When I was first diagnosed with celiac, almost five years ago now, I was lucky. I had been so sick, and I was so clear that cutting out gluten made a profound difference in my life, that I embraced this.
That doesn’t mean I went without grieving. I walked around the grocery store, weaving through the aisles, picking up foods and putting them down again. It was painfully clear to me that at least half my usual meals were gone. I left the bread section behind me.
Standing in the produce section, I felt more at peace.
And then I thought: what I am going to do without pizza?
There’s no need to go without pizza when you’re gluten-free. And I don’t mean pizza that tastes like cardboard soaked in tomato sauce, or pizza that pushes against your teeth and doesn’t relent or pizza that is shaped like a pizza but doesn’t taste or feel or smell anything like pizza.
I mean pizza like you see up there in that photograph, the gluten-free pizza I made in our kitchen on Wednesday night.
I may be more proud of this than any baked good I have come up with. A pizza crust with a chewy bite and crisp shattery crust. Air holes. Look at those air holes.
Danny shot me this look when he took the first bite. A look that said, “Holy shit, woman. How did you do this?”
It’s pizza. It’s really good pizza. Hell, it’s great pizza. The fact that it’s gluten-free? Who cares? It’s pizza.
And then there’s pasta.
This is the fresh fettucine with homemade pork ragu we had for dinner Tuesday night. This latest version of the pasta? It’s toothy and tender at the same time. We slurped up each noodle until our lips were flecked with red sauce and smiling.
We’re almost done with these recipes.
Now, I know you’re going to want to yell at me, but I’m not posting the recipes today. Or even for a bit. Both these recipes will be in our cookbook, which now has a release date. (Drum roll please.…September 28th, 2010!) I know that’s a long time to wait, but hear me out.
When I posted photos of some of the baked goods we have been working on for the cookbook, back in September, some of you wanted the recipes right then. I understand. But since September, we’ve been making pizza and pasta and pie almost non-stop, to make sure we have the very best recipes we can before the book goes to print. We have one more time to look at the book and make tiny changes before we fully let go.
This pizza? This pasta? They are both 10 times better than the ones I posted photos of in September.
Trust me. The wait will be worth it.