companion blog to the e-book the 24/7 Low Carb Diner

Companion blog to the e-book
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sunbaked Tomato Basil Sauce and Notato Gnocchi

It has been a day of experimenting--both in the kitchen and the front yard. Mixed reviews. My tastebuds are happy. My man, well, not his favorite. The difference? I love cheese way more than he does--especially Parmesan. I also happen to adore the complex sweetness of balsamic vinegar. Him? Well, he is a ranch guy who hates vinaigrettes.

But maybe, just maybe, you are more like me. Maybe you will think this meal is nothing short of manna from heaven. So here goes anyway.

I have been thinking about a gnocci recipe for months. I had seen some on the SCD sites for a pumpkin and almond flour gnocci. Reviews say the plump little pillows of dough fall apart in the boiling water. Who wants to waste time and expensive ingredients to end up with a pan of goo? The Italian originals, which call for potatoes, have all that starch to bind them. Low Carb? Can it be done?

Well, I just got several new bags of coconut flour, so I am stocked and ready to have some kitchen chemistry fun. Knowing how absolutely sticky coconut flour can be, I took the plunge. So glad I did. I think these are awesome as a stand in for pasta. Amazingly, they are not too hard to make, either.

Notato Gnocchi

This is one of the recipes included in my new cookbook project, Low Carbing Among Friends.
This recipe is available in the book, along with over 60 additional 24/7 Low Carb Diner recipes. By ordering the book, you get more than 300 favorite gluten free recipes from four other well known low carb cooking experts…Jennifer Eloff of Splendid Low Carbing cookbook fame, Kent Altena, the Atkins Diet Geek and You Tube star, nutritionist and author Maria Emmerich of Maria’s Nutritious and Delicious Journal, and popular blogger and food stylist, Carolyn Ketchum of All Day I Dream About Food. Unlike any other cookbook you may own, this one is a compilation of mini cookbooks featuring the talents of these well known low carbers. Think of it as a “best of” project.
Low Carbing Among Friends also features recipes from numerous other talented low carbing friends and recommendations from the medical community who recognize the health benefits of low carb, gluten free living. To preorder your copy, visit The official release date is 11/11/11, so pre-order now for a discount.

I made my test batch of gnocchi this morning. They did not dissolve--just lost a little in the boiling water. If you take the time to roll them into actual balls, you get almost no loss to the water. I left them with the rough edges from the cutting of the ropes. That shape is more interesting and more like a traditional gnocchi. It is rather hard to decide when they are done. Unlike the potato counterpart, it is not when they float to the surface. Have a timer handy. 3-4 minutes is good enough. I wonder what would happen if you just keep on boiling? I dunno. I did try roasting them in the toaster oven too, but I really prefer the boiled gnocci. More like a pasta and less like a bread.

Then I had to decide on a sauce. I remembered a no cook tomato sauce I loved back when the boys were really little. It was something I made just for me--they never were big on fresh raw veggies. That recipe was long gone, but luckily the internet is full of them. It seems that lots of people love this sauce. Maybe not my hubby, but lots of people out there. Maybe he is the weird one. I saw one comment from a woman whose family always made a sauce in the summer sun like sun tea. She did not leave the recipe, but I took her idea and ran with it using my memories of my old recipe. Well, that and what I have in the kitchen. If you like sweet and tart, this will be a light summer sauce you can love. No heating the kitchen--if you already made the gnocci! I am taking advantage of lots of herbs growing like crazy in my garden right now.

Sun Baked Tomato Basil Sauce

5 fresh Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 packet sweetener
2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
16 basil leaves
6 oregano leaves
2 chives

Finely chop tomatoes, reserving juice. Place them all in a quart sized jar. Add olive oil, vinegar, sweetener, garlic and pepper. Chop all the herbs very finely and add to the jar. Stir to distribute the herbs. Set the jar in the sun for several hours to warm and develop the flavor.

Now dinner is done. A little chicken and some salad. More experiments to come!


Anonymous said... I will definitely be trying these this weekend!!!!

Joan said...

Oh Lisa, I love you! I love Gnocci, and I can have coconut flour very soon...and I just made a ton of pasta sauce.... Yayyyyy! Thank you!

Allison said...

Do you think the recipe for gnocci will lend it self to a good dumpling substitute?

Lisa Marshall said...

Allison-- I am not sure.The cheese flavor is pretty strong.Maybe we should try it boiled broth without the garlic and cheese and see what happens. Now that you have me thinking...