It’s a perfect time to hone in on your homemade gnocchi skills.  Treat friends and family to a delicious, gluten free pasta!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Brown rice flour
  • 2 Medium to Large Potatoes *(organic is very important with root vegetables)
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato *
  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Lemons
  • Macadamia Nuts (2 cups)
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Parmesan Reggiano (optional)

Directions

Gnocci

To begin the process of making gnocchi, you will need a cookie sheet. Sprinkle table or sea salt across the sheet to make a bed of salt for the potatoes to rest on.  The salt helps to pull moisture out of the potatoes while they are baking. Preheat the oven to 350.   Once ready, place the potatoes in the oven for 35 – 45 mins. After they have softened up a bit pull them out and puncture them with a knife,  making small cuts that will help it get more of the moisture out.   The trick to a good gnocchi is a dry, baked potato!

Let the potatoes finish cooking, pull them out and allow to cool.  Once cooled, remove the skin and use a grater to grate them into a bowl.  The smaller the the size of grater, the better for making gnocchi.  The easiest way to make the gnocchi dough is to use a stand mixer like the one used in the video.  You can also use a big bowl and a masher.   Start by adding olive oil to the base of the bowl, followed by the grated potatoes and sweet potato.  After that, lemon zest (from 1 lemon), chopped garlic (1 clove), chopped parsley, 1 egg yolk, and the salt and pepper.  A general rule when I make gnocchi is 1 1/5 cups of flour to 2 lbs of potatoes and enough yolk so that the dough isn’t sticky.  Put the mixer on low and slowly add in the 1 1/2 cups of Brown rice flour.  The dough ball will begin to form.  Continue to sprinkle more flour into the mix until you have the perfect ball.  If it feels really stick then you might need more egg yolk.  Once you have your ball, flour the surface you will be using to roll the gnocchi.  You will find that this helps greatly with the rolling process.  Next roll out the Gnocchi dough.  Refer to the video for this process.  While you are making the gnocchi, place a large pot of water on the stove to bring to a boil.  Once the water is boiling, bring it down so its still really hot but not quite boiling, and add in your  gnocchi. After about two minutes they will begin floating to the surface which means they are cooked and ready to be finished off in the pan with some olive oil.  It is important to use a pan that you have experience with that doesn’t have issues with sticking.  Brown off the outsides of the gnocchi in the pan to give it a little added crispness.

Pesto

Add in Rosemary and macadamia nuts to a lightly oiled pan.  Allow them to cook slowly together and once lightly browned, put into a food processor.  Next add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, basil, Parmesan Reggiano (optional).  You might use a spoon to help mix a bit, processing until all ingredients are mixed in well.  If too thick, you may add a little liquid or lemon juice or olive oil, if needed.  This will allow the pesto to be more whipped, lighter.

Plating

Put browned gnocchi in a mixing bowl and add pesto to coat, mix together.  Transfer to the final dish and top with grated parmesan or fresh lemon juice and basil leaves.

Health Benefits

Sweet Potato

Beta-carotene or vitamin A is an important antioxidant. One medium sweet potato provides your body with the complete recommended daily allowance of vitamin A and then some. Vitamin A is useful in the prevention of several different types of cancer as it is one of the most potent antioxidants.

Beta-carotene also helps to internally protect your skin from sun damage by deflecting and repairing cell damage caused by excessive UV exposure. It also is an excellent nutrient for eye health and has been linked to prevention of vision loss and macular degeneration.

Sweet potatoes are also a great source of Manganese, a little-discussed trace mineral that has great health benefits. It is a pivotal component in the metabolism of carbohydrates which helps support healthy blood sugar levels. This can help stabilize the appetite for hours as opposed to the temporary satisfaction that comes with most other carbohydrates. It also is a co-factor in enzymes that play an important role in the generation of energy, as well as the efficient utilization of antioxidants. Used for treating anemia, it is also useful in the treatment of several premenstrual symptoms.

Spelt Flour

Spelt flour is more easily digested than wheat and can be tolerated by those with “Gluten Sensitivity”. This is not a gluten-free food however, so those who have a gluten allergy should not try spelt without their doctor’s approval.

Spelt has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of diabetes. A complex carbohydrate found in spelt known as mucopolysaccharide is thought to boost immunity and prevent blood clotting.

Parsley

This herb is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. A hundred grams of this fresh herb provides 12% (554 mg) of the daily recommended levels of potassium. Potassium is the chief component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure by countering the effects of sodium. Iron is essential for the production of heme, which is an important oxygen-carrying component inside red blood cells. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

Parsley provides:

38% of folates,
220% of vitamin C,
281% of vitamin A,
1366% of vitamin K,
14% of calcium,
77.5% of iron and
5561 mcg of zeaxanthin.
5054 mcg of carotene-beta
(Note:  the values are in % of Recommended Daily Allowance per 100 grams)

Macadamia Nut

Free radicals oxidize blood fats and damage healthy cells.  Macadamia nuts are good source of phytonutrients or phytochemicals like tocopherols and tocotrienols (derivatives of Vitamin E), the biologically active components in the body that help remove free radicals.  As such, their antioxidant properties reduce the possibilities of certain types of cancer like breast, cervical, gastrointestinal, lung, stomach and prostate cancers. Moreover, regular consumption of macadamia nuts serve in the growth of new tissues, slow down the ageing process, and mitigates birth defects. Macadamia is gluten-free and a popular ingredient in these dishes, a healthy alternative in patients with wheat gluten allergy and celiac disease.