27 November 2010

Foodbuzz 24x24: An Italian Thanksgiving Goes Gluten Free

Thanksgiving is a time of . . . well in my family, being very gluttonous. It means eating for 8 hours straight. It means having antipasti plates to feed 40 when we’re only serving 20. It means wine, wine and more wine and of course, a multitude of desserts.

The word glutton reminds me of the word gluten. A thing until very recently I relied on for practically every meal. Gluten intolerance has left me dumbfounded curious with the many GF alternatives. An Italian goes gluten free; the predicament of this very statement. Rice pasta, quinoa flour, flourless anything! And so I explore . . .

My sponsor, Foodbuzz, does a monthly challenge called 24x24. 24 Featured Publishers across the world are chosen to blog about a unique meal and all within 24 hours. Mangia was chosen. November’s challenge: Get creative on a Thanksgiving meal.

The task at hand: turning the most gluten-ous Italian Thanksgiving into GF deliciousness. Oh, and no one can know . . . Italians are very proud of their gluten.

Thanksgiving Menu

Caprese salad
Antipasti plate
GF French Bread
Fruit and Vegetable platters
Malone y Prosciutto
Penne Rice Pasta with Chicken Sausage Marinara
Orange Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce
Grandma’s Sausage Stuffing with Dessert Lab Gluten Free Bread
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Quinoa Flour Gravy
Brown Sugar Yams
Green Beans with Pancetta
Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake
Dessert Labs Apple Pie
Fresh Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream


The De Marco stuffing if I may say so myself, is not only our signature dish, but the best stuffing in all of the world. It’s not your typical dried out mush. Its full of flavor and texture. We decided to have a little test –which stuffing was better? GF or G filled? Let me just say the table was passing around both stuffings and not a word was mentioned.


Sides, sides and more sides . . .

Pancetta Green Beans--to die for. Nothing more then beans, olive oil and pancetta.

 Our 26 lb turkey. Perfectly roasted. Cheers to dad for not drying it out.

On to dessert . . . Pumpkin Pie, GF Apple Pie from Dessert Lab and homemade Chocolate Cheesecake with a gluten free hazelnut crust.  Brilliant and delicious.

 Mi Familia . . .

Grandma’s Sausage Stuffing

1lb Italian Sausage (ground)
1 lb pancetta or bacon
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2-3 cloves garlic
2 cups white onion
2 cups chopped celery
3 bags of spinach
1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken broth
2 eggs
1 0-16 oz dried bread crumbs (depending on how bready you like your stuffing)
*We bought gluten free breadcrumbs from a local bakery
1 teas sage
1 teas marjoram
1 teas rosemary

Cook Italian sausage and bacon and put aside. Saut√© mushrooms, garlic, onions and celery in ½ cube butter. Once cooked add spices and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Steam or boil spinach and drain. Don’t cook longer than 60 seconds. Transfer cooked vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Add sausage and chopped bacon, bread crumbs, spinach, eggs, red wine and chicken broth. Mix the stuffing together until its well coated. Stuff the bird and enjoy!


  1. delicious meal and presentation
    looks wonderful

  2. Congratulations Danielle! Your mom just sent this to me. What a beautiful feast - how proud your parents must be. And what a treat to cook in the new kitchen:). I am forwarding your blog to my cousin in Seattle who has a 10 yr old daughter with siliac (needs to eat gluten free). This is a great testimony that GL is yummy too!
    Susan Menendez

  3. Your table is absolutely gorgeous, as is all the food you made!

  4. who knew that gluten free could be so fun. -Barbra Bush 1987 Olympics.

  5. Wow, everything looks wonderful. There are so many delicious things to cook being gluten free.

  6. That's a whole lot of food, but everything looks delicious. Nice post. Congrats on 24x24.

  7. All of those herbs in that stuffing look delicious! Congrats on 24x24 - lots of great ideas for gluten-free folks. The hazelnut crust... yum!

  8. I love your post! I'm not celiac or gluten intolerant, but have many friends who are and have increasingly tried to move my meals and menus toward being GF (my Thanksgiving was, incidentally, gluten free. I didn't realize it until I was writing down all the recipes). But, unfortunately, I am allergic to one thing: pork! How cruel is that? It may be tough to be go gluten free Italian, but pork-free Italian hardly seems Italian at all. :) Cheers!

  9. Your prosciutto e melone brought a tear to my eye :) And so did your pasta and your pancetta green beans. *Roasted* green beans, even just with olive oil, are wonderful! I so wish North America would discover this simple secret and stop serving them blanched :)