A few weeks ago I attended a course by Gabriele Taddeucci on how to make gluten-free gnocchi. He kindly and generously allowed me to share his recipes with you.
I do have to let you know that I’m no expert in making beautiful, light-as-a-pillow gnocchi. I have horror memories of once ambitiously making a birthday dinner for Carl with homemade gnocchi served with a sugo sauce. From the outset everything went wrong and it wasn’t until around midnight that we finally sat down to a horror meal of solid, lumpy bullets covered in a sauce that needed further reducing.
Having attended Gabriele’s course, I now know all the places where I went wrong.
The first thing you must do is buy old potatoes – those with a thick skin so you definitely don’t want to buy new potatoes or those modern varieties that are covered in a fine veil of a skin. Then cook the potatoes whole so they don’t absorb as much liquid – you want them as dry as possible. Alternatively, you can cook whole potatoes in the oven and this is what I did so there was no risk of a watery potato mash.
Then the potato mash must be cold before you mix it with the flour. I remember last time I was mixing the dough I was practically burning my hands the potato was so hot.
Here’s the recipe for the gnocchi…
Degree of Difficulty: 3/5
Cost: One of the cheapest family meals you’ll ever make.
- 175g rice flour
- 500g mashed potato
- 2 egg yolks (I used 60g organic eggs)
- 10g salt (2 tspns)
Put the flour on the table and add the salt and potato. Mix in the egg yolks then mix until you have a soft ball. Do not overwork the dough. As soon as it sticks to your hands, stop! Gnocchi is a very delicate dough and the less you work it, the softer your gnocchi will be.
Cut a small piece of dough and roll it with the palm of your hands until you have a long thin cylinder. Cut it with a knife using a little flour if necessary. Give the gnocchi the proper shape and cook them in salted boiling water straight away. (If you leave the gnocchi in the fridge uncooked, they will start to get soggy and gluey).
If you make the gnocchi the day before required, you can cook it then strain it and then cool in water and ice. Dry them with a cloth and store them in a container with a bit of olive oil. This way you will be able to keep your gnocchi cooked in a the fridge for a couple of days. When you want to have them, just tip them into boiling water until they rise to the surface.
Gabriele believes in simple sauces. Hallelujah! The sauce he made for the gnocchi involved some garlic gently sauteed in olive oil, a variety of chopped mushrooms added, then a ladle of the gnocchi water was added, some grated pecorino cheese and voila, the sauce was ready.
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: This is a very inexpensive pasta sauce.
- 2 tbspns olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1kg of mushrooms (I used button, Swiss brown, shiitake and enoki), wiped clean and sliced
- handful of grated pecorino cheese
- handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic and stir until fragrant. Add mushrooms and stir until combined in oil and garlic. Simmer until softened (around 10 minutes). Add cheese and parsley. When gnocchi is cooked, ladle 1-2 spoonfuls of pasta water into sauce and mix until combined. When gnocchi rise to the surface, strain gnocchi and add to sauce. Mix to combine.
Serve gnocchi with mushroom sauce with a sprinkling of pecorino cheese.
I would certainly not say that I’m now an expert in making gnocchi however, this was an enormous improvement on my last efforts. I believe making gnocchi is one of those skills where you definitely improve with practice.
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