I never thought I would be able to make something like gnocchi. My grandmother would make this along with dumplings. To me, it seemed to intricate. I thought making gnocchi would involve a lot of ingredients and steps when it actually doesn’t. I admit that I get a little nervous making something that is suppose to be light and delicate like gnocchi. And I usually need a lot of practice and I can’t always expect to master a dish like this the first round. I’m always jealous of those who can perfect gnocchi or dumplings the first time. As they say, practice makes perfect. Some say that the secret ingredients to being a skilled cook is is persistence and patience which is plausible enough for me.
For those who are not familiar with gnocchi, it is a type of pasta resembling a soft dumpling that is made from potatoes. Ingredients can sometime include egg, semolina, flour, breadcrumbs and/or cheese. I decided to make a gluten-free version of this recipe. And I’ve only used 4 ingredients. Since this recipe does yield a lot of gnocchi, I used the leftovers to make a casserole using cheese, basil, and tomatoes.
Once you’ve made your gnocchi, its entirely up to you to decide what you want to do with it. Sometimes, I may add some sauteed onions and season it with a bit of garlic,salt, pepper, and paprika. I may throw in some herbs as well. I’ve seen people incorporate some cooked ground beef and tomato sauce which is delicious. You can sprinkle some Parmesan cheese as well. Or you can eat the gnocchi as it is which I sometimes do.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 lbs of russet potatoes
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 cup of rice flour
- 1 cup of chickpea flour
Scrub potatoes and poke 3-4 times with a fork. Bake in a pre-heated 400° oven or 375° convection for about an hour or until soft inside. Baking the potato keeps the moisture down and is better than boiling potatoes for this recipe. While potatoes are baking, mix the flours together. When potatoes are soft, remove from oven and cut in half lengthwise. Cool until you are able to handle them. Scoop potatoes out with a spoon and place into a potato ricer. This removes the lumps. If you don’t have a potato ricer, mash with a fork until there are no lumps.
Cool potatoes slightly. They should not be hot .Whisk together eggs and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour over the potatoes. Work the egg mixture into the potatoes with a bench scrapper or fork until potatoes begin to hold together. Mixture will be sticky. Continue to add flour until the dough comes together but is no longer sticky. It should almost feel like play dough; tacky but not sticky.
Work one cup of the flour mixture into the potato mixture. Start by working the flour into the potato mixture with a bench scrapper or fork. As soon as a dough begins to form, begin kneading the dough by hand until all the flour is incorporated. The dough should be firm and not sticky. If it is, add the remaining flour mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time.
Divide the dough into quarters. Then, as you work with it, cut each quarter in half. Cover remaining dough with a damp paper towel. Roll out each dough eighth into a log. Cut into bite-size pieces. Shape by either pressing a small indentation into each gnocchi or rolling the gnocchi over a fork or gnocchi board.
Transfer shaped gnocchi to a lightly white rice-floured baking sheet. Shaped gnocchi can either be frozen or cooked right away.
To Freeze: Place baking sheet filled with gnocchi in the freezer. Once the gnocchi are frozen, transfer to a plastic freezer bag. Gnocchi may be frozen for up to two months. Cook as directed below.
To Cook: Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook half the fresh or frozen gnocchi in the boiling water until they float, about four minutes. (Taste one gnocchi to ensure it is cooked through). Remove the gnocchi from the water with a skimmer and transfer to a bowl or pot of sauce. Repeat with remaining gnocchi. If gnocchi must be held for more than a moment, drizzle with oil and toss to prevent sticking.