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rich dish, I stick to it! How to prepare it – Italian Cuisine


Tasty and substantial, is a recipe based fontina, cream and ham, perfect to enjoy in the mountains, maybe after a morning of skiing

When you want a first course of rich, tasty and so substantial pasta to become a single dish, then the Val d'Aosta pasta it can be the recipe for you. It is suitable for everyone except those who do not like cheese, because the main ingredient of this recipe is the main cheese of Valle d'Aosta, the fontina.

A cheese that changes according to the season

Fontina is a cheese Dop which is done only with milk coming from the Valle d'Aosta herds that feed on the summer pastures on high ground and in winter instead they eat the hay harvested at the bottom of the valley. For a fontina form, 100 liters of fresh milk are used. The taste of this cheese can be sweeter or tastier depending on the seasoning. Normally the forms are left to dry for 80 days on large wooden planks: at that point the "eyes", ie the holes in the pasta of the fontina, will be very evident, evidence of the success of the cheese.

The recipe of pasta alla valdostana

Ingredients for 4 people

350 g pasta, 200 g diced ham, 200 g fontina, 100 g Parmigiano Reggiano, 200 g fresh cream, salt, parsley, a knob of butter.

Method

First of all, put the knob of butter and the cubes of ham in a pan. Let them brown and then add the fontina cut into strips and the cream. Meanwhile, put a pot on the stove with water, boil it, add salt and then add the pasta. Once cooked, drain it and pour it into the pan with the ham and fontina. Sauté a minute on the heat, then turn off, add salt, sprinkle with Parmesan, add the parsley and serve.

In the tutorial, discover some tips for an even tastier result!

Toddler lunch

Kitty will eat perhaps a third of this

I have recently noticed an unusually high number of women confiding in me that their toddler hardly eats anything. “He’s only eaten two of those Organix carrot stick thingies today,” said one on Twitter. “And I bet he won’t eat anything else for the rest of the day.” Others fret about fruit and vegetables. “How,” they whisper, “do you get Kitty to eat vegetables?”

Answer: I DON’T. I read, earlier this year, a book that changed my attitude towards Kitty’s diet and therefore my whole life, as I was so neurotic and anxious about what she ate. The book was called My Child Won’t Eat! by a Spanish nutritionist called Carlos Gonzalez and it is the most brilliant book on childcare I have ever read. And as you can imagine, I’ve read a lot.

He basically says this:

1 It doesn’t matter how much your child eats. Your child is not small and spindly because it doesn’t eat, it doesn’t eat because it is a small and spindly child. You cannot, he says, turn a chihuahua into an Alsatian by making it eat a lot.

2 Your child will naturally, as long as he is given a range of food to choose from, balance his own diet. It might seem like the child eats no fruit or veg, but even a little lick of broccoli here, a nibbled end of carrot there, a tiny bit of apple somewhere else, will fulfill his nutritional needs. The important thing is that fruit and veg are offered, not that they are always finished.

Small children, says Gonzalez, have tiny tummies so they go for very calorific, high energy foods – cake, sweeties, chips, toast, crisps etc; fruit and veg are all very well but they are mostly water and fibre, useless is large quantities to the small stomach.

Children in deprived areas, (like in the Third World), will become malnourished faster than adults because they cannot physically fit enough of the sort of food that is available (vegetation, berries) in their tummies in order to draw out the relevant nutrients and calories.

3 You are very unlikely to be able to cajole, bribe or force your child to eat more than it wants to, to the extent that you will alter the child’s food intake in any significant way.

So, he says, don’t bother. You will only upset yourself and the child.

Put the food in front of the child, let the child/children get on with it for a reasonable amount of time and say nothing about uneaten food. Never try to get more food in than they want. No “here comes the airplane” or “you have to eat this or no pudding” or anything.

“Hurrah!” I screamed, after finishing the book. I threw it over my shoulder, rubbed my hands together and vowed from that day forth not to give a shit about how much Kitty eats.

She gets food, three times a day, with snacks. She gets carbohydrate and fruit and vegetables. But I do not care – DO NOT CARE – how much she eats. I cannot begin to tell you what a release it has been.

And, further, I have now banned any cooking at lunchtimes. She gets a cold lunch every day and she loves it. She has

1 carbohydrate – crackers, bread and butter
1 sort of cheese – chedder, Jarg, Dairylea, mini baby bell, whatever’s floating about
1 veg – carrot sticks, cucumber, baby tomatoes or a bit of sweet pepper
1 dollop of hummous if we’ve got some
1 protein – some leftover chicken, or ham, or a mini pork pie

Then she has some fruit and a biscuit.

And I can’t tell you how great it is not to have to cook or fucking wash up pots and pans at lunchtime as well as dinner time. And there isn’t a big hot lunch stink about the house AND if she’s not in the mood to eat much, you can usually put back the uneaten stuff rather than throw an entire fish-pie-and-rice concoction in the bin.

I feel like women must have felt when they first started doling out the Pill – liberated. I feel, in fact, as relieved as when I confessed to Kitty’s paediatrician Dr Mike, (when Kitty had a fever of 104 for three days), that I was worried that she would get brain damage and he said: “When was the last time you heard of someone getting brain damage from a fever?” And I said “Err,” and he said “Unless you put her, with her temperature of 104, in a sauna, she isn’t going to get brain damage.” And I said “Ok,” and have ceased to worry about fevers, too.

One can wind oneself up terribly about the strangest things, when there are so many better things to get your knickers in a twist over. Like steaming!! I have had the most terrific feedback on my miracle cure and have already this morning dispensed two separate specific steaming instruction miracle cures.

I can die happy.

Skinny Cake Pops

Cake pops made lighter by using a box cake mix, egg whites and fat free Greek yogurt – no oil, no butter required!

Today is my daughter Madison’s 3rd birthday!

She is having a little birthday party in school and I was asked to bring something that wasn’t too messy, so I thought cake pops would be perfect! But then I remembered lollipop sticks and 3 yr olds aren’t such a great idea, so after thumbing though the Bakerella Cake Pops book for ideas we decided on cake balls that look like little cupcakes.

Cake pops are all the rave thanks to the very talented Bakerella[1], but using the traditional method of crumbling the cake with frosting adds a lot of calories to each pop. The only way to make them lighter is by using a cake pop pan, rather than the original method; it’s quicker and easier too! I tested out my lighter cake box recipe to see how they would turn out, and it worked like a charm!

I played around with a few cake pop pans and machines out there and realized they are not all created equal. After testing out a bunch of them, I had huge success with the Nordicware cake pop pan[2], which is only about $16 at Target.

So today, in honor of my daughter’s birthday I am giving away the Nordicware Cake Pop Pan, and Bakerella’s Cake Pop Book on Skinny Bits[3] (courtesy of Target). Giveaway ends Wednesday evening, so hurry!

Now be warned, these are FAR lighter than traditional cake pops, but they are dipped in chocolate, which will add up if you eat a lot, so you’ll still need some self control! Dark chocolate, of course is the healthiest option, but for color purposes today I went with white chocolate. Candy melts (available at Michael’s) were used for my daughter’s cake balls.

Skinny Cake Pops
gordon-ramsay-recipe.com
Servings:
48 • Size: 1 cake pop • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pt
Calories:
102.5 • Fat: 4 g • Carb: 15 g Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 1.4 gSugar: 7 g
Sodium:
68 mg

Ingredients:

  • 16.5 oz package yellow cake mix
  • 6 oz plain fat-free Greek yogurt (Chobani)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • baking spray
  • 48 oz Baker’s white chocolate (20 oz calculated in n.i)*
  • sprinkles (optional)
  • 48-50 lollipop sticks
  • styrofoam block

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a the cake pop pan with baking spray.

Combine all the cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until combined. Place the batter into a pastry bag or large ziplock bag with the tip cut off.


Pipe the batter into the prepared cake pop pan and bake about 18 minutes (I rotated the pan after 10 minutes to be sure they baked evenly). Let it rest 5 minutes before opening the pan.

Place cake balls on a wire rack and repeat with remaining batter. Using a scissor, cut the seam off the balls.

Refrigerate the cake balls for about 45 minutes, this helps the chocolate stick to the cake.

Melt some of the chocolate in the microwave according to package directions, careful not to burn the chocolate. Insert the tip of the stick into the melted chocolate, then into the cake ball (this helps hold the stick in place).

In batches, melt remaining chocolate. Dip the cake pops into the chocolate, let the excess drip off then place stick on a styrofoam block about a minute, then add sprinkles on top if using.

Makes 48-50 balls.

*I weighed the chocolate on each ball to calculate the nutritional info. Although the recipe calls for 48 oz of chocolate, not all of it will be used, but you will still need to buy extra so you have enough to coat the cake balls. I calculated 0.4 oz of chocolate on each cake ball.

References

  1. ^ Bakerella (www.bakerella.com)
  2. ^ Nordicware cake pop pan (www.target.com)
  3. ^ Skinny Bits (www.skinny-bits.com)