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Articles by: Amy Riolo

  • Art & Culture

    The Capital Italian

    A lot has changed since I first moved to the Washington, DC area in the mid 1980’s. When my family first arrived from New York State, we were the only Italians in our neighborhood. Procuring Italian products from the local supermarkets was almost impossible. I remember joking with a friend who used to forage basil from Rock Creek Park because he couldn’t find it in stores! That was, of course, before “we” all began growing our own herbs and vegetables to fill our insatiable culinary nostalgia. Whenever we did meet Italians, or Italian-Americans, everyone would lament about there being no Italian community in Washington.

    Lack of Italian infuence?                       

    Even as a young teenager though, it struck me as odd that this very capital city in which our American forefathers incorporated Italian inspiration, was known for its lack of Italian influence. I began seeking refuge in the rotunda of the capitol building, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian art galleries –such as the National Gallery of Art, the Hirschhorn Museum, and the more recent National Museum of Women in the Arts, where Italian names and aesthetic sensibilities were plentiful. Making friends with Italians in the diplomatic community and those who came to work (usually at World Bank, the IMF, or NIH) was another way to construct a personal sense of community.

    Ever since those early days, it became somewhat of a mission of mine to explain the Italian roots of DC not only to new Italian members of the community, but to the community at large. Once all of the historical roots and synergy between America and Italy are understood, it would be very difficult for an Italian-American not to feel at home here. In future articles, I will focus on more modern aspects of the Italian scene in DC, but for this initial piece, I feel that a historical overview is the best guide to all of the Italian – influenced federal flavors.

    A fascination with Italy                        

    Former Washington, DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said “Other American cities may have larger Italian populations than ours, but it’s hard to visit a neighborhood in the District without seeing evidence of the artistic and architectural influences of Italy. He also stated, “Italy’s roots run deep in the District of Columbia.” I couldn’t agree more. Many of our monuments are in honor of Italian historical figures. A large bronze statue of Dante that was gifted to the US from Italy can be found in Meridian Hill Park. Leonardo Da Vinci and Galileo statues can be found in the National Academy of Science Building. There is an Art Deco statue of Guglielmo Marconi on Sixteenth Street and another of Columbus at Union Station.                        

    Evidence of our American forefathers’ fascination with Italy can be found all around the Washington, DC area today. In a future article, I will discuss how George Washington laid the foundation for the American wine industry when he asked Filippo Mazzei to introduce the “culture of wine” to the United States, hence beginning our nation’s love affair with viticulture.                       

    Thomas Jefferson himself visited Italy as often as possible, as is evidenced in his Monticello. While entire books are devoted to this subject alone, Jefferson’s importation of Italian style didn’t end there. Many Americans are shocked to learn that it was the result of his smuggling riso di Pavia, rice from the town of Pavia, that lead to our $2-3 million-dollar rice industry in the United States.

    An Italian sense of beauty                       

    While the 16th-18th centuries remained a little- known chapter in the history of Italian-Americans in the United States, it was perhaps the height of Italian architectural dominance in Washington. Our urban planning relied heavily upon Italian artists, artisans, architects, engineers, stone cutters, painters, and masons. Constantino Brumidi, famous for designing the capitol building’s rotunda, became known as “the American Michelangelo”, and Andrea Palladio, “the most imitated architect in history” left Italian imprints on the DC area that cannot be escaped. The late architectural historian James S. Ackerman said that Palladio’s influence on the development of English and American architecture has been greater than that of all architects combined.                   

    Despite the fact that the majority of Italian immigrants had not yet arrived on Ellis Island, tributes and connections to their homeland were already being built in our nation’s capital. The city’s strong tie to the Italian sense of beauty has remained steady through modern times. Even the Watergate complex was designed by an Italian architect – Luigi Moretti. Our city’s current fashion, art, dining, decorating, and theatre scenes all boast Italian elements.

    Join me on a monthly journey through DC’s Italian roots while enjoying its contemporary Italian-centric culture. In the next issue, we’ll explore more of Palladio’s influence and the visions of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison with a trip to Barboursville, VA. After getting to know Virginia Wine Country, we’ll head into DC’s top Italian restaurants to find out how the capital’s chefs and sommeliers are putting local wine to good use!

    Meet the Author: Sharing History, Culture, and Nutrition

    With this issue, Amy Riolo starts her regular collaboration with i-Italy from Washington, D.C. As an award – winning, best-selling, author, chef, television personality, and educator, Amy is one of the world’s foremost authorities on culinary culture. She is known for sharing history, culture, and nutrition through global cuisine as well as simplifying recipes for home cooks. A graduate of Cornell University, Amy is considered a culinary leader who enjoys changing the way we think about food and the people who create it. Amy is a food historian, culinary anthropologist and Mediterranean Diet advocate who makes frequent appearances on numerous television and radio programs both in the United states and abroad. Amy’s seventh book, The Italian Diabetes Cookbook was released on January 12, 2016 and was the #1 New release on Amazon.com. Amy, an American of Calabrian descent, was awarded the 2015 wise woman Award from the National Organization of Italian American Women. She is also a culinary Advisor for the Mediterranean food Alliance. 

     

  • Amy Riolo and Massimo Lucidi, Italian marketing expert and journalist
    Facts & Stories

    Italian Success Stories Awarded in Washington DC

    The international award was created to highlight and reward the personal success stories of courageous and successful people and companies along with creative and innovative products. The honorable distinctions are given to people, companies and public figures who confirm the Italian ideals of culture, wellbeing, beauty, elegance, passion, and innovation, which are synonymous to the “Made in Italy” labels. Premio Eccellenza Italiana is the brain child of Italian marketing expert, journalist Massimo Lucidi and the awards committee is headed by George G. Lombardi.

    The ceremony opened in the memory of noted businessman and politician Mario D’Urso. All of the award winners shared the common mission of successfully promoting the beauty of the Italian culture in the world. For the industrial sector Valflex was the winner. In the fashion category, My ChoiceBags and Maison Signore, received awards. For healthcare  Udisens won, and for innovation Macario took the award. In the world real estate Altus won, and for retail, world reknown pizzaiolo Valentino Libro won. Other awards were given to Wine Drpos, Fenalca, Ermes, Nomos Value Research, Ankorig, Carmine Nolo received a special mention which opened a new category of awards “antichi mestieri,” or “ancient professions.”

    According to best-selling author and journalist Massimo Lucidi, “Il Premio Eccellenza Italiana” –is for who thinks and works with enthusiasm, for who smiles at the future regardless of their difficulties…..” This sentiment represents the attitudes of many Italians, not only in Italy and Washington, but around the world. Names such as the ex- Minister of Foreign Affairs and ex –Italian Ambassador to the US, Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, The president of Gianni Versace spa, Santo Versace, nutritional guru Luca Piretta, as well as many other Italian and Italian American celebrities and public figures who live in the United States.

    In addition to members of the press, many Italian-American residents, diplomats, military officials, artists and businesspeople were present. Salvo Iavarone, President of the Associazione Mezzogiorno Futuro (Association for the Future of the Italian South) shared a book dedicated to emigration. Covering everything from cinema to food, fashion, and business – the book details the influence of modern Italian emigres on the world. I also enjoyed receiving Massimo Lucidi’s Nettiquette: Facebook Model Marketing. The Amazon best-seller discusses the ever-growing importance of online business etiquette.

    Delivered in Italian, and to a predominately Italian office, it was impossible not to feel inspired by Lucidi’s passionate commentary. The event was the perfect way to integrate Italian-American achievements of the past, present, and future. Holding the awards in Washington gave us an even greater lens into the Italian influence in our nation’s capital. I’m looking very forward to next year’s ceremony, but in the meantime, it warms my heart to know that significant Italian contributions are not going unnoticed.

     

    About the Author:

    As an award – winning, best-selling, author, chef, television personality, and educator, Amy Riolo is one of the world’s foremost authorities on culinary culture. She is known for sharing history, culture, and nutrition through global cuisine as well as simplifying recipes for the home cook. A graduate of Cornell University, Amy is considered a culinary thought leader who enjoys changing the way we think about food and the people who create it. Amy is a food historian, culinary anthropologist and Mediterranean Diet advocate who makes frequent appearances on numerous television and radio programs both in the United States and abroad.  Amy’s seventh book, The Italian Diabetes Cookbook was released on January 12, 2016 and was the #1 New Release on Amazon.com. Amy, an American of Calabrian descent, was awarded the 2015 Wise Woman Award from The National Organization of Italian American Women. She is a Culinary Advisor for The Mediterranean Food Alliance who lives in the Washington, DC area and travels to Italy and other Mediterranean countries often.

     

  • Dining in & out: Recipes

    Ivrea's Polenta Cake (Polenta di Ivrea)

    Ivrea's Polenta Cake (Polenta di Ivrea)

    Serves: 12

    Serving size: 1 (3/4-inch) slice

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Cooking time: 30 minutes

    2/3 cup expeller-pressed canola or vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing pan

    1 cup natural sugar

    1/2 cup almond flour

    1 cup fine polenta (or cornmeal)

    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (use gluten-free, if needed)

    3 large eggs

    Zest of 2 lemons 

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Juice of 1 orange, for drizzling (optional)

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the base of a 9-inch springform cake pan with baking parchment and grease bottom and sides lightly with canola oil.

    2. Combine 2/3 cup canola oil and sugar, either by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon or using a freestanding mixer, until pale and fully combined.

    3. Mix together the almond flour, polenta, and baking powder, and beat part of this dry mixture into the oil/sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg. Then alternate adding the dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the while, until all of the dry mixture and eggs are incorporated. Finally, beat in the lemon zest and vanilla, and pour, spoon, or scrape the mixture into your prepared cake pan.

    4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until lightly golden and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The edges of the cake should have begun to shrink away from sides of the pan.

    5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Release the sides of the pan and invert cake onto a cake platter. Drizzle with orange juice, if desired. Serve immediately, or store at room temperature overnight or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

    Italian Living Tradition

    This cake is the northern Italian answer to popular Mediterranean semolina cakes, which are doused with simple syrup and served as very sweet desserts. Made with just a few pantry ingredients, this is the type of cake that Italian housewives would whip up upon the arrival of unexpected guests or to serve with the Sunday meal.

  • Dining in & out

    Spaghetti Squash "Pasta" with Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Basil ("Pasta" di Zucca con Gamberi, Pomodori e Basilico)

    Spaghetti Squash "Pasta" with Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Basil ("Pasta" di Zucca con Gamberi, Pomodori e Basilico)

    Serves: 4

    Serving size: 1 cup

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

    1 (approximately 3 1/2-pound) spaghetti squash, halved and seeded

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

    1 pound shrimp, any size, peeled and deveined

    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

    1 1/2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

    4 cloves garlic, minced

    1/8 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

    4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

    2. Line a 15 × 10 × 1/2-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Brush the cut surface of squash with 1 tablespoon oil; place squash flesh side down on the foil-lined pan. Roast on bottom rack 40 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the squash shell. Remove from oven and cool (do not turn off oven). When cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape strands of spaghetti squash into a large bowl.

    3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook, uncovered, without turning, until the tails begin to turn coral, approximately 1–2 minutes. Turn shrimp and cook just until opaque, about 1 minute. Squeeze lemon juice over shrimp and set aside.

    4. Place tomatoes, garlic, and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 13 × 9-inch baking dish. Roast on top rack for 30 minutes, or until tender.

    5. Toss shrimp with roasted tomatoes and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in basil. Spoon over spaghetti squash. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

    Italian Living Tradition

    Use this simple method of sautéing shrimp whenever you need a quick dinner. They can be served over beans, polenta, pasta, salad, or soup for a meal in minutes.

    Wine Müller-Thurgau

    Choices/Exchanges 1 Starch, 4 Vegetable, 3 Lean Protein, 2 Fat

    Calories 380 | Calories from Fat 150

    Total Fat 17g | Saturated Fat 2.5g | Trans Fat 0.0g

    Cholesterol 180mg

    Sodium 290mg

    Potassium 1240mg

    Total Carbohydrate 37g | Dietary Fiber 9g | Sugars 16g

    Protein 27g

    Phosphorus 345mg

    Visit the website of Award-winning, Best-Selling Author, Chef, Television Personality, Amy Riolo.

  • Dining in & out

    LA RICETTA. Ricotta, Grilled Eggplant, and Fresh Mint Bruschetta (Bruschetta Calabrese)

    Ricotta, Grilled Eggplant, and Fresh Mint Bruschetta (Bruschetta Calabrese)

    Serves: 4

    Serving size: 1 slice bread, 2 tablespoons ricotta, and approximately 1/3 cup eggplant

    Cooking time: 10 minutes

    2 baby eggplants (1/2 pound total), ends trimmed and cut lengthwise into 4 × 1/4-inch slices

    2 tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil (preferably Calabrian; see Where to Buy Guide), divided

    1/8 teaspoon unrefined sea salt, divided

    4 (1/2-inch) slices ciabatta or other light, crusty, country bread

    1/2 cup ricotta cheese, divided

    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint

     

    1. Preheat broiler to high or grill to medium-high.

    2. Lightly brush the eggplant slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set on a baking sheet. When the grill is ready, use tongs to place slices directly on the grill and cook each side until grill marks appear and slices are nicely browned, 3–4 minutes per side. Or, if broiling, place baking sheet directly under broiler, and broil each side until golden, 1–2 minutes per side.

    3. Remove baking sheet from oven or, if grilling, use tongs to transfer eggplant back to the baking sheet, and sprinkle with about half the salt. When slices are cool enough to handle, cut into 1/4-inch cubes, place in a bowl, and set aside.

    4. When ready to serve (do not prepare these ahead of time or the bread will get soggy), grill the bread slices on both sides until grill marks appear, or place under the broiler until golden brown. Slather each piece evenly with 2 tablespoons ricotta. Sprinkle with remaining salt and the pepper. Top with the chopped eggplant. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and garnish with mint. Serve immediately.

    Italian Living Tradition

    A great deal of Italy’s olive oil is produced in Calabria. There are three main varieties of Calabrian olive oil:

    Alto Crotonese
    Production of this type of oil can be traced to the Byzantine period, when Basilian monks settled in the region and improved olive cultivation. Made using at least 70% Carolea olives, this is a lighter Calabrian oil, suited for drizzling over fish or seasoning greens.

    Bruzio
    The olives used to make this oil were introduced to the region by the ancient Greeks. Bruzio’s Protected Designation of Origin (Denominazione di origine protetta in Italian) is limited to the province of Cosenza. This oil has a light green color with hints of yellow.

    Lamezia
    Olive production in Lamezia is limited for quality, and the harvesting season is heavily regulated. Olive oil from Lamezia is made from at least 90% Carolea olives, and the acidity of the oil is restricted to 0.5%, giving it a smooth, full flavor.

    Wine Greco

    Choices/Exchanges 1/2 Starch, 1 Vegetable, 1/2 Medium-Fat Protein, 1 Fat

    Calories 150 | Calories from Fat 90

    Total Fat 10g | Saturated Fat 2.6g | Trans Fat 0.0g

    Cholesterol 10mg

    Sodium 170mg

    Potassium 225mg

    Total Carbohydrate 11g | Dietary Fiber 3g | Sugars 2g

    Protein 5g

    Phosphorus 85mg

    To Order the copy of Italian Diabetes Cookbook click here!    

    Visit the website of Award-winning, Best-Selling Author, Chef, Television Personality, Amy Riolo.

  • Dining in & out

    Diabetes-Friendly. Fishermen Kabobs - Spiedini di pesce

    Use whatever fresh fish, seafood, and herbs you have on hand in this recipe to come up with your own favorite combination. It’s worth the effort to purchase “dry” scallops for this recipe—they are free of water-retaining additives—in order to ensure you’re getting the real thing. Despite claims of being “natural, fresh, wild,” etc., many scallops available on the market contain up to 80% water. Keep in mind that you will need four skewers for this dish. If you are using wooden skewers, you will need to soak them in water for a minimum of 20 minutes first. For additional flavor, use rosemary stems as skewers.

    Fishermen Kabobs (Spiedini alla Marinara)

    Serves: 4

    Serving Size: 1 skewer
    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cooking Time: 10 minutes

    1 1/4 pounds skinless swordfish, cut into 1-inch cubes

    24 grape tomatoes

    1 cup lightly packed fresh basil

    1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    1 clove garlic

    1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Crushed red chile flakes, to taste
     

    1. Heat grill to high. Thread fish onto 4 skewers, alternating with tomatoes.

    2. Place basil, oil, and garlic in a blender, and purée until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red chile flakes. Reserve half the oil mixture in a separate container.

    3. Brush kabobs with half of basil oil. Grill until fish is opaque, 6–10 minutes, turning occasionally.

    4. With a clean brush, coat cooked kabobs with reserved basil oil. Serve immediately.

    Italian Living Tradition

    Even though the term marinara is often used to describe tomato sauce in the U.S., it actually means “in the way of the seafarer” in Italian—it’s derived from the Italian word mare, which means “sea.” Italians love to grill fish, and it’s one of the healthiest and easiest ways to enjoy it.

    Wine
    Greco di Tufo

    Choices/Exchanges 1 Vegetable, 4 Lean Protein, 1/2 Fat

    Calories 240 | Calories from Fat 100

    Total Fat 11g | Saturated Fat 2.5g | Trans Fat 0.0g

    Cholesterol 95mg

    Sodium 220mg

    Potassium 860mg

    Total Carbohydrate 5g | Dietary Fiber 1g | Sugars 3g

    Protein 29g

    Phosphorus 390mg

     

    To Order the copy of Italian Diabetes Cookbook click here!    

    Visit the website of Award-winning, Best-Selling Author, Chef, Television Personality, Amy Riolo.

     

  • Dining in & out

    Diabetes-Friendly. Roman-Style Rice Tomatoes

    The inspiration for this book came to me years ago. I was 15 years old when I began preparing many of these recipes for my family after my mother’s diabetes diagnosis. Since I didn’t want to create two separate meals for our family, I strove to make the recipes that fit into my mother’s eating plan delicious enough for the whole family to eat. Who knew that it would turn into a career?

    When I visited our ancestral hometown of Crotone, Italy, for the first time, I was struck by how much healthier our Italian family members were than our American ones. While we share the same genes, it is the diet and lifestyle of our southern Italian relatives that make the difference to their health. While living in Rome, I was struck by how fit even the elderly citizens were. Belying the stereotypical figurines, even most Italian chefs are in good shape. Ever since that stay, it has been my goal to demonstrate that fantastic food and good health don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

    The secret to my success with cookbooks, teaching, and lecturing has been to focus on what people with diabetes can eat, instead of what they can’t. Vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and legumes, nuts, dairy, seafood, poultry, lean meats, and wholesome baked goods can all be part of a healthful lifestyle. Fortunately, each of these food groups offers scores of ingredients to choose from—many of which include nutrients that are particularly beneficial to people seeking optimal health. Best of all, preparing these foods in a traditional Italian fashion helps to coax the ultimate flavor, texture, and aroma out of them. May you enjoy these recipes as much as I do. Buon appetito a tutti!

    Roman-Style Rice and Herb Stuffed Tomatoes – Pomodori di riso alla romana

    Serves: 4

    Serving Size: 1 tomato

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cooking Time: 45 minutes

    Stuffed tomatoes are one of the ultimate delicacies of the Roman diet and the pride of many home cooks—some of whom bake tiny, matchstick-size pieces of potato along with the tomatoes. Simple and delicious, they are a great accompaniment for grilled seafood and meat. Save this recipe for summer, when tomatoes are at their peak.

    1/2 cup arborio rice or calrose rice

    1 cup Homemade Chicken Stock (page 289), low-sodium chicken stock, or water

    4 beefsteak tomatoes, approximately 6–8 ounces each

    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

    1/4 cup minced basil

    1/4 cup minced mint

    1/8 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

     

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

    2. Place rice and chicken stock in a saucepan. Bring to boil over a high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender but firm (al dente). Add more water, 1/4 cup at a time, if rice begins to stick to the bottom of the pan. When rice is finished cooking, set aside.

    3. Meanwhile, wipe off the tomatoes, discard the stem without damaging the skin, and lay the tomatoes stem side down. Cut a round slice from the side opposite to the stem; you will be using it as a lid. With a melon scoop, scrape out the flesh of the tomato, being careful not to break the skin. Reserve the pulp and the juice.

    4. Chop the pulp and mix it with the juice (you can use a food processor). In a bowl, combine the pulp and juice with the rice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, basil, mint, salt, and pepper.

    5. Stuff hollow tomatoes with the rice mixture. Cover with the tomato lids and arrange in a greased baking dish, standing the stuffed tomatoes with the lid side up. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and bake for 20–30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature.

    Italian Living Tradition

    Roman and Italian cooks love using a variety of mint called mentuccia instead of menta, which is the word for regular mint. The English name for mentuccia is lesser calamint. I highly recommend growing some on your own. The beautiful shrub produces leaves with the aroma of both mint and oregano combined, and they are known to attract butterflies. Mentuccia is a wonderful addition to tomato- , vegetable- , and egg-based dishes. Regular mint, oregano, or a combination of the two are all perfect substitutions.

    Wine
    Frascati

    Choices/Exchanges 1 1/2 Starch, 1 Vegetable, 2 1/2 Fat

    Calories 250 | Calories from Fat 130

    Total Fat 14g | Saturated Fat 2.0g | Trans Fat 0.0g

    Cholesterol 0mg

    Sodium 100mg

    Potassium 505mg

    Total Carbohydrate 28g | Dietary Fiber 3g | Sugars 5g

    Protein 4g

    Phosphorus 85mg

    To order a copy of Italian Diabetes Cookbook click here

    Visit the website of Award-winning, Best-Selling Author, Chef, Television Personality, Amy Riolo.

  • Dining in & out

    Espresso Panna Cotta

    This creamy, espresso-laced panna cotta is light enough to eat every day but impressive enough to serve to guests. I use yogurt instead of the traditional cream to make the dish lighter. 

    Espresso Panna Cotta

    Serves: 4

    Serving Size: 1/2 cup
    Prep Time: 15 minutes (plus at least 4 hours refrigeration)

    Cooking Time: 0 minutes

    1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly made espresso coffee, divided

    1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

    1/4 cup natural sugar

    1 1/2 cups low-fat, low-sugar french vanilla yogurt, drained in a fine-mesh strainer

    1/8 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

    1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder

    [Note: You will need four (1/2-cup) ramekins to complete this dish.]

    1. Pour 2 tablespoons espresso into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Whisk to combine, and let stand until thickened.

    2. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup hot espresso into a small saucepan and whisk in the sugar until it has dissolved.

    3. Stir in the yogurt and salt, and put the saucepan over medium heat.

    4. When the mixture begins to bubble a little around the edges, take the pan off the heat.

    5. With a fork, whisk the gelatin/espresso mixture and add it into the saucepan. Whisk until well combined, keeping the pan off heat. Allow the mixture to sit for a minute. Carefully divide the mixture into 4 ramekins and allow to come to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

    6. To unmold easily, dip the bottom of each ramekin, one at a time, into some just-boiled water and hold there for about 8 seconds. Let each stand out of the water for another few seconds before wiping off the water and putting a small salad plate or saucer on top; then overturn the ramekin and let the panna cotta drop onto the plate. Sprinkle each with cocoa powder, and serve. Buon appetito!

    Italian Living Tradition

    Panna cotta dates back to the 10th century, when it’s believed that a woman of Hungarian origin first prepared it in Piedmont’s Langhe area (also noted for its wine and white truffles). Original versions of panna cotta use heavy cream instead of yogurt. You can change the flavor of this recipe by replacing the espresso used in the gelatin mixture with 2 teaspoons of almond or vanilla extract, or by using a flavored yogurt.

    Choices/Exchanges 1/2 Low-Fat Milk, 1 Carbohydrate

    Calories 120 | Calories from Fat 10

    Total Fat 1g | Saturated Fat 0.7g | Trans Fat 0.0g

    Cholesterol 5mg

    Sodium 135mg

    Potassium 225mg

    Total Carbohydrate 24g | Dietary Fiber 0g | Sugars 17g

    Protein 4g

    To Order the copy of Italian Diabetes Cookbook click here!  

    Visit the website of Award-winning, Best-Selling Author, Chef, Television Personality, Amy Riolo.