By Alethea Mauro
I have always wanted to make Gnocchi ( or as we call it ‘pillow pasta’), but always felt a bit intimidated about trying to create a successful gluten-free gnocci recipe. After many self pep talks I finally took the plunge and had a go and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it actually was. I was so excited (I may have done a little happy dance) when I plopped my finished gnocchi balls into the big pot of bubbling water and they didn’t break apart into potato pasta mush or stay stuck to the bottom of the pot!
In this big batch recipe I chose to bake the potatoes, as opposed to boiling or steaming them, as I recall a Masterchef episode that said the drier the potato the better. Obviously its a little more time-consuming, but the great thing is you can just bung them in the oven (pop on the timer) and then wander of and do your chores or play with the kids, as with them still in their skins it’s harder to burn them.
The big batch recipe is enough to feed a family of four for 2 meals – so you can enjoy your fresh gnocchi for dinner and pop the other batch in the freezer for a quick and easy midweek meal.
8 medium brushed potatoes (approximately 1.2kg)
4 eggs (approx 55g sized eggs)
Salt & pepper (I use Herbamare herb sea-salt for added flavour – found in Woolworth’s/Coles health section)
1. Pre-heat oven 180 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Wash the potatoes well to ensure all the dirt is removed and place the potatoes on the baking in the oven for approximately 60-90 minutes or until soft in the centre.
3. Cut the cooked potatoes in half and using a fork scrape the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Once you have scraped all the flesh, use the fork to mash any larger lumps in the bowl so that you don’t have lumps in your gnocchi. Allow to cool before proceeding.
4. Once the potatoes have cooled add the egg, salt and pepper and combine. Add half the flour and mix until combined and then add the remaining flour and combine well – I find that it’s easiest to use your hands to combine the dough. N.B. if your eggs are larger than 55g each, adjust the flour quantity if needed as you do not want a really wet dough – however be careful not to add too much flour as you do not want it crumbly either.
5. Dust flour onto a board and turn your dough out and knead until smooth. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. using your hands roll each portion into a long ‘snake like’ log (approx 30 cm long and 2cm thick). using a knife cut the into equal pieces, approx 1.5cm wide. You can purely for looks, lightly roll each piece in your palm to make a ball shape before pressing with a fork – however if I’m in a rush I just press the cut shape with a fork.
6. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the gnocchi – cook until the gnocchi floats to the surface (approx 3-5 minutes).7. Serve with a pasta sauce of your choice e.g pesto
8. To freeze the other half of the batch, it is best placed in a container lined with baking paper between the layers of gnocchi.