Gnocchi with nutty pesto: a serotonin booster meal!

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I love gnocchi. I always did. I remember spending days with my mum to prepare fresh gnocchi. It was wonderful. Preparing food from scratch is an incredibly creative process and give more value and probably more taste to your food. We generally use to eat gnocchi with tomato sauce and lots of Parmigiano cheese. Well, now I am trying to eat dairy-free so I avoid buying Parmigiano (if I have it at home I cannot resist!) but tomato sauce remains a constant of gnocchi. An evening though, I was thinking of alternatives sauces and I invented a nice nutty serotonin booster sauce which tastes amazing on gnocchi. I decided to use an avocado and some walnuts, all ingredients that increase your serotonin level. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that influences the mood: low serotonin level could lead to low mood and depression. So eat gnocchi with this nutty sauce and you will be happier! Ah, it is delicious too!

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Lemon polenta cake

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I have just woken up and I am craving for something sweet. The shelves are pretty empty and I don’t have many fruits for my breakfast but lemons. It’s Sunday morning: my baking joyful day!

I go through a gluten-free book and I find a polenta cake with lots of ingredients that I don’t have and with eggs (which I don’t eat). As usual, I pick up few ingredients I have and mix them in search of an alchemy…

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Filled mushroom

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Last Tuesday I had a dinner with four friends. I decided to invite them at the very last moment so I needed to prepare something quick and tasty. I had in mind to cook some rice noodle with aubergines and tomato sauce but I also wanted to surprise them with a nice starter. Whilst shopping I was thinking about ingredients which could cook quickly and I decided that mushrooms and courgettes should be the essence of my recipe. I then needed some ingredients that could counterbalance the sweet taste of the courgette, so my hands ended on two jars of olives and capers!

With the recipe on my mind, I rushed home and set the oven to 180C/gas.

In the meanwhile, I prepared my mushrooms.

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Flax seeds and fruit truffles

 

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There are periods of the month when it is just impossible to ignore sweet food cravings. And I have finally come to the conclusion that ignoring what the body desires is wrong because it might just need some special nutrients. So listen to your body and try to please it in an intelligent way, with good nutrients and vitamins that make you feel better and can boost your health.

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Amaretto rice pudding

Nothing new under the sun! How many recipes have been written on how to prepare a  rice pudding??

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Yesterday morning I was starving. On Sunday night I had completely forgotten to eat (I was busy dancing, I guess. I had a very long bank holiday weekend full of parties). In the morning I felt I definitely needed some carbs but my fridge was quite empty.

I woke up thinking: what can I eat? in Italy we always have sweet breakfast, so I am used to eating a sweet meal in the morning, even though I have spent the last seven years of my life in England. I needed a kind of filling dessert. I always have rice in my house (especially rice used for risotto) and have quite a few sweet spices and ingredients. Then I opened my cupboard and I found it: a bottle of Amaretto was calling me! The magic ingredient I needed for a different rice pudding.

For who doesn’t know, Amaretto is a sweet almond flavour liqueur (the most famous one is the Disaronno). It is slightly alcoholic but perfect if you just sip one shot. So, why not to include a shot of Amaretto in my rice pudding? 🙂

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