Posts

E’ pronto! Tutti a tavola means Lunch is ready! How many times have we heard this sentence? For me this is a marvellous memory of when I was a child, which I now live again with my children, but also on 12 TV Parma, every day before and after the TV news: many easy recipes for the whole family to prepare in few minutes.

The recipes for mums intended for children

How many times have we asked ourselves: what can I cook for lunch today? So, here are some ideas for quick recipes to prepare for the most demanding guests at home, i.e. our children.

The star ingredients in many of these recipes are the products of the Ortolina range, in particular Ortolina Kids, the tomato products containing only organic ingredients, plenty of vegetables and designed by the Rodolfi company for the wellbeing of our young family members.

è pronto tutti a tavola

Lunch is ready: Every day before and after the TV news

Are you ready to say: Lunch is ready! Then don’t miss my recipes. Every day, before and after the TV news on 12 TV Parma (channel 16 on digital TV, channel 5016 on Sky decoder), live streaming and on demand. Your children will be happy to taste something new every day and always with tasty and healthy recipes.

Would you like some spoilers? Spinach and ricotta gnocchi, Sicilian style rolls, Potato and courgette patties with tomato sauce  and much, much more.

Buon appetito!

 

Being born in the Emilia-Romagna region, homemade pasta means egg pasta and when the Rieti-Viterbo Chamber of Commerce and theSpecial Agency of Central Italy involved me for Facebook Live to cook typical local dishes, I expected to prepare the ‘usual pasta’ and instead Sagne are something entirely different.

In fact, this homemade dough is prepared like a bread or pizza dough, but without using yeast. All you need is flour and water and a few tricks to prepare these delicious, plump pappardelle pasta that ‘doesn’t overcook’ because the first pasta thrown into the water ‘waits for the last one to be ready’, as the local experts connected from the Le tre porte restaurant in Rieti tell us.

The name ‘a la molenara’ indicates the way they were eaten by the ‘miller’, i.e. the person who prepared the flour and then cooked this type of pasta. Even today, the municipality of Cittaducale in August hosts a festival dedicated to this delicious dish.

The sauce is as in true Italian tradition, i.e. very simple, but prepared with extraordinary ingredients: a fragrant, flaming red tomato, the Pomodoro Ovalone Reatino P.A.T. (i.e. traditional Italian agri-food product) of the Tenuta San Giovanni Farm of Gianfranco Gianni and Petrucci Sabino PDO extra virgin olive oil.

Garlic and chilli peppers are the lively touch to a dish that is quick to prepare and suitable for all seasons: try it!

Homemade pasta Sagne a la molenara

carbohydrates 33.4g per 100g

Ingredients for the dough for 4-5 servings

  • 400g flour mix for bread, brand Nutrifree**
  • water
  • a pinch of salt
  • rice flour* for dusting

Ingredients for sauce

  • 500g Ovalone tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • marjoram
  • Sabina PDO extra virgin olive oil
  • chilli pepper
  • grated Pecorino cheese for serving (not present in the original recipe)

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Put the flour in a planetary mixer, add a pinch of salt and start mixing with the flat beater, adding lukewarm water until the dough is soft and similar to a pizza or bread dough.
  2. Place the mixture on a pastry board floured with rice flour, form it into a loaf and leave it to rest covered with a tea towel. From time to time, knead the dough again.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Brown a clove of garlic in extra virgin olive oil, then pour in the Ovalone tomato sauce. Let the sauce cook for about 20 minutes, adding a drop of water if necessary and season with marjoram, salt and chilli pepper to taste.
  4. Roll out the loaf to form a rectangle about 3-4mm thick. Cut 1-2cm wide strips by stretching them with your hands while laying them on the pastry board.

impasto delle sagne

  1. Put a large pot of water on the stove, bring it to the boil, salt it, and then throw in the Sagne: this dough does not overcook, so you don’t have to worry too much about the cooking time! Drain them anyway when you like the texture and throw them into a large non-stick frying pan with the tomato sauce to flavour them well.
  2. Serve them possibly with grated Pecorino cheese, which, however, was not in the original recipe.

sagne a la molenara

Version with gluten of homemade pasta Sagne alla molinara

Replace the Molino Dallagiovanna fresh pasta flour mix with an equal amount of wheat flour, adjusting the amount of water needed for kneading.

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.

 

Yoghurt flat bread means homemade bread, which is one of the most satisfying preparations: what could be nicer than the fragrance of bread baking that fills the room? But we don’t always have time to let bread rise and bake it for 45 minutes or more. Try this simple:

Yoghurt flat bread made with baking powder and wholemeal flour.

So a convenient, homemade bread, ready in minutes: we only need 30 minutes to let the dough rest, which is the time needed to set the table, dress the salad and serve the other courses or ingredients with which to top our flat bread. And besides being able to prepare it with and without gluten, this wholemeal version is also very diabetes-friendly thanks to fibre content and yoghurt, which slow down the absorption rate of carbohydrates.

A bread from the Orient

In the cuisine of many Central and South Asian countries, as well as in the Middle East, flat and rounded types of bread are prepared that are suitable for meat, fish and vegetable dishes in small pieces, making them easy to eat as street food.

One of the most popular types of these breads is Naana bread made famous by Indian restaurants all over the world. It is served hot to accompany other dishes and seasoned with butter or ghee (clarified butter used in this cuisine) as well as being flavoured with spices and herbs.

For convenience, it is nowadays prepared using baking powder and yoghurt in the dough instead of water to make it softer. And while in India they use the characteristic clay oven called Tandoor, the oven used to cook tandoori chicken, perhaps the best-known Indian dish outside its country of origin and always present on the menus of these ethnic restaurants, we will use a simple non-stick frying pan with a thick bottom.

In this video recipe you can see how to prepare the wholemeal yoghurt bread and I suggest you serve it in the Emilian way, therefore with some of the products of this land such as Squacquerone cheese and Prosciutto di Parma, but when you have a moment of time I invite you to try it with some meat and vegetable dishes accompanied by curry and spice sauces that will certainly make you travel with flavours at this time when physically doing so is still rather difficult.

Focaccina allo yogurt farcita

Yoghurt flat bread ready to be enjoyed

Wholemeal yoghurt flat bread 

38.32g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 12 pieces

  • 400g fat free Greek yoghurt
  • 300g gluten-free wholemeal bread flour mix, brand Massimo Zero**
  • 100g brown rice flour* (you can also change the proportions and make 350g Massimo Zero Bread Mix** and 50g buckwheat flour: the dough will be darker and easier to roll out)
  • 8g baking powder*
  • aromatic herbs to taste
  • dried cherry tomatoes to taste (optional)
  • salt
  • dusting flour**

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Mix the flour with yoghurt, baking powder and a pinch of salt until smooth.
  2. Cover it with cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 3 parts and flavour one part with chopped herbs, a second part with dried tomatoes to taste and leave the third part plain. Finally, divide the dough into 4 pieces of each type, form them into balls, then roll them out with a rolling pin to a thickness of 3-4mm.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan or a smooth griddle. When it is hot, place the bread on it and cook it on both sides until brown, with darker bubbles scattered on the surface.
Cottura della focaccina

Cooking the bread

  1. Serve the bread with toppings to taste. And if you like flat bread and have a little more time available, try also potato patties.
Focaccine allo yogurt con Squacquerone,Prosciutto di Parma e rucola

Yoghurt flat bread with Squacquerone cheese, Parma ham and rocket

Version with gluten

Replace the gluten-free flour and rice flour with 400g of wholemeal wheat flour and mix it with 350g of fat free Greek yoghurt.

Who doesn’t have a Grandma’s Bundt cake to remember? I think nobody. Every family has a recipe to which their memories are attached. I have the memory of the huge Bundt cake that my grandmother used to make every week to sell in slices in the local coffee shop she owned when I was still very young.

And do you know what was the most popular way to consume it? In the morning in your cappuccino or in the evening after dinner dipped in a glass of sparkling Malvasia dei Colli di Parma.

The other special feature I remember about that cake was its baking, which was done in the Dutch oven, as the only other oven we had was the huge wood-burning oven that was only heated when bread was made for the week.

My version of Grandma’s Bundt cake is definitely lighter and in line with our needs, although my grandmother used corn and potato starch for this cake, but to these she added a lot of butter, which I replaced with seed oil and almond flour. See here how to prepare it.

I also like to use the doughnut as a dessert at the end of a meal, and if we don’t want to dunk it in wine as traditionally, I like to accompany it with a cream so that it doesn’t turn out too dry, for example a lemon-flavoured custard, some melted dark chocolate, or, since we are now expecting the warm weather, a scoop of ice cream for a little refreshment.

Grandma’s Bundt cake     

46.72g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 140g brown sugar and coconut sugar together
  • 125g rice cream*
  • 100g corn starch*
  • 100g potato starch*
  • 100g grapeseed oil
  • 100g ground almonds to make a flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 16g baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • stack spray*
  • grated lemon zest

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

Preparation

  1. Whip sugar with eggs in a planetary mixer until white and frothy.
  2. Gradually add the other ingredients while continuing to mix and in this order: flour, almonds, rice cream, seed oil, baking powder and salt. Season the mixture with grated lemon zest, or vanilla or cinnamon to taste.
  3. Spray the Bundt cake mould with suitable stack spray (or butter and flour the mould, using lactose-free butter if you are lactose intolerant) and pour the mixture into it, levelling out. As a variation, you can take a few spoonfuls of the dough and add cocoa that has been diluted in coconut or almond milk so that no lumps form, and drop the chocolate mixture randomly into the mould containing the white mixture to make a variegated cake.
  4. Bake in a static oven preheated to 170°C for 35 minutes.
  5. Take the doughnut out of the oven and let it cool. You can serve the doughnut as it is, dusted with just a pinch of icing sugar, or you can top it with a bit of melted dark chocolate, lemon icing or any other cream you like.

Version with gluten

The recipe is naturally gluten-free, so no adaptations are 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.