A low-carb alternative to gnocchi, made with just 4 ingredients. Add the deeply comforting creamy sun-dried tomato sauce with silky spinach for a very special, but very simple, meal. Both the gnocchi and sauce are freezable.
Cut up the cauliflower and place in a blender. Fill the blender with enough water to allow the cauliflower to float. Pop on the top and pulse until you get "grains" - about 6 times.
Line a colander with a clean tea towel and pour the cauliflower in, allowing the water to drain freely. Bring up the edges of the towel and twist hard. Twist and squeeze to release as much water as humanly possibly. And then try harder. :-) Tip the dry cauliflower into the bowl of your food processor.
Add the almond flour, xanthan gum, salt and optional nutritional yeast to the food processor and blend until your get a soft dough. You may want to scrape the sides once or twice. Roll a piece in between your fingers to form a ball. If it does, great. If not, add a little more almond flour if the ball is too wet. And a tiny drop of water if too dry. Blend again and test. Scrape into a bowl and lightly cover - or just cover the food processor bowl - and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour. This lets the xanthan gum do its binding job better.
Line a tray or two with parchement paper and slick with oil. Keep the oil handy for later. Preheat the oven to 200°C/425°F.
Scatter a handful of almond flour onto a piece of parchment paper and tip out the cauliflower dough. Roughly shape into a rectangle, then cut into 4 lengths. Gently use your hands to roll each piece into a slim cylinder, reshaping and pressing together as needed - hopefully not necessary if you are gently enough. Remember, it has no gluten so doesn't act like a proper dough. Then use a knife to cut into 2 cm pieces or thereabouts. At this stage you can cover and chill for a day or two before cooking.
Once you are ready to cook, bring a pan of water to a steady simmer (not boil or the gnocchi may break apart) and, using a slotted spoon, lower some of the gnocchi into the bubbling water. Leave for 45 seconds then gently scoop them out, letting the water drip away, then place onto the oiled parchment paper. It doesn't matter if they are a bit wet. Carry on with the remaining dough. Slick each gnocchi with a little oil as best you can.
Place the trays into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently turn each gnocchi and return to the oven - swap them round - for a further 10 minutes. You don't have to flip them, It is more to get the gnocchi evenly golden.
Finely mince the shallot and garlic. Finely mince the sun-dried tomatoes Heat the oil over a medium-low flame and saute the shallot and garlic until the shallot is soft and taking on colour - about five minutes.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, mustard, thyme leaves, vinegar/lemon, cream and stock/water. Let this all bubble up on a low heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Rinse the spinach and stir in to the sauce. Let the sauce spinach just wilt down. Taste for seasoning. Add black pepper if you wish.
Divide the warm gnocchi between two wide pasta bowls and pour over the sauce. Top with extra fresh thyme leaves and chopped sun-dried or fersh tomatoes if you like.