Monday, April 23, 2012

Gluten Free Gnocchi



I wish I had sweet childhood memory of gnocchi to tell you and to liven up this entry a bit, but sadly I had never tried gnocchi during my gluten full days. I have no idea what it is ‘supposed’ to taste like. I do, however, know that I tried it at the only 100% gluten free restaurant in Ottawa, Ontario during a work trip and was not disappointed. On my last trip to Ottawa  I made it a point of finding my way to Caprese Ristorante Italiano on the first night. I landed, caught the bus to my hotel, dropped off my bags and grabbed a taxi to the restaurant. Who cares if it was only 4pm my time, it was 7pm local time and they were closing soon. Actually it was a little later than that by the time I got there, but as soon as I did I ordered 3 dinners; one to stay and two to go.


The one to stay was gnocchi in a creamy rose sauce. I had never had gnocchi before that point and figured, what the heck, I should try something new. After the first bight I wished I had ordered gnocchi for all of my meals. It was so yummy! I think I may have actually fallen in love with the sauce more, but the vehicle for the sauce was darn good too.

So I endeavored to learn how to make it at home. It’s not difficult per say, just time consuming. I watched this video on how to make traditional gnocchi and then adapted the recipe. My recipe is not nearly as good as what I had at the restaurant, but it’ll do for now. Perhaps you have a better version? This version does best with a good tomato or cream sauce. You can use pesto to, but I think I like the creamy sauces better.


Gnocchi

2 lbs potatoes
¼ cup potato starch
¾ cup quinoa flour
1 cup chickpea flour
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

First bake or boil 2 lbs of large potatoes (russet or yellow). While they are hot, using oven mitts, peel them and pass them through a potato ricer or the shredder of your food processor. Let them cool slightly so they don’t cook the eggs, but they work better warm. 

Place shredded potatoes onto a counter coated in chickpea flour or on wax paper with chickpea flour and sprinkle remaining dry ingredients over potatoes. Form a well in the centre and crack your eggs there. Then with your hands, mix the potato with the flour and eggs and kneed into a dough. Once everything is mixed evenly break of a small junk and roll it into a long rope (see video). Cut the rope into 1 inch segments and continue until all the dough is done.  You can leave as is for a rustic look or you can press with a fork or mold around your thumb for other shapes that hold sauce well.

Once gnocchi are formed you can throw them into a pot of boiling water. Boil until they float (approximately 1 minute). Then throw them into a sauce of your choice and heat for a few more minutes. Serve.

Alternatively, if you have too much gnocchi, you can place them on a cookie sheet and freeze them in a single layer for a few hours  and then put them in a freezer bag until you want to use them. Cooking directions are the same, only it takes about 3 minutes for them to float from frozen. 

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