This will be a special week completely dedicated to the health issue and the promotion of a major initiative of the Foundation Umberto Veronesi: during the Giro d’Italia, the famous bike Tour of Italy, they have presented in each stage a recipe elaborated by the young chef and researcher Marco Bianchi, a recipe linked to the characteristics of the host region and in line with the commitment of the Veronesi Foundation in the fields of prevention and healthy lifestyles.
I have chosen to support this initiative because I believe that our health begins just from what we eat. I realized that more and more often my body tells me: it makes me feel good, but this definitely not, get it together Giulia. We have to learn to listen to the signals that our body sends us, to recognize which are those foods that help us to have a healthy diet.
Without rhetoric, without big words. We eat at least three times a day – I eat five times, for the record, because the mid-morning and afternoon snacks help me not to get to lunch or dinner with an ancestral hunger which I can not cope with -, make the act of eating, a pleasure in itself, something to make us feel good, or at least a bit better!
This week we won’t talk about diet, sacrifice and penance, we will talk about recipes made with ingredients that are good for our health. Through the words of Marco Bianchi we will understand why these ingredients are good and gain a deeper awareness which will guide us to combine them in our daily diet. Here you can find the recipes presented during the Giro d’Italia. Let’s start with the queen of our diet, the pasta!
WHOLE WHEAT PASTA WITH PISTACHIO PESTO
Recipe by Marco Bianchi, from his book “Le ricette dei Magnifici 20″.
Whole wheat pasta with pistachio pesto
- 50 g of salted pistachios, shelled and peeled
- 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
- 100 ml of extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground pepper
- Chop the pistachios, add two large tablespoons of grated Parmesan, a pinch of black pepper and stir with extra virgin olive oil (about 80 ml).
- If you love a coarser consistency, add 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs.
- It will be a divine sauce for your whole wheat pasta or for grilled or steamed vegetables... I have served this pistachio sauce with organic whole wheat fusilli.
Why is it good? The extra virgin olive oil is much more than a seasoning, it protects the arteries helping to regulate the cholesterol levels, counteracts the oxidizing action of free radicals on the cells, reduces gastric acidity and detoxifies the body. The pistachios are strongly recommended to people suffering from anemia or water retention. They are rich in vitamin A, in phosphorus and Potassium! Studies of American researchers have found that it has a cardioprotective action in patients with normal hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, because pistachios are rich in polyphenols, which are known to have an interesting antioxidant activity and, in an experimental model, an antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory action. Pistachios are a healthy food, strongly energetic, totally free of cholesterol.
A simple dish, flavours that go well together: the pistachios are the predominant note in colour and flavour, beautifully paired with the whole wheat pasta that acts as a rustic sounding board for their appetizing taste, while the Parmesan cheese adds creaminess. Just three net minutes of preparation, they beat any ready made sauce in taste and quality: there are no excuses not to make – from high quality ingredients – a dish of pasta that is not only tasty, but it’s also good for your health.