lunedì 29 aprile 2013


Salad - lactose and gluten free - Vegetarian (see bottom notes)

This is a very easy recipe, perfect for summertime because no cooking is required.

1 14-oz can Italian cannellini beans
1 14-oz can Italian borlotti beans
1 14-oz can Italian ceci (chickpeas)
1 14-oz can Italian lentils
3 5.8-oz cans high quality tuna in olive oil
1 can baby Italian onions in balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp Italian Extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp Italian balsamic glaze
1 clove garlic, few rosemary and sage leaves, chopped

Mix chopped garlic, rosemary and sage with olive oil and balsamic glaze.

Drain and rinse all legumes, this will remove salt in excess.

Drain tuna and onions; crumble tuna and cut onions in 2-4-6 pieces depending on their size.

Arrange legumes and onions in a salad bowl and dress them with olive oil seasoning and salt. Toss well to coat, then add tuna and toss again to combine all ingredients.

Serve with a mixed green salad.

This recipe serves 6-8

- Do not overdo with salt, both beans and tuna have it.
- You can add other vegetables to it, like cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and more.
- If you like it, you can add boiled farro to this salad.
- This is a gluten free, lactose free and vegetarian (remove tuna!) recipe.
- We carry all the ingredients, except for garlic and fresh herbs.

lunedì 22 aprile 2013


Entree - complete meal - lactose free - gluten free and vegetarian (when bottom notes are followed)

1 lb Ditalini Italian pasta
4 oz. ham, diced
2/3 lb chicken thighs, boneless & skinless diced
1 14oz can Italian San Marzano peeled tomatoes
1 tbsp Italian tomato paste
2 cups peas
1/2 cup Italian dried black olives
1 tbsp capers, packed in salt, rinsed
2 shallots, chopped
2 tbsp basil and parsley, freshly chopped
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups (at least) vegetable broth, boiling
salt and pepper

In a non-stick skillet (big enough to contain all ingredients) warm up olive oil on medium-high heat and sautee shallot, ham and chicken together, stirring, for about 4-5 minutes.

Add wine and let evaporate; now add tomato paste: don't dilute it, mix it slowly so it will combine like a cream with the other ingredients; when it's well combined, add 1 cup broth.

After a couple minutes, add peas and pasta RAW, mix to combine all ingredients (except for the herbs), stir in half of the broth: cook risotto-style, stirring constantly in order to avoid sticking to the bottom. Add broth when needed.

Season with salt and pepper (if needed), and continue cooking, stirring constantly.

When pasta is al dente, remove from heat and stir in the herbs.

Serve immediately

This recipe served 4-6

- Cooking pasta risotto-style take longer. To shorten the cooking time, precook pasta 5 minutes in salted water and start preparing the sauce. Drain pasta and finish cooking it risotto-style. You'll need less broth.
- If you want a vegetarian version, replace ham and chicken with zucchini, bell peppers and eggplant.
- If you use Italian corn anellini, instead of ditalini, it will be gluten and lactose free.

lunedì 15 aprile 2013


Fish entree - Gluten and lactose free - diet friendly

2 or 4 trouts, cleaned and possibly skinned
1 onion, sliced
1/3 cup Italian dried black olives
1/4 cup Italian capers, preserved in salt, rinsed
1 28 oz can Italian San Marzano peeled tomatoes, julienned
3 tbsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1 clove galic, finely minced
Salt and hot pepper flakes (optional)

In a large saucepan with lid, over medium heat, warm olive oil and sautee minced garlic. When lightly golden, add onions, carots, celery and bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes

Add tomatoes, olives and capers, stir, season with salt and, if desired, hot pepper flakes, then add trouts.

Lower heat to medium-low and cover with lid, cook until touts are cooked though, turning them at half cooking time.

Serve immediately with a green salad and toasted bread.

This recipe serves 4

- Choose 4 single serve trouts or 2 bigger ones
- Use yellow, red, orange bell peppers (or a mix of them)
- Cooking time should be around 20 minutes (depending on the size of your trouts)

lunedì 8 aprile 2013


Entree - appetizer (make smaller ones) - vegetarian - gluten free (possibly lactose free, read bottom notes)

1 1/2 cups Italian polenta flour
5 oz cauliflower, cut into small florets
5 oz broccoli, cut into small florets
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup provolone, grated
2 tbsp parmigiano, grated
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp butter
Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil (at least 8 cups), add salt, cauliflower and broccoli florets and cook until tender. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon.

Use 6 cups of this water to prepare polenta: slowly pour corn flour into the boiling water, whisking constantly to prevent knots. Lower the heat to simmer, cover with lid and cook for 45-50 minutes, stir occasionally. Season with pepper (optional), add parmigiano and butter and mix well to combine.

Divide polenta evenly among 6 muffin molds, filling them about 1/2 full. Moisten the outside of a water glasses (1/4" smaller) with ICE WATER. Press the glasses into the molds to form the polenta cups; the cold glasses will quickly set the polenta and shape it.

Unmold the cups and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400F

Sautee chopped vegetables and leaves in a non-stick skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil, then add cauliflower and broccoli and sautee for 5-10 minutes.

Fill the cups with vegetables and cheese; transfer onto a greased baking sheet and bake until polenta is warmed and cheese is golden.

Remove from oven and serve.

This recipe serves about 6 (depending on the muffin molds size).

- You can use other vegetables: artichokes, mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini....
- If you're lactose intolerant avoid all dairy and top cups with breadcrumbs.
- If you like it, you can add crumbled sausages or pancetta or prosciutto, for some extra taste (but it would not be vegetarian anymore).

lunedì 1 aprile 2013


Entree - Vegetarian (see notes below)

2 1/2 cups 00 Italian flour
3 eggs

1 bunch asparagus
10 slices ham (or chicken/turkey breast), I found a real low sodium one, cut in half
10 slices Provolone, cut in half

4 cups milk
4 tbsp 00 Italian flour
nutmeg, salt

Parmigiano, shredded mozzarella, plain (NOT flavored) bread crumbs, salt

Prepare the dough.

Arrange flour in a bowl, create a “well” in the middle and place eggs in it. Working with a fork, mix flour and eggs enough to be able to transfer “crumbles” on a lightly floured, not cold surface. Knead, until you obtain a smooth dough, at least 10 minutes: the time depends also on the quantity of pasta you're preparing.

Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Flour gets “stressed” when you knead it and if you don't allow it to rest, it will compromise the results.

Cover your table with a clean tablecloth. Cut one slice from the dough and roll it out until you reach the desired thickness (I always make it 1/16" in order to hold the "al dente" better). Transfer to the table, and repeat until you've rolled out all the dough. Cut dough slices in rectangles about 4"x6".

While the dough rests, boil asparagus to desired doneness and prepare bechamel.

In a little saucepan, warm up the milk.

In another saucepan big enough put the flour, a pinch of salt and a pinch of nutmeg, slowly add the warm milk in a hin stream, whisking to prevent lumps.

Put the pot on medium/low heat and, stirring continuously (to prevent sticking on bottom), bring to boil then remove from heat, keep it covered with a lid to prevent film to form on top.

Quickly boil the dough slices in salted, oiled water. Do it 2 rectangles at a time, so they won't stick, boil about 1 minute, remove with a slotted spoon and immerse in cold water for another minute to stop cooking. Line on a tablecloth, without overlapping.

Prepare the cannelloni.

Layer dough, ham, cheese and asparagus and roll. These quantities will give you about 20 cannelloni.

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a baking pan pour 1/3 of bechamel, arrange the cannelloni, cover wtith remaining bechamel, sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmigiano and bread crumbs.

Bake for 30-35 minutes (sauce should be bubbling), then broil for about
5-10 minutes or until a golden crust forms on top.

This recipe makes 20 cannelloni.

- For a vegetarian version, avoid the meat.
- The original recipe of bechamel actually requires the use of butter: I avoid it and use light milk to make it ligher.
- My 9x13 baking pan fit 12 cannelloni, I froze the other ones for future use (not too long in the future ;-) )
- The use of breadcrumbs will make your crust "crustier"!!