Although most people think potatoes when they think gnocchi, gnocchi can actually be any thick, soft pasta made from flour, semolina, eggs, cheese, breadcrumbs, potatoes or any combination thereof. The word gnoccho, where gnocchi is thought to be derived, means little lump. Not very enticing I know. Especially since gnocchi, when done well, are light, delicate and anything but lump-like. Using potatoes as a base means making gluten free gnocchi can be quite simple. So Just channel your inner nonna and get cookin'.
1 hour, 15 minutes
1 hour, 45 minutes
To Make the Dough:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash and dry approximately 2 lbs of potatoes. Spread a thick layer of salt on your baking pan. Prick the potatoes using a fork and place on the salt. Bake the whole potatoes until they are soft. This can take 1-2 hours depending on the size of the potatoes.
While still hot, peel and pass through a potato ricer using the finest hole size. Let the riced potatoes cool at least 15 minutes before continuing to make the dough.
Weigh out 1 lb of riced potatoes. Sprinkle the riced potatoes with salt, nutmeg and 3/4 of the flour. Make well in the center of potatoes and add the egg. Using a fork, pull the flour and potatoes into the egg gradually. Once egg is mixed in, bring the dough together using a bench scraper to gently fold the dough onto itself. Continue to "knead" the dough briefly, adding more flour if necessary. The resulting dough should be moist but not sticky and should feel pillowy.
Divide the dough into manageable pieces. Now gently roll each piece into a snake-shaped log, roughly the thickness of your thumb. Use a knife to cut pieces every 3/4-inch.
To Shape the Gnocchi
Cooks use a variety of implements to shape gnocchi, depending on preference and regional style. Shaping them helps them cook more evenly and gives them rough exterior markings that help trap the sauce. The basic idea is to gently press a small nugget of dough against a textured surface with your thumb; by pressing with a slight forward motion, you can make the gnocchi curl like a C. The easiest method is hold a fork in one hand and place a gnocchi pillow against the tines of the fork. Gently roll/press the tines into the dough. The dough will capture the impression of the tines as tiny ridges.
To Cook the Gnocchi
- Boiling - Bring a very large pot of salted water to a simmer. Have a large platter or bowl ready with a generous swirl of whatever sauce you are using. Cook the gnocchi in batches by dropping them into the simmering water. At first the gnocchi will sink to the bottom. As they cook, the finished gnocchi will float back up to the top letting you know when they are cooked properly. Give them another 10-20 seconds once they have surfaced and then remove the with a slotted spoon to the platter or sauce. Continue cooking in batches until all the gnocchi are done. Gently toss with more sauce if desired.
- Sauteeing - Heat a large sautee pan over medium high heat. Add butter or olive oil. Place gnocchi in the pan so that there is only a single layer and every piece has good contact with the pan. Let cook 2-3 minutes until a golden brown crust forms. Flip the gnocchi and allow to cook on the other side until golden brown. Add 1/4 c. white wine, stock or other liquid. Cover and cook 5 more minutes.
Check out our tips for making great gluten free gnocchi.