot. After a few minutes, add a ladle of stock and let it cook for a few minutes. Transfer this vegetable base to a blender and blend to a cream-like mixture.

Start preparing the risotto. Put the rice in a thick-bottomed pan and toast it dry over high heat (it took me 3 minutes to have transparent rice grains with a white core in the centre). Douse the rice with red wine, allow to evaporate, then start adding the boiling stock. Continue stirring and only add stock when the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid. Five minutes from the end of cooking, add the beetroot cream and Gorgonzola cheese to the rice.

When the rice is still al dente, take it away from the heat and proceed with the creaming. Add 30 grams of butter, stirring the rice well so that the starch is released to form a nice creamy mixture, add the grated Parmesan cheese and continue stirring vigorously until all ingredients are perfectly incorporated. Cover the pan with a tea towel and let it rest for 1 minute.

Serve the risotto on hot plates and distribute some very thin slices of Jerusalem artichoke cut with a mandoline, Parmesan shavings and a few cubes of beetroot on the surface.

Il risotto cremoso alla barbabietola pronto per essere gustato

Creamy beetroot risotto ready to be enjoyed

Version with gluten of Creamy beetroot risotto

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