With the end of the school year just around the corner and G preparing to start her final year of Juniors in September, I’ve recently been reminiscing about her baby years and in particular, when we first found out I was pregnant with her. I had just qualified as an accountant, was about to move to my first job in industry and Mike and I were on holiday in Florida. My main recollection, other than the overwhelming joy of discovering we were expecting our first child, is eating Gnocchi at the Via Napoli restaurant at Epcot. For those not in the know, gnocchi are mouth-watering Italian potato dumplings and, quite obviously, this experience was in the days before my own potato intolerance was identified.
As I recalled the delicious flavours that literally melted in my mouth during that holiday, I wondered whether this was a food experience that I would ever be able to enjoy again or one that I could introduce to my multiple allergy-suffering children. I did some research on-line and found two recipes that almost fit the bill. Whilst neither was perfect by itself, I could combine and adapt them to create both M-friendly and G-friendly gnocchi. Due to the pernickety nature of my eldest, who won’t touch sweet potato with a 10-foot barge-pole, I had to use this allergy-friendly recipe, whilst I needed the expertise of this sweet potato alternative for M. I decided it would be worth the time and hard work required to cook both recipes if I could find a new meal that both would ultimately enjoy.
I will warn you now that this is not a recipe for the faint-hearted as it is relatively labour-intensive, but the delightful end result was, in my opinion, well worth the effort. I invested in a potato ricer, which produced the most wonderfully smooth mashed potato I’ve ever seen. I have since learned that you can achieve the same result using a bog standard food blender, but I’m thrilled with my shiny new kitchen gadget and wouldn’t swap it for the world.
I almost come unstuck over the weighty decision of a sauce, but decided to err on the side of caution and prepare the one suggested with the sweet potato gnocchi recipe, keeping my fingers crossed it might pass muster with G and M alike. I am astounded and delighted to announce that neither child turned their noses up at my home-made gnocchi and they were an unexpected resounding success. Unbelievably both children cleared their plates and G was so enthusiastic about the dish that she asked if I could make it again the following day!
The batches of the gnocchi dough I had made with my adapted recipe were enough to not only feed the 4 of us a hearty dinner, but also allowed me to batch up 3 more dinners for G and M and pop them into the freezer for future occasions. As the Italians would say, “molto delizioso!“