Last week I ordered some stinging nettles in my CSA box from Simpler Thyme Organic Farm. I had decided I was going to try one of Chef Frank Giglio’s recipes and decided upon this one.
We eat pasta very rarely, perhaps once or twice a year so this was a big treat for us. I knew I wanted to make it gluten-free, so I decided to go with a mix of sorghum flour and buckwheat flour (3/4 cup of each plus more for sprinkling). I also knew I didn’t want it all to be regular potato, so I used a mix of russets and sweet potatoes. I think I used just a little over 2lbs in total. This made enough for a side dish for the three of us and a full baking sheet to freeze for later (at least 2-3 more meals worth).
I served this on the side with some organic Rainbow trout fillets (baked at 350F for 13 minutes) and it truly was a delicious meal.
Here’s what I did…
I steamed approximately 2 pounds (in total) of russet potatoes and sweet potatoes. It’s always a good idea to use organic if possible.
I mashed them and added a couple of teaspoons of Himalayan salt.
Meanwhile, I picked the leaves (discarded stems) and washed about 6 ounces of stinging nettles.
I blanched the nettles in a pot of simmering, salted water for about a minute and then shocked them in cold water.
Then I drained them well and put them into the Vitamix. As you can see, they shrunk a LOT after being blanched. Because I knew this tiny amount wouldn’t be caught by the blades, I added about 1/2 a cup of the potato mixture before blending.
I removed the mixture from the Vitamix and added it to the mashed potatoes in the bowl.
I added a lovely farm fresh egg and gave it a quick mix.
Then I added about 3/4 cup sorghum flour and 3/4 cup buckwheat flour.
This is the sorghum flour I used.
And this is the buckwheat flour. I usually make my own in the Vitamix but had this in my pantry.
Then I mixed it all together and kneaded the dough for about 3 or 4 minutes, sprinkling with a little more flour when needed.
I broke off pieces (about 1/2 cup at a time) and rolled them into long ropes, on a lightly floured surface.
Then I cut them into approximately 3/4 inch lengths and placed onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. I kept enough aside for dinner and froze the rest. Once frozen, I put them into a freezer bag.
To serve the gnocchi, I brought a large pot of salted water to a boil, then allowed it to simmer. I dropped the gnocchi into the pot one by one and after they started to float, I gave them about another minute and then drained them. I sautéed them for about 2 minutes in a pan of sizzling butter and served alongside the trout. YUM.
Stinging Nettle Gnocchi
2 pounds of potatoes (sweet and russet), peeled and chopped
6 ounces stinging nettles, washed and stems discarded
2 teaspoons Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt
1 farm fresh, organic egg (from a happy hen)
¾ cup sorghum flour (plus more for sprinkling)
¾ cup buckwheat flour
Steam and mash potatoes and place in a large bowl (I mashed them right in the bowl).
Blanch nettles in a large pot of salted water for about a minute and then shock with cold water. Drain well and make into a paste in either a food processor or blender.
Add to bowl of potatoes along with salt and egg.
Mix well and then add flour. Knead for a few minutes.
Using about ½ cup mixture at a time, roll into a rope on a lightly floured surface and cut into pieces about ¾ inch in size. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze any you aren’t using right away.
To cook, add gnocchi to a large pan of lightly boiling (a little more than a simmer) salted water. After they float, let them cook for another minute or so.
Remove with a slotted spoon. And place into a pan of sizzling butter. Cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Serve.
These of course can also be served as a main dish in any number of pasta sauces, such as tomato sauce,marinara, Bolognese, vodka sauce, etc… The possibilities are almost endless.