I really struggle with wheat pasta. It’s not a digestion issue, my belly is just fine. Rather, I don’t make room in my diet for dead calories.
Food should be both flavorful and nutrient dense. That’s why I stopped eating wheat years ago, replacing it instead with veggie substitutes. Instead of spaghetti or linguine, I slice beets, zucchini and sweet potatoes into thin ribbons. Cooking up a spaghetti squash is easy and delicious, especially with a bit of butter. You can also slice up butternut squash or egg plant and use that for lasagna in place of pasta sheets.
But my very favorite pasta is gnocchi. Fortunately, this is a dish that’s particularly delicious in veggie form. Trust me, you’ll never miss the wheat.
Instead of wheat flour, I typically use arrowroot, almond, hazelnut or coconut flour in my pasta, it just depends on what’s in the cupboard. Also, I should note that you might need to add a little extra flour or potato for this recipe. It all depends on the moisture content of your ingredients.
You can check out other versions of the gnocchi on my blog if you’re interested.
Making the gnocchi
Here’s what you’re going to need…
- 2 large sweet potatoes, mashed.
- 2 cups of arrowroot flour/starch. Keep a bit extra handy.
- 1 1/2 cups of almond flour.
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Pinch of nutmeg, freshly ground if possible.
- 1 egg white.
Peel, chop and steam the sweet potatoes until soft. Mash and add to a large bowl. I find that a potato ricer makes for a very nice, consistent gnocchi texture.
Add half of the arrowroot flour, half of the almond flour, the salt, the nutmeg, and all the baking soda to the bowl and mix until combined. Whisk the egg white until frothy and add to the mixture. The recipe will still work of you only beat the egg with a fork lightly, but your dough will be “gloopy” and difficult to mix.
Get it frothy.
Add the remainder of the almond flour and then just keep adding arrowroot flour until you get a fairly stiff, pliable dough – It shouldn’t be crumbly!
If your mixture feels too moist add a bit of the extra arrowroot flour. Also, sprinkle some of the flour and spread it out on your counter-top. Roll out your dough until it stretches into a log that’s about 3cm in diameter. Cut the dough into little squares of about an inch. Slightly flatten each square with your thumb or a fork.
Here’s the idea...
Bring a large pot of water. Cook your gnocchi in small batches, about 8-10 pieces at a time. They will sink to the bottom, then puff and rise to the top when done.
This only takes a few minutes.
Remove the gnocchi and transfer onto parchment paper or a line tray, they are a little sticky. Toss some butter into a hot pan and then quickly fry the gnocchi until they are golden brown on each side. I must say, it’s very hard to stop yourself from eating them on the spot.
A few more notes…
If the gnocchi breaks up in the water that means that the dough isn’t dry enough. Test one of the squares before adding them all to the boiling water, then adjust your dough if need be.
I love to serve mine with some arrabbiata sauce and grilled garlic shrimp. That makes for an absolutely delicious, nutritious meal. My kind of food.