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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.

The new book by my blogger friend Raffaella Fenoglio of the blog Tre civette sul comò  entitled ’50 Shades of Coffee‘ has been published and I would share some of its mouth-watering recipes in the section of my blog dedicated to‘Friends’ recipes‘, so here is the first one: Coffee-flavoured ricotta Gnudi with Parmesan fondue

50 Shades of Coffee is a rich guide to this iconic beverage where you will find:

  • 50 curiosities
  • 50 ways to order it
  • 50 works that immortalised him
  • 50 aphorisms
  • 50 places to enjoy it (and how to say it in all the languages of the world)
  • 50 gastronomic-cultural itineraries that combine a recipe (not just sweet!) with a song, a film and a book
  • Infographics, interviews with experts, the reading of coffee grounds, etiquette for savouring coffee, the incredible range of aromas, the most suitable type for each zodiac sign, tell me how you drink it and I’ll tell you who you are: in short, a rich and entertaining dive into this chocolate-coloured world.

Copertina del libro 50 sfumature di caffè

Book cover 50 Shades of Coffee

A few words about Raffaella Fenoglio

With Raffaella I have shared many adventures over the years. Among the first experiences shared, there is certainly the splendid Contest dedicated to the Egyptian onion which I recounted on the pages of my blog during which I was a guest in the beautiful city of Sanremo, but there were many more occasion to meet in my virtual kitchen for cooking courses of which Raffaella herself wrote on her blog.

Besides being a blogger, Raffaella Fenoglio is the author of several books:

  • Abbasso l’indice glicemico 50+4 ricette per contenere l’IG mangiando bene
  • Indice GliceAmico
  • Gala Cox e i misteri del viaggio nel tempo
  • Storia degli strani animali della fattoria dei Monaci Templari e del coraggio della piccola Nicole (e di Claude)
  • Un tè con Mr Darcy
  • Christmas Love. Di biscotti, amore e fortuna

She collaborated on the culinary part of the novel Il gusto speziato dell’amore (The Spicy Taste of Love ) by Silvia Casini Fanucci, and on the L’Astro Narrante series by the same author

In 2021 the following books were published: Il taccuino delle parole perdute, La cucina incantata, ricette tratte dalle anime di Hayao Miiyazaki and 50 sfumature di caffè, segreti, curiosità e ricette sulla bevanda più amata al mondo. Co-authors Casini and Pasqua. 

She is also the creator and coauthor of Upside Down Magazine- Film, Book & Food Love. and with a group of friends in 2007, she founded P.E.N.E.L.O.P.E. odv, an active association for gender equality.

At this point, I think you will be excited to try the recipe I have chosen for you, which is associated with one of my favourite films, Pulp Fiction! Naturally, I have adapted Raffealla’s recipe to the needs of diabetes and celiac disease.

Coffee-flavoured Ricotta Gnudi with Parmesan fondue

11.53g carbohydrates per 100g

 

Ingredients for Gnudi

  • 350g buffalo’s or cow’s milk Ricotta cheese
  • 80g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 80g potato starch*
  • 30g brown rice flour* to flour the Gnudi
  • 15g coffee powder
  • 3 egg whites
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for the Parmesan fondue

  • 250g heavy cream
  • 120g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. In a bowl, mix Ricotta with Parmesan, coffee, potato starch, egg whites, salt and pepper. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
  2. Form balls with 30-40g of the mixture and roll them in rice flour.
  3. For the fondue, place the cream in a small saucepan, bring it to the boil, then remove it from the heat and add the grated Parmesan cheese, stirring well so that it mixes well. Season with pepper and place a few spoonfuls on the plates where you serve the Gnudi.
  4. Put a pot of water on the stove, bring it to the boil, salt it and throw the Gnudi, cooking them for about 2 minutes or until they rise to the surface. Drain them with a slotted spoon and arrange them directly on plates, then top them with more Parmesan fondue.

gnudi di ricotta al caffè

Version of gluten of Coffee-flavoured ricotta Gnudi with Parmesan fondue

Prepare Gnudi with 100g wheat flour instead of potato starch and use wheat flour instead of rice flour to flour them.

 

When asparagus is in season, we can indulge in cooking it in a variety of ways, and here is an idea for a vegetarian one-course meal: Dairy-free asparagus loaf.

For someone like me who comes from a family of producers of Parmigiano Reggianogiving up cheese is not easy, but I am often on the lookout for ideas for recipes that do not include it as an ingredient precisely to avoid the risk of consuming too much of it, as I love cheese!

Having potatoes as the main ingredient, this recipe with asparagus is a dish that provides a good dose of carbohydrates combined with plenty of fibre due to the presence of so many vegetables, so simply accompanying it with a side dish of fresh vegetables makes for a complete meal.

And remember that asparagus can be cooked in the microwave for few minutes to retain all its flavour! Read how in the recipe procedure.

Dairy-free asparagus loaf

13.28g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 470g peeled potatoes
  • 350g asparagus
  • 210g onions
  • 100g leek
  • 2 egg whites
  • 15g breadcrumbs**
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Crusco pepper to taste
  • oregano, mint
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation of Dairy free asparagus loaf

  1. Cut the potatoes into small pieces and boil them in lightly salted water until soft.
  2. Mash the potatoes while they are still hot in a bowl and set them aside.
  3. Slice onions and leeks and fry them in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook.
  4. Cook the asparagus. You can choose to cook the asparagus in the microwave oven by making a layer of spears in a container and cooking it for 4 minutes at 600W. Alternatively, cook the asparagus in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few tablespoons of water until soft.
  5. Put the mashed potatoes in a bowl, add the onions and leeks, chopped asparagus and egg whites; mix everything together, season with oregano, mint, pepper and salt.
  6. Lightly grease an oven dish, pour in the potato and vegetable mixture, flatten the surface and sprinkle it with breadcrumbs. Top with a drizzle of oil and cook au gratin in a convection oven preheated to 200°C until a golden crust forms on the surface.
Il polpettone con asparagi senza formaggio pronto per essere gustato

The Dairy free asparagus loaf ready to be enjoyed

Version with gluten of Dairy free asparagus loaf

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

Our much-loved meatballs are back on the table with these Turkey meatballs with saffron, the perfect dish to please young and old alike. Why? Simply because they contain the right nutrients, they can be prepared with vegetables and have that nice shape typical of goodies that are eaten one after the other.

Meatballs are also a practical solution for household supplies: when you make them, you can make extra amounts and, once cooked, you can put them in the home freezer to have them ready in minutes in case of emergency. You can defrost them first in the microwave oven and then heat them in a non-stick pan, or simply wait for them to defrost and heat directly on the stove.

Today’s proposal is a light, delicate and lightly spiced recipe: Turkey meatballs with saffron.

Prepare your shopping list with these ingredients and fire up the cooker… let’s get started!

Turkey meatballs with saffron

6.9g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 700g ground turkey meat
  • 450g milk
  • 250g leek
  • 100g robiola cheese
  • 80g breadcrumbs**
  • 40g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 sachet of saffron
  • rice flour*, extra virgin olive oil, salt, herbs

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Chop the leek very finely and sweat it in a non-stick pan with a little oil.
  2. Place the minced meat in a bowl, add the stewed leek, season with salt and add the Parmesan, robiola cheese, breadcrumbs, egg and chopped herbs, then mix well.
  3. Form patties 3-4 cm in diameter, roll them in rice flour and brown them on both sides in a non-stick pan with a little oil. Now dissolve the saffron in the milk, add a little salt and pour it over the meatballs. Cover and cook, allowing the saffron sauce to thicken well.

polpettine-di-tacchino-allo-zafferano-senza-glutine-uno-chef-per-gaia

Version with gluten of Turkey meatballs with saffron

Replace gluten-free breadcrumbs with standard breadcrumbs.