What better time to honor individuals and companies upholding traditional Italian values than October - National Italian-American Heritage Month? On Saturday October 14, the 4th annual Premio Eccellenza Italiana award ceremony took place at Café Milano in Georgetown
There is a town in the province of Torin (in Piedmont) named Ivrea, which is the home of a famous polenta cake created in 1922 called “La polenta di Ivrea.” This cake is traditionally covered with a drizzle of honey and orange juice. I created this recipe as a diabetes-friendly alternative to the original. Fortunately, everyone who tries it loves it and is surprised to learn that it is diabetes friendly—and naturally gluten-free. You can turn to this easy, straightforward cake for a delicious addition to brunch, teatime, or dessert.
The popular Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio once described the view of the sea from Reggio Calabria as “the most beautiful kilometer in Italy.” Known as the ancestral homeland to 20% of the Italian-American population, the southern Italian region was once home to powerful Greek and Byzantine colonies like the city of Crotone, where Pythagoras once formed a secret society of intellectuals. This recipe is popular in Calabria because it incorporates eggplant and ricotta—two widely celebrated ingredients—on their beloved country-style bread.
While this recipe could easily be prepared in any Italian coastal town, it is the Italian Riviera that comes to mind whenever I prepare it. Breathtaking Ligurian towns like Portofino, Santa Margherita, Rapallo, and Genoa have magical landscapes that are almost as sumptuous as the local cuisine. The region of Liguria is noted for a very fragrant variety of basil (Genoa, after all, is the birthplace of pesto), as well as wonderful produce and seafood.
If you think Italian food is off-limits for people with diabetes, think again. My motivation for writing this book was to change the way Italian cuisine is viewed abroad and to demonstrate ways in which traditional Italian food can be part of a diabetes-friendly eating plan. While thoughts of the bel paese (“beautiful country”) generally conjure up the image of platters of carbohydrate-rich pastas and fat-laden sauces, authentic Italian cuisine is both healthful and delicious.
Panna cotta, Italian for “cooked cream,” is a specialty of northern Italy’s Piedmont region—an area known for its superior dairy products. Panna cotta, or some version of it, has long been popular throughout most of Europe and in other countries along the Mediterranean.