Fresh Gnocchi: Gluten Free

Fresh gluten free gnocchi

Fresh gluten free gnocchi

Generally speaking, I try very hard as a celiac not to dwell on what I’m missing out on.  The benefits of being gluten free (like not being chronically ill) far outweigh the drawbacks (like being able to go to The Cheesecake Factory and eat ALL the desserts).  However, there are a few things that are just really difficult to get gluten free.  One of those things is really great, fresh Italian food.  Sure, you can buy brown rice pasta or frozen gnocchi, but it just isn’t the same.  So, to combat this issue, I turn to my kitchen and do what I do best: experiment until I find an acceptable solution!

The pot of deliciousness that my hubby relegated to the counter

The pot of deliciousness that my hubby relegated to the counter

This was my first attempt at making gluten free gnocchi.  It was far from a disaster (in fact, my husband ended up moving the pot off the table lest he eat the entire batch), yet it isn’t quite perfect yet.  So, while I’ll share the recipe I’ll caution that you may want to mess with it a bit.  I think my biggest suggestion is to add some xanthan gum to the flour, which I didn’t do.  Rolling the dough into a rope was quite challenging (it made the soft pretzels look like a walk in the park), and I think the lack of elasticity was to blame.

Despite its shortcomings, it was really tasty.  We paired it with a simple tomato sauce and topped it with fresh cheese and we both devoured it.  So I encourage you to try making your own gnocchi (and then report back to me!), and I’ll keep tweaking the recipe myself.  Because when the mistakes are this delicious, I don’t mind being a guinea pig.

Fresh Gluten Free Gnocchi

Adapted from http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Gnocchi-101335

Hot, fresh gnocchi with a glass of cab; dinner doesn't get much better  than this

Hot, fresh gnocchi with a glass of cab; dinner doesn’t get much better than this

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ lbs bakaing potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • ¼ cup shredded pecarino romano cheese
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • Olive oil and additional flour, as needed

Directions

  1. Bake potatoes for 40 minutes in an oven preheated to 400 degrees. As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and rice them. Place the riced potatoes in a single layer on your work surface and allow to cool completely.
  2. Once the potatoes have cooled, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, beat together eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Gather the riced potatoes together into a mound, and form a well in the middle. Pour the egg mixture into the mound and knead together, adding cheese and potato starch slowly, until a smooth but sticky dough forms.
  4. Divide the dough into 6-8 even pieces, and roll each piece into a half inch rope. This was really difficult for me, and I found using some olive oil on the dough helped to prevent breaking. Using a fork, make indentations along the rope, then cut into inch long pieces. Transfer the cut gnocchi onto a floured surface, and continue working until all of the dough is cut.
  5. Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water until they float, about 1 – 2 minutes.
  6. Transfer the gnocchi to a shallow saucepan with a slotted spoon, and gently toss with sauce. Serve hot.

Notes: These were quite tasty, but I plan to further refine the recipe. If you make these, I would suggest adding a bit of xanthan gum to the potato starch to help give the dough some elasticity.

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