lunedì 27 settembre 2010


Rice dish - entree - celiac safe

1 1/4 cup Carnaroli rice
2 sausages, casing removed and crumbled
3/4 cup Italian dried porcini
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp butter

Soak mushrooms in lukewarm water for 20 minutes.

Bring broth to a boil.

Meanwhile, after 20 minutes, remove mushrooms from water, squeeze them and set aside; carefully filter water and reserve it. Cut bigger porcini mushrooms slices in half.

In a large saucepan, warm the extra virgin olive oil and sautee onions and sausages until onions are translucent and sausages are browned; now add mushrooms and sautee for 2 more minutes.

Stir in rice, cook for about 2 minutes, stirring, then add wine; when it's evaporated, add the reserved mushrooms water.

Cook for about 17-20 minutes (depepnding on your taste), adding boiling broth little by little and stirring frequently.

Remove from heat, stir in parmigiano and butter and serve immediately!!

This recipe serves 4.

- I prefer to use sausage without fennel seeds (no Italian sausage) because that would be an overwhelming flavor, which will prevent you from tasting the mushrooms.

- You can use low fat (or fat free) cream cheese instead of butter.

- Carnaroli is the best rice for risotto, less starchy than arborio but easier to cook: it doesn't overcook too easily.

lunedì 20 settembre 2010


side dish - vegetarian - celiacs, lactose intolerants, diabetics, diet friendly

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup frozen (or fresh, shelled) peas
1 cup Italian strained tomatoes
1/ cup water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
salt and pepper

In a large, deep saucepan (it has to be big enough to contain all ingredients) warm olive oil; add cauliflower and cook, over medium-high heat, for about 5 minutes.

Add onions, season with salt and cook for 2-3 minutes, until onions soften; stir in pepper and cinnamon (optional).

After about 1 minute add the Italian strained tomatoes and the water, lower heat and simmer, covered, until cauliflower is tender: 15 minutes should be enough.

Stir in peas, bring heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 5 more minutes; adjust with salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve hot or warm.

This recipe serves about 6.

- You can use Italian peeled San Marzano with sauce, if you prefer.

- The reason why I always suggest Italian San Marzano peeled, chopped or strained (and not Italian style) is because the're the sweetest tomatoes you can find: you don't need to adjust their acidity.

- You can sprinkle with chopped fresh basil or parsley, if you like.

- You can prepare this dish ahead of time (up to 3 days before) and keep refrigerated in an airtight container. You'll only have to warm it at the time you need it.

lunedì 13 settembre 2010



1 3/4 cups 00 flour
3/4 cups water
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 dry active yeast
2 tbsp rosemary leaves, chopped
2 tbsp sage leaves, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil

To stuff: cheese, cold cuts, grilled vegetables....

Put yeast and sugar in a small bowl with 1/4 cup of warm water (don't exceed 110 degrees), mix and set aside for about 10 minutes: if the content is doubled, your yeast is active.

In a larger bowl, combine flour and salt and mix. Add the yeast mixture and the remaining warm water and knead, on a lightly floured surface, until you obtain a smooth dough; if dough is "sticky", dust your hands and the working surface with flour.

Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with a towel and set aside for at least 40 minutes, until it doubles in volume. During wintertime it might take longer, during summertime less.

Brush a rectangular non-stick baking pan (about 8x11") with extravirgin olive oil, remove dough from the bowl and arrange it in the pan, "spreading" it with your hands in order to cover the bottom of the pan. Brush with some more olive oil, srinkle with salt and herbs and set aside for 15/20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375.

Bake focaccia on central rack for about 20 minutes; baking time depends on your oven: my new apartment oven bake better than the one in the old apartment; to be sure it's ready, focaccia should be golden on top and bottom.

Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes, then cut in half lengthwise and fill it with your favorite ingredients: cheese and ham, prosciutto, pancetta, grilled vegetables or a mix of them.

Serve immediately.

This recipe serves 2 to 4 depending on the filling and on the meal it's served.

- If you don't want to stuff it, you can bake it immediately after arranging it in the pan. In this case, preheat oven before brushing pan.

- You can top dough with tomatoes and/or onions right before baking it.

martedì 7 settembre 2010


Soup - complete dish - celiac and lactose intolerants safe

1 cup Polenta flour
6 slices pancetta, quartered
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp tubed tomato paste
2 cans borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Bring a pot with at least 4 cups water to a boil, add salt and slowly pour flour in it, stirring constantly in order to prevent lumps. Lower heat and simmer for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once it's ready, pour it in a greased rectangular baking dish and let cool down to room temperature.

In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, cook pancetta until browned and crisp; transfer it to a plate and throw fat away.

In the same saucepan, warm olive oil and sautee onions and garlic, stirring for about 2-3 minutes (until onions are translucent); add beans, broth, tomato puree, pancetta, salt and pepper (carefully, due to pancetta and canned beans) and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes.

Cut polenta into your favorite shape.

Lightly grease a non-stick skillet and, over medium-high heat, sautee polenta pieces, turning them once, until golden on both sides: you should obtain a "crouton" result.

Serve soup immediately in individual bowls, dividing pancetta evenly, topped with polenta croutons.

This recipe serves 4-6

- You can use remaining polenta, if any, cut in pieces, grilled or sauteed, topped with Grana Padano or Parmigiano flakes and a drop of chestnut honey, as appetizer.

- If you don't find pancetta, you can use non-smoked bacon but cut away a big part of fat before cooking it: it will result lighter to digest, and lower in calories.

- Having polenta croutons, this dish is safe for celiacs.