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If you want to surprise your friends with simplicity, this Tomato Bruschetta sauce can be an idea: with 3 ingredients and the aromatic herbs from your garden, you can have a topping that is as irresistible as cherries!

With so few ingredients, the secret for success is their quality and especially peeled tomatoes make the difference. My recommendation is for you to try Ciro Flagella Peeled Tomatoes that you will never forget after trying once.  Then, if you really want a treat, prepare 2 sauces following the same procedure, but using red tomatoes for one sauce and yellow tomatoes for the other: it will be like having a cone of Gelato with two scoops of your favourite flavours.

For a perfect Bruschetta sauce, remember to remove all the seeds from the peeled tomatoes and avoid pieces of aromatic herbs: use a specific bag or container for the herbs so that they can release their essential oils, but not lose leaves or seeds.

And if you have time to chop some extra shallot, make some extra sauce and store it in a jar in the refrigerator to serve with starters or main courses.

ingredienti

Tomato Bruschetta sauce

6.6g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 500g peeled tomatoes
  • 150g shallot
  • 50g extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of aromatic herbs (rosemary, thyme, marjoram, summer savoury)
  • extra virgin olive oil, chilli pepper, garlic, salt

Preparation of the Bruschetta sauce

  1. Cut the peeled tomatoes in half, remove the seeds and dice the flesh.  Chop the shallot finely and sweat it with 50g olive oil, then add the diced tomato, the garlic and the aromatic herbs bouquet in a bag or colander so that it just releases its aroma.
  2. Allow to cook over low heat until the tomato has become creamy and the liquid has completely evaporated, therefore at least 1 hour.
  3. Use the sauce to top Bruschettas or with meat or fish.

salsa di pomodori gialli

Version with gluten of Tomato Bruschetta sauce 

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

Rolls are a bit like meatballs: one leads to another! Here is an idea for preparing delicious Romaine lettuce rolls with a tasty and colourful filling that you can also prepare with me by by watching the video recipe.

I wanted to propose a vegetarian filling because we know that healthy eating guidelines recommend consuming meat no more than 3 times a week (1 time red meat, 2 times white meat), so I am always looking for tasty alternatives to meat so that the rest of the family will not notice its absence. Another idea? Also try the Vegetable au gratin.

Even the choice of lettuce is designed to change the flavours as much as possible, in short, variety is the key!

Romaine lettuce rolls

14.91g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 250g Romaine lettuce
  • 200g grated cheese (choice of Caciocavallo, Parmesan, Pecorino, etc., also mixed together)
  • 100g breadcrumbs Nutrifree**, and a little more to dust the surfce with
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g dried tomatoes
  • 15g dried Porcini mushrooms
  • vegetable stock
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Wash the leaves of Romaine lettuce and blanch them for less than a minute in slightly salted boiling water. Drain the leaves using a slotted spoon and plunge them in very cold water. Take the leaves out of the water and lay them on a tray or cloth so that they drain a bit.
  2. Prepare the filling. Heat the stock and use it to scald the breadcrumbs, which should be moist but not creamy. Let it cool down.
  3. Blend the dried Porcini to a powder; chop the dried cherry tomatoes.
  4. Add 170g grated cheese to the breadcrumbs, also incorporate cherry tomatoes, Porcini mushrooms and the whole eggs. Stir and add pepper (salt should not be needed).
  5. Take the lettuce leaves, remove the centre rib, place a roll of stuffing in the centre and wrap it, forming a roll for each leaf. Place the rolls in an oven dish, sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese, breadcrumbs and a drizzle of oil and bake au gratin in a static oven preheated to 200°C for about 15 minutes.

involtini di lattuga

Version with gluten of Romaine lettuce rolls

Replace the Nutrifree breadcrumbs with an equal amount of conventional breadcrumbs, while all other ingredients remain unchanged.

It is my friend Anna Gallo who takes me on a journey to her native land, Calabria, giving me a beautiful bread bag from the art textile workshop Mario Celestino of Cosenza. And that is how I came up with the idea of preparing a dish that combines land and sea, a dish where squid meets ‘nduja, the undisputed queen of the tip of our boot: Calamari in fish soup with ‘nduja.

Calabria is definitely the region where red is the colour that paints the table, and it does so with chilli, the star ingredient of the ‘nduja, the sausage prepared by mixing pork meat and other spices, but also of the Sardella, a spicy cream made from whitebait, as well as many other specialities, and textiles and local handicrafts.

So let’s paint our tables red and add a little spice to life!

Calamari in fish soup with ‘nduja

negligible carbohydrates per 100g without bread

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 1kg squid, cleaned
  • 100g white wine
  • 30g slivered almonds*
  • 20g ‘nduja*
  • 1 sprig of parsley
  • 2 small sprigs of marjoram
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 lemon with edible peel
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • homemade bread**

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Cut the cleaned squid with beaks and eyes removed into strips and sauté them in a frying pan with a little extra virgin olive oil and the chopped clove of garlic. Sprinkle them with white wine and let it evaporate.
  2. Add the ‘nduja and cook for 5 more minutes: taste the squid and turn off the heat when they are soft because prolonged cooking makes them rubbery.
  3. In the meantime, toast the slivered almonds and use them to top the squid, also season with chopped parsley, marjoram leaves and a grating of lemon peel.
  4. Serve the fish soup with slices of toasted homemade bread.

calamari in brodetto alla nduja

Version with gluten of Calamari in fish soup with ‘nduja 

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

 

Do you fancy a homemade pasta, but want it perfect for summer? Creamy Passatelli with crispy vegetables is the perfect summer recipe for a light, vegetable-based dish that is tasty, unusual, but also simple to prepare and if you don’t believe me, watch the video.

Furthermore, prepare a vegetable soup with the vegetables you have available in the garden at home or in the fridge or freezer: it will be a way to offer vegetables to the little ones at home in an unusual way.

If you like stronger flavours and you are not a vegetarian, you can also complete the dish by adding ham, guanciale, speck or bacon sautéed in a non-stick frying pan until crispy.

And nutritionally, this dish lacks nothing, so enjoy!

Creamy Passatelli with crispy vegetables

36.9g carbohydrates per 100g of plain Passatelli

Ingredients for creamy Passatelli for 4 servings

  • 110g  Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • 100g gluten free bradcrumbs, brand Nutrifree**
  • 60g gluten free pasta flour mix, brand Molino Dallagiovanna
  • 2 whole eggs
  • meat or vegetable stock to wet the bread
  • nutmeg, salt and pepper

Ingredients for vegetable soup

  • 800g water
  • 500g mixed vegetables
  • salt

Ingredients to complete

  • 140g courgettes (corresponding to 1)
  • 40g salted ricotta
  • a few basil leaves
  • 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 vegetable soup by cooking the vegetables in water with a pinch of coarse salt: this can also be prepared the day before. Once the vegetable soup is cooked, let it cool, then blend it to a cream.
  2. Prepare Passatelli. Heat the stock. Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl and wet them with the hot stock, being careful not to pour too much: the bread should be slightly moist, but not doughy. Once cold, add the remaining ingredients, namely flour, grated Parmesan cheese, eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix well until you obtain a rather firm dough. Let it rest wrapped in cling film for as long as it takes to prepare the courgettes.
  3. Take the courgette, trim it and cut it into thin julienne strips; also cut the salted ricotta into julienne strips, mix ricotta and courgette together and dress them with salt, pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Put a pot of water on the stove and bring it to the boil, then add salt.
  5. Put about half the Passatelli mixture into the potato masher, press the potato masher directly over the boiling water and when the Passatelli are the desired length, about 4-5 cm, cut them with a knife dropping them directly into the water. Stir them and let them boil for a few minutes.
  6. Put about 1/3 of the blended vegetable soup in a pan and heat it up; with a slotted spoon, remove the Passatelli from the cooking water and throw them into the pan with the sauce, sautéing them over a high flame for a few minutes.
  7. Pour a ladleful of the cold, blended soup in each serving dish, top with Passatelli, the courgette and ricotta salad, a basil leaf, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Passatelli in crema e verdure croccanti

Version with gluten of Creamy Passatelli with crispy vegetables 

Use standard breadcrumbs and flour, however, when preparing Passatelli with gluten, it is often not necessary to add flour to the breadcrumbs. Only add flour if the mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese and eggs is too soft.

We could write pages and pages of recipes with tomatoes, so let’s start with this one: my No-cook stuffed tomatoes, a vegetarian, tasty, fibre-rich preparation that does not require the oven.

The main trick to make good stuffed tomatoes is to drain them and let them lose their water by sprinkling them with a pinch of salt and laying them ‘upside down’ on a surface covered with kitchen paper. Furthermore, it is important to choose perfectly ripe and firm tomatoes to get the best out of this preparation.

And if you like fresh fillings for summer, try my Travel Caprese.

No-cook stuffed tomatoes

6.64g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 720g approx. tomatoes (4 ripe, firm salad tomatoes)
  • 170g yellow and red pepper
  • 50g peas
  • 40g onions
  • 30g breadcrumbs**
  • 30g pitted black olives*
  • 8g capers
  • 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. Cut the tops off the tomatoes, empty them, add a pinch of salt, then place them on a tray covered with kitchen paper to drain the water they produce. Use the inside of tomatoes to add to a soup or sauce.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the filling. In a frying pan, sauté the sliced onion, then add the peas and diced pepper, and cook. Remove from the heat and add the breadcrumbs, capers, chopped olives and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff the tomatoes with the vegetable mixture and serve.

Pomodori ripieni senza cottura

Version with gluten of No-cook stuffed tomatoes

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

You know those recipes you can no longer do without? Herb-marinated chicken salad is definitely one of them. I therefore decided to share it at the beginning of summer because it will be the ideal solution for many occasions, from a trip to the mountains, to a lunch on the beach or in the office, this cold dish has an irresistible aroma and a flesh as soft as tuna.

Another not insignificant aspect is that you can prepare the chicken and marinate it in the aromatic oil even one or two days in advance and the result will be even more extraordinary because the meat will be even tenderer.

In addition to the courgettes in the marinade, serve the Chicken Salad with any other seasonal vegetables and you will have solved a naturally gluten free and virtually carbohydrate free meal. A possible pairing could be Cherry tomatoes with bread and anchovies.

Herb-marinated chicken salad    

negligible carbohydrates per 100g

 Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 800g boiled chicken breast
  • 300g courgettes
  • 150g extra virgin olive oil (which you will re-use once you have eaten the chicken)
  • 30g Pantelleria capers in salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 star anise berries
  • 1 tuft of thyme
  • oregano
  • chili
  • salt
  • lettuce and mixed leafy greens to taste

Preparation

  1. Cut the courgettes into ribbons with a mandoline and grill them for a few minutes on a grill or in the oven at 200°C on a baking tin covered with parchment paper. Put the oil in a saucepan, add the cinnamon, star anise, cloves, thyme, salt, chilli and peeled garlic in fillets. Let everything gain flavour on a low heat for about 10 minutes, taking care not to fry the spices.
  2. Desalt the capers, cut the cooked chicken into pieces, put it in an airtight jar with the capers, the still-warm aromatic oil and the courgette ribbons, possibly adding more oil to cover the chicken; close the container and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator a few hours before serving, mix well, season with a pinch of oregano and serve accompanied with lettuce and other mixed leafy greens to taste.

Note: the marinade oil remaining in the container will be excellent for dressing other salads and as a base for preparing other dishes.

L'insalata di pollo pronta per essere gustata

Version with gluten of Herb-marinated chicken salad

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

Nature is coming back to life all around us with an explosion of flowers and plants, including edible wild herbs and aromatic herbs, so what better idea than to prepare irresistible Vegetable omelettes with herbs?

They are the perfect solution for preparing a healthy, naturally gluten free and carbohydrate freedinner to accompany other seasonal vegetables and a slice of fragrant fibre rich bread: don’t you think so?

Furthermore, if you find some dandelion or some wild hops do not hesitate to pick some to add to your vegetable omelettes or to prepare other vegetarian recipes.

Vegetable omelettes with herbs   

negligible carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4 omelettes

  • 8 eggs
  • 170g Swiss chard (just the green part)
  • 140g Tropea red onions
  • 120g peeled tomatoes
  • 60g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • dried oregano
  • a few marjoram and thyme leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Preparation

  1. Clean the red onions and slice them. Wash the Swiss chard and cut them into strips.
  2. In a non-stick pan, brown the garlic in a little oil, then add the onions and Swiss chard, season with salt and pepper, then cook with the lid on for a few minutes.
  3. Coarsely chop the peeled tomatoes and add them to the vegetables in the pan; cook for another 5 minutes to completely dry the water from the vegetables and remove the garlic.
  4. Beat the eggs in a bowl, add 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley, oregano, aromatic herbs and the cooled down vegetables. Finally, add the grated Parmesan cheese.
  5. Heat a non-stick frying pan of 18-20cm diameter with a little oil and pour in one fourth of the mixture, cooking the omelettes for 2 minutes on each side.
  6. Serve the omelettes accompanied by raw and cooked vegetables to taste.

Frittatine di verdure alle erbe

Vegetables omelettes with herbs ready to be enjoyed

Version with gluten of Vegetable omelettes with herbs

The recipe is naturally gluten-free, so no adaptation is needed for the version with gluten.

Mini Easter pies with artichokes are my single-serving version of the Easter pie the Easter classic and symbol of rebirth par excellence.

Prepared with the ever-present brisé pastry, in the filling, in addition to Swiss chard, I used artichokes and quail eggs for an irresistible taste.

If the weather and temperatures permit, with Mini Easter pies with artichokes we can also organise an Easter or Easter Monday lunch outdoors, even in the form of a picnic, as the mini pies are very easy to carry and enjoy, whether sitting or standing.

Are you ready to knead? Let us begin and… a Happy Easter to you all!

Mini Easter pies with artichokes  

19.26g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for the brisé pastry

  • 300g gluten free bread flour mix, brand Biaglut**
  • 150g butter
  • 80g water
  • salt

Ingredients for the filling

  • 300g cow’s milk ricotta
  • 200g cleaned artichokes
  • 200g cleaned Swiss chard
  • 100g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 12 quail eggs
  • 1 egg
  • 10g parsley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt, pepper

Ingredients for the béchamel sauce

  • 100g milk
  • 10g brown rice flour*
  • 10g extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparing Mini Easter pies with artichokes

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the brisé pastry in a planetary mixer or bowl until smooth and even. Cover the brisé pastry with cling film and place it in the refrigerator for the time needed to prepare the filling.
  2. Sweat the Swiss chard in a non-stick pan with a little oil and using only the remaining water from washing. Allow the water to evaporate well before chopping it.
  3. Clean the artichokes by removing the tough leaves and tips, then cut them in half to remove the choke and cut them into wedges. Cook the artichokes in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a clove of garlic (to be removed at the end of cooking), seasoning with a pinch of salt.
le mammole

Mammolas

  1. Prepare the béchamel sauce. Put the milk on the stove and bring it to the boil. In the meantime, mix the oil with the rice flour and when the milk has come to the boil, start adding it slowly into the rice flour mixture, stirring so that no lumps form. Add the milk and put everything back on the heat until the béchamel starts to thicken. Season with salt and leave to cool.
  2. Put the ricotta in a bowl, add the chopped Swiss chard and artichokes. Also chop the parsley, add it to the mixture and season with grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Finally add the béchamel sauce and mix well.
  3. Roll out a thin disc of dough on a cutting board and cut 12 discs of the necessary diameter to cover tartlet moulds. I used the non-stick 12 muffin mould by Le Creuset and a 12cm diameter pastry cutter. Fill all the mould.
  4. Fill the brisé shells with the artichoke mixture almost to the top and create a hole in the centre of the filling. Break a quail egg in the hole, then cover the egg with more filling.
La preparazione delle pasqualine

Preparation of Mini Easter pies

  1. Cut 12 disks of brisé pastry the size needed to cover and seal each pie using a fork. Finally, beat the egg and brush the surface of all the pies and use a toothpick to pierce the surface of each pie in the centre: the small hole will act as a ‘chimney’ and reduce the risk of cracking during baking.
  2. Bake the Easter pie in a static oven preheated to 180°C for about 25 minutes until the surface is golden brown. Take the pies out of the oven and serve lukewarm or cold.

Pasqualine ai carciofi

Mini Easter pies with artichokes ready to be enjoyed

Version with gluten of Mini Easter pies with artichokes

Replace the gluten free flour in the brisé with an equal amount of wheat flour; no other adaptation is needed.

How to get children to eat vegetables? Simple, try using them as the main ingredient to prepare tasty Cauliflower patties. Because we know that patties are always very popular with children, so they won’t be able to say no to this vegetarian version.

The only challenge is to handle these patties gently because they are softer than their meat-based sisters, which you can still use to hide other vegetables, as is the case with my Spinach meatballs.

Cauliflower patties

7.79g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 400g cauliflower
  • 60g Pecorino cheese, grated
  • 40g breadcrumbs**
  • 30g capers
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil
  • 20g parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt, pepper and olive oil

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Boil the cauliflower in salted water until soft. Drain and sauté it in a pan with extra virgin olive oil and garlic. Let it cool, then remove the garlic and blend the cauliflower in a food processor with capers and parsley. Add egg, Pecorino and Parmesan cheese to obtain a rather firm mixture.

polpette-di-cavolfiore-senza-glutine-uno-chef-per-gaia

  1. Put a few tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan, form patties, roll them in breadcrumbs and brown them on both sides.

polpette-di-cavolfiore-senza-glutine-uno-chef-per-gaia

They are excellent served both hot and cold.

polpette-di-cavolfiore-senza-glutine-uno-chef-per-gaia

Version with gluten of Cauliflower patties

Replace the gluten-free breadcrumbs with standard breadcrumbs.

You know, we like to fight the cold at the table with dishes rich in flavour and able to warm even the coldest winter days, and Ribollita is always one of the first choices.

Here is our recommendation today, a great classic coming from the Tuscan gastronomic tradition: Ribollita, an irresistible speciality prepared with simple and wholesome ingredients, as its peasant history dictates.

And Ribollita is so good that it will win over even the most stubborn vegetable detractors, just like the Vegetable mix au gratin.

Ribollita

3.25g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 400g canned cannellini beans*
  • 200g carrots
  • 180g courgettes
  • 150g kale
  • 150g savoy cabbage
  • 150g potato
  • 100g onions
  • 100g leek
  • 70g herbs
  • 300g ripe tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bunch of herbs
  • 1 potato
  • water, extra virgin olive oil and salt as needed
  • bread croutons**

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation of Ribollita

  1. Wash and chop the vegetables. Put a little oil in a large saucepan, add onion and leek (let them sweat), then carrot, potato, courgette, Savoy cabbage, herbs and tomatoes.
  2. Cover with water (about 2 litres) and add salt; prepare a bunch of herbs tied with string and add it to the vegetables; finally, add garlic. Let it cook for a long time, add the beans and continue cooking.
  3. When the vegetables are perfectly cooked, set 1/3 of the vegetables aside and blend the rest.

ricetta-ribollita-uno-chef-per-gaia

  1. Serve the soup with slices of stale bread and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

ricetta-ribollita-uno-chef-per-gaia

Version with gluten of Ribollita

The recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, while you may have to replace the gluten free bread croutons with standard ones.