My husband decided a few years ago to start eating gluten-free right alongside me. That was after I originally started eating gluten-free because it was giving me allergic reactions (stomach aches, headaches, body aches, numbness and so much more). He kindly supported and helped me do all I needed to do to get healthy that first year of my journey. Although, he wouldn't flaunt his doughnuts, cookies and breads in front of me, it wasn't like he was going to give them up completely. I couldn't blame him either. A year passed, and then he discovered he really needed to try and help heal his adrenals. Some might call this adrenal fatigue. Well, that did it. He was hooked with me to a gluten-free diet, but that is when we also started doing a dairy-free, soy-free and sugar free diet together as well. It was a hard journey in the beginning. It's even sometimes painful to look back, but now it seems like second nature and we really like to have fun with it (obviously.... hello, blog).
So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, this recipe is for my husband. He comes from a large Italian family with memories of great grandma's Italian food straight from Italy. Food for Italians is not a side note, it is the the center of life. Good food. Really, good food. My favorite episodes of No Reservations, with Anthony Bourdain are always when he is in rural Italy and they are eating something from the Mediterranean sea and something from the backyard garden. Absolutely heavenly!
And yet since I do most of the gluten-free cooking for myself and my husband, all of my recipes are really for him in some way. But this one is special. It the the food he would talk about over and over in connection to childhood memories and good food. So, being the creative person I am. And also faced with a challenge, I decided to come up with a gluten-free version of the Italian gnocchi. And this is what I came up with...
Gluten-Free Gnocchi Recipe
Boil: water in an 8 quart pot, fill 3/4 way full of water
2 1/2 pounds of pealed yukon gold potatoes roughly chopped into pieces
Boil the potatoes until they fall off your fork when you stab them. (15-20 minutes-ish). Drain the potatoes into a strainer and then toss the hot potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Let them cool down. Then mush then with a fork or with your hands. Then let them cool some more until they are at room temperature. Then add the following...
6 whipped egg yokes (save the whites for macaroon cookies)
1 cup of white rice flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 ts of sea salt
(use more rice flour for kneading the dough on the table)
Mix all the ingredients in with the mushed potatoes. Continue to mix with your hands, and start to knead with your hands on a rice-floured table top, or on parchment paper. Add more rice flour if you need it to be less sticky and until you have a flexible dough. Once you really have a well kneaded and flexible lump of dough, cut the dough ball into 4 parts. Then cut those parts into 2 pieces. So you end up with 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece into a 3/4" thick log, about 12 inches or so long.
Then take a sharp steel knife and cut about every inch a slice off. So you end up with 12-15 cuts per potato rope. Put the pieces on a plate or in a bowl ready to put into the boiling water. Make sure you keep them nice and floured up so that they don't stick together and you end up plopping a bunch of pieces all together into the water. You want to make sure they are bite sized, but also, not too small... you want to have something to really bite into ya know.
Now, as you are doing the cutting of the logs, you will want to have that large 8 quart pot of water heating up again with clean water. Once the water is boiling toss the gnocchi pillows into the water. They will drop to the bottom of the pot. I had to do this batch of gnocchis in 2 shifts of putting them in the pot. So fill the pot with just enough to fill the whole bottom of the pot and then wait till those are done to put in the rest. Let them cook for about 5-7 minutes and then you will start seeing them float to the top of the water. Like floating pillows. perfect. So, let them cook for another minute or so and use a strainer ladle and pull them from the water and place them on a plate or shallow bowl as the "drying" station. (This is when you can add the rest of them and finish the batch off). Let them dry for about 5 minutes and then they are ready to eat and be topped with some homemade tomato marinara sauce.
My Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce
1 TB (or more if you like) of dried Italian herb blend (basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary)
2 TB of agave nectar
1 TB of extra virgin olive oil
1 TB of dried minced garlic (or fresh is good too)
sea salt and ground black pepper according to taste
optional: If you like thicker sauce, add a 4 ounce can of tomato paste to complete
Heat up all the ingredients on a large saucepan and let cook until it is a steamy rich red color with perfect flavor. Have it simmering and ready to serve over the hot gnocchi from the stove.
We ate and completely enjoyed! It was so warming and comforting this time of year. And my husband loved them! He did say they were not 100% as chewy as his great grandma's (because she used gluten flour), but did say they were exceptionally good. So, that warmed my heart as well. They are thick, chewy and kinda like a big pillow noodle. The recipe does make a lot, and you really only need to eat a cup of them as a serving and you are full. So we had leftover gnocchi for the rest of the week, which lasted for 3 more meals. Which is an accomplishment alone to really enjoy and it was not very expensive at all. Add a salad or a veggie to this meal and you have it made. Or add some meatballs, sausage or side of meat as well.
I stored my leftovers in glass bowls separately so that they would last longer and taste better when re-warmed. And because they did last for lunches and another dinner, it saved in the grocery budget that week. Saving time and money. I love it. I guess I can now be called a frugal foodie. :)
I hope you enjoy. I know we did. It was a great recipe to add to the line-up of dinner ideas.