A longing for low carb Gnocchi or pasta? Try Gnudi!

8 Aug

Just before I started this way of eating I had a real ‘foodie’ friend come to visit. Quite frankly any of the usual dishes in my repertoire were not going to cut it, so I decided to up the anti and make my own pasta for dinner.  It took ages.  All the faffing around making the dough and getting it to the right consistency and rolling it to the right amount, never mind the fillings which I decided were the easy bit.

As I proudly served up my labour of love and watched my friend and OH chew.. and chew..  and chew.. I realised I had been so obsessed about making the pasta what I has actually served them was a boiled piece of dough with a TINY pocket of filling… good job I had made a good dessert!  Bad as that was it motivated me to 1) Kick-start the low carb as I had no desire to even look at pasta for a good long while and 2) gave me proof that fillings were definitely the important bit, and that I wouldn’t miss the pasta part anyway in my low-carb dieting.

And by and large I haven’t.   Having the courgette gadget to create courgetti spaghetti has certainly made it possible to have pasta-esque meals  using the sauces which were the main bit I missed, but after a long time eating this way, my thoughts have now and again turned to pasta (though not making it!) and how easy it is if you are entertaining or want an easy night of cooking, but short of picking off the outside of a Raviloi I was bemused as to how I could do this low-carb style.

So it was coincidental then, that it was while having one of these easy nights and having a night off in front of the TV that the answer came through, rather incongruously given the expertise hinted at in the title, Masterchef.  Myself and OH, like much of Britain, like to sit in front of this programme where contestants compete to cook restaurant standard dishes to please a couple of shouty men from the food profession.  There is not often much cause for low carb celebration (though was amazed to see a contestant once rewarded for their up-to-the-minute skills in cooking cauliflower mash –  which low carb fans have been enjoying for ages).  But in this episode, one recipe made me sit up straight and start thinking about dinner… Gnudi.

Gnudi is kind of a cross between Ravioli and Gnocchi.  Ravioli because it is essentially a way of cooking it without the pasta shell (naked, or nude hence the name) and Gnocchi because of the manner in which it is cooked like dumplings and boiled until they rise to the top.  I believe there are lots of ways of cooking this and I have deviated from the recipe I saw to ensure it is low carb – notably removing the flour from the recipe when making it and using ground almonds to roll the dumplings in before cooking (though as such a small amount of flour would be used for this, I suppose it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you were to keep that in).

What is great about these is even one is really filling, so might be a good option to have alongside a salad or a meal, OR you can really go to town in serving them in a dish as something that both carb and no-carb eaters can enjoy.  It would also make a great serving dish alongside a nice crisp salad.  Now that we are growing salad leaves on our balcony, I may just have to invite that friend back round and try again!

Step one.. mix all ingredients...

Low Carb Gnudi

3 Eggs

250 g Ricotta Cheese

120g Grated Parmesan Cheese

Frozen Chopped Spinach (approx 5 bundles, thawed)

Ground Almonds (approx two tablespoons) – or flour

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Step two... bring to the boil

Method:

Separate eggs and add the yolks to a bowl, mixing in the Ricotta Cheese and Parmesan.

Thaw the spinach and (importantly!) squeeze out any excess water.

Combine the spinach with the rest of the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle ground almonds over a small plate.

Scoop out small amounts and roll into a ball, then roll in the ground almonds or flour until coated.

Add to a pan of boiling water and boil for about 5 mins – Gnudi will have floated to the top of the water.

Remove with slotted spoon and serve straight away with sauce, or add to oven proof dish coat with a sauce and bake in oven for a further 5-10 mins and serve.

Step three - Low Carb Gnudi pasta/dumplings ready for the sauce or style of your choosing!

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4 Responses to “A longing for low carb Gnocchi or pasta? Try Gnudi!”

  1. naturally44 August 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Looks interesting – what is the texture like? I usually just stick to zuchinni. Happy Sunday!

    • lowcarbnotnocarb August 8, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

      And a Happy Sunday to you too! 🙂 Texture works well with the spinach I think (long as its chopped), think insides of Ravioli, on a larger scale! Plus it has the cooked Parmesan to bind and create flavour, without being ‘stringy’. Does make it quite rich though so recommend a light sauce!

  2. Patty February 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    Oh! Thank you, thank you!
    My hubbie is diabetic and on an extremely low-carb diet to control his blood sugar levels.
    He has missed pasta.
    This will open up a whole new level of allowable foods for him.
    Do you think these gnudi might stand up to light pan frying?

    • lowcarbnotnocarb February 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

      Hi Patty, so pleased to hear the recipes may be helpful for you! You have to handle these quite carefully while cooking, but if very gently maneuvered from pan to pan they may well be able to be lightly fried – would love to hear how you get on!

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