When tradition is gluten-free!
5 traditional Italian dishes that are gluten-free but maybe you didn’t know!
For those who are celiac or intolerant, eating gluten-free is less and less tiring. Compared to a few years ago, in fact, there are many products on the market specifically aimed at those who must follow a gluten-free diet and choose is no longer so complicated. But it is also worth noting, for those who had not paid enough attention, that the gastronomic tradition of our beautiful country is rich in dishes that are naturally gluten-free. This is good news for coeliacs and intolerants who will not have to give up some of the best and typical specialties of good Italian cuisine. And if with the second courses everything becomes easier, here instead are first courses and sweets without flour to which you don’t have to say no!
From Liguria comes one of the regional recipes based on chickpea flour most loved in Italy. The ingredients are simple but the result is really tasty: 250 g of chickpea flour, 750 ml of water, extra virgin olive oil, salt and black pepper. In a bowl, dilute the chickpea flour with water, a little at a time, until you get a soft and homogeneous mixture that should be left to rest for at least 4 hours. After this time, remove any foam that has formed on the surface and adjust the flavor with the addition of salt and pepper (as desired). At this point sprinkle a baking tin with plenty of oil and distribute over the mixture (the height should be about half a centimeter). Bake for 15 minutes at 250°.
Once taken out of the oven, you can flavour it with black pepper or rosemary.
Is it possible that this sweet so greedy can also be indicated for those who are intolerant to gluten? Yes, because in the recipe for the Torta Caprese, a cake originally from the Neapolitan tradition and specifically from the island of Capri, there is no flour and it was precisely this forgetting, by a pastry chef from Capri in the 20s of the twentieth century, that gave rise to this recipe so delicious. The dough of the cake is in fact based on dark chocolate, butter, chopped and chopped almonds, sugar and eggs. The result is a soft and moist cake inside, covered with a light crunchy crust.
Tuscan chestnut cake
The period is the right one to prepare this poor and ancient sweet of the Tuscan culinary tradition. There is no trace of flour here either, the ingredients are few and simple: chestnut flour, water, raisins and pine nuts. The result is a low and compact cake, moist and soft, without leavening.
To prepare the Tuscan chestnut cake, sift 300 g of chestnut flour and mix it with 4 tablespoons of sugar, 1 glass of water and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Then add a handful of raisins softened in water, pine nuts and walnuts and a few pinches of rosemary to the mixture. Pour everything into a greased baking tin and decorate the surface with other pine nuts, walnuts and raisins and rosemary. Bake at 180° for about 30 minutes.
Emilian rice cake
Another cake of our tradition that does not involve the use of flour and therefore also suitable for those who follow a gluten-free regime. The rice cake of Emilia is a typical cake also known as the cake of decorations. The classic recipe is based on rice, milk, almonds, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon rind and butter. In some versions we suggest breadcrumbs to create a crust, you can have the same effect using coarse-grained cornmeal.
If desired, candied fruit, citron, raisins and pine nuts can also be added. The result is a sweet with a delicate taste, genuine and easy to prepare.
Tradition has it that the rice cake is cut into lozenges and brushed with a liqueur of your choice between those with amaretto or aniseed, such as Sassolino (typical of Modena) or Anicione.
In Northern Italy risotto is one of the most typical and renowned dishes, thanks to the wide expanses of fields used as rice fields that extend from Lombardy to Piedmont and is undoubtedly one of the most versatile dishes of course gluten-free.
Among the most traditional recipes, the most important is the saffron risotto or Milanese risotto. Milanese culinary tradition wants it to be accompanied by “ossibuchi” and creamed with a tasty Lodi cheese.