Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Not a captain’s clarion call to arms at the start of the cricket season…*

…but a policy statement from Chef Shep in Chicago.

We met him when visiting Dixie, a spritely 88-year-old family friend of Meredith’s mother, in her elegant retirement home in Glenview on Chicago’s North Shore.

Our clocks were out of kilter from time differences (a lame excuse) and Chef Shepherd had kept the kitchen open for us.

He himself has type 2 diabetes–and was interested to meet me, said Dixie, and see my book.

He took our simple orders–it was late–and my book back to the kitchen as we made our peace and caught up with Dixie.

When he returned a few minutes later with salads for us and a hamburger and chips for Dixie (it’s breaking the rules that keeps her young, it would seem!), he reduced–chef’s lingo– part of the introduction to the book into the simple and memorable phrase “OUT WITH THE WHITES”.

In other words his approach when cooking for the folks with diabetes in the retirement community–and as a principle he follows when cooking for himself–is to avoid refined carbohydrates and potatoes (foods that metabolize too quickly into sugar for those with type 2 diabetics).

So the whites–rice, flour, pasta, bread, are replaced by the browns–wholewheat pasta, bread made with whole grains (rye or wheat), brown rice (basmati, if possible) etc.whole/unrefined alternatives.

I was impressed.

Here is a chef cooking in a corporate context (Hyatt, no less), personally invested in doing the right thing for his clientele of “seniors“.

After her hamburger the ever insouciant Dixie tucked into the chef’s special dessert!

* Not everyone knows that cricket is played in white togs, which makes for a pretty sight on village greens in summer.

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Penne in a sauce of tomatoes, rosemary and balsamic vinegar.

This is adapted from a recipe in  Marcella’s Kitchen by Marcella Hazan.

It is included in my recipe book Delicious Dishes for Diabetics (to be published in August this year in the UK, November in the USA).

Quick and simple to do, it has a distinctive earthy flavour, thanks to the rosemary.

It’s worth taking care to slice the garlic real thin.

for 4

8 tablespoons of olive oil

4 cloves garlic–very thinly sliced

2 sprigs rosemary or 2.5 tsps dried rosemary

A large tin [800gms/2lb] of tinned tomatoes- -drained of  their juice


1lb/400gms [100gms/4oz each person] wholewheat penne, farfalle or any short pasta

2 tsps balsamic vinegar

Sauté the garlic gently in the oil with the rosemary (if using fresh) until the garlic sizzles–a couple of minutes.

Add the tomatoes, salt and plenty of pepper—(if using dried rosemary add it with tomatoes).

Cook for 10-15 minutes.

Cook the pasta in salted water.

Drain well and add to the sauce.

Turn the pasta in the sauce and cook for a minute or two longer.

Turn off heat and make a well in middle of the pasta and add the balsamic vinegar.

Turn over the pasta again in the sauce.

Serve on heated plates with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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Cauliflowers (Choux-fleur in french ) look so appealing –their pure white faces peeking through the outer leafing, daring you not to buy them.


This is the third time in as many weeks that I’ve succumbed.

They usually have to wait awhile to get cooked; often because their green cousin–broccoli–is an easier option.

Steamed, seasoned, olive oil and a little lemon juice poured over, broccoli is quick to do and adds a fresh colour to the plate.

Tonight though–it’s pasta with the patient cauliflower as the basis of a piquant sauce.

This is adapted from a Marcella Hazan recipe.

for 4

1 cauliflower–released from its casing, washed and broken into large florets

8 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves– finely chopped

6 anchovy fillets–mashed

1 or 2 small red chillies–depending on your taste–chopped (discard the seeds)


2 tablespoons parsley–chopped

3 tablespoons of toasted breadcrumbs

300g/12oz wholewheat penne or fafalle

Cook the cauliflower florets in salted boiling water until they are tender.

Remove the cauliflower from the pan, saving the water to cook the pasta in later.

Set the cauliflower aside.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the chopped garlic.

Sauté it until it turns colour, then take the pan off the heat and add the anchovy mash and the chillies.

Stir this into a sauce.

Mix in the cooked cauliflower, breaking it up into small pieces and  mashing some of it.

Cook it in the sauce for a couple of minutes, then set aside.

You are going to gently reheat the mixture just before the pasta is ready.

Bring the cauliflower water back to the boil and cook the penne or fafalle to your taste.

Drain and add it to sauce in the pan, turning it over carefully but thoroughly.

Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and parsley and serve from a heated bowl.

Cauliflower is a super food

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