My Italian food background
As you, dear readers might already know I was born and raised in Italy.
Despite the amazing capability of real time communication that the internet brings us today, a lot of people still of Italian food within the limitation of old stereotypical models.
When I say Italian cuisine, most people think pizza, lasagna, meatballs with marinara sauce, and a bunch of other recipes that came to the United States on board of ships with the Southern Italian immigrants of the last two centuries.
Maybe Sarah Fragoso in her quick little tour of Italy was able to capture a little snapshot of more original recipes, but she still gave them her American interpretation. (and Paleofied them of course)
In reality Italian cuisine is one of the most regionally varied of the world, and it would probably take a long lifetime for a person to try all the different types of dishes available.
Being Italian and having grown up in a restaurant, I was lucky enough to live and breathe the cuisine traditional to my region, and a lot of modern chefs innovations. Still I wish I could spent more time in my homeland to learn and eat more and more….
Nowadays, even though I embraced the Paleo way of eating, I make it my mission to rediscover and reinvent traditional recipes, especially Italian ones, so much that I created the term Paleotalian!
What the heck is a Tupinabo’ (too-pee-nah-boh)
Tupinabo’ is what we call Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichoke) in the region of Piemonte where I grew up.
The most common use for this root vegetable is to use it raw to dip into a Bagna Cauda sauce like the one I used In the Bagna Cauda Stuffed Peppers.
Tupinabo has a crunchy, nutty texture similar to that of Jicama, but once is cooked it turns into a creamy, smooth fragrant puree’ richer and tastier than even potato!
Here are a few quick nutritional facts about sunchokes:
- It is one of the finest source dietary fibers, especially high in oligo-fructose inulin, which is a soluble non-starch polysaccharide.
- Very good source of minerals and electrolytes, especially potassium, iron, and copper.
- 100 g of fresh sunchoke contains 3.4 mg or 42.5% of iron
- Contains valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and thiamin.
Sunchoke and lamb a great combination!
This recipe is one of those very old regional recipes that nobody would suspect is even Italian. It comes deep from my childhood memories and did not even need to modified to become Paleotalian! 🙂
- 1½ pound sunchokes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 4 lamb chops
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin oilve oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- wash, peel and cut the sunchokes into 2 inch pieces.
- Place in a saucepan with just enough water to cover
- Add butter and salt
- Cook covered on a low flame until very tender adding a bit of water if necessary.
- Puree with an immersion blender or food processor.
- Keep warm
- In the meantime you would ave brought the lamb chops to room temperature and sprinkled them with oil, salt, fresh black pepper, chopped rosemary and red pepper flakes.
- Warm a cast iron skillet
- Place the lamb chops in it and cook until they reach internal temperature of 130 degrees.
- Serve immediately with the sunchoke puree.