Gluten free fresh gnocchi dough dumplings

Ollie

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The word gnocchi is thought to be derived from either the Italian word for a knot in a piece of wood, or the word for knuckle. It has been a traditional type of pasta since Roman times. The use of potato is a relatively recent innovation and follows the introduction of potatoes into Europe in the 16th century by the Spanish. Gnocchi are various thick, small and soft dumplings made from a variety of ingredients. There are many regional variations, Italian, Croatian, Polish, French, and there is an interesting story about gnocchi in South America, where the significant number of Italian immigrants introduced gnocchi to the continent. In Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina there is, apparently, a tradition of eating gnocchi on the 29th of the month (pay day) with some people putting money beneath their plates to bring prosperity.

Gnocchi dumplings are eaten as an alternative to soups or pasta.

In terms of the type of potato to use, choose varieties that are starchy, light, fluffy, floury or mealy, such as Russet type (skin colour light to medium brown and mottled), Idaho, or Sweet potato, and at second best, White all purpose, such as King Edward (creamy skin with pink blushes), Maris Piper, Kennebee, or Yellow, such as Yukon Gold or Mayan Gold.
Choose potatoes with heavy, firm, clear skins (old potatoes) and with few indents (eyes), cuts, cracks, soft spots, or green tinges.

1kg (2.2lb) of raw potatoes yields approximately 700g (25oz (3 1/2C)) mashed potato.

Ingredients:
(Non-sweet) Potatoes 1kg (raw weight)
Rice flour mix* 200g (Sweet potatoes need a lot more - watch this space!)
Eggs 100g (2 large)
Salt 1tsp

Method: (makes enough for 6 – 8 people)
Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
Wash potatoes and dry, place on a parchment lined baking tray, and pierce potatoes several times with a fork.
Place baking tray of potatoes in the middle of the heated oven and bake until they are done (50 – 60 min).
When baked, remove potatoes from oven and place on counter or stove top, slice each baked potato in half lengthwise, and then each half lengthwise again (to speed up cooling process), and cool (approx. 45 min).
When cooled, peel off skins and place baked potato ‘meat’ into a large bowl; mash with a potato masher and/or fork until fully ‘smashed’.

Lightly whisk eggs and salt together; add to mashed potato and combine, using a spoon, until fully incorporated, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, as required.
Mix flours in a bowl, and whisk by hand until thoroughly combined; measure out 200g flour mix into a small bowl.
Add half of measured flour mix to the mashed potato-egg mix and combine with a fork, initially, then with a spoon (this is to avoid overworking the gnocchi dough with your hands – the less you work it, the softer the resulting gnocchi dough); add another quarter of the flour mix and combine with a spoon, ensuring that you mix in all of the flour that stays on the bottom and sides of the bowl, the gnocchi dough will start to clump together in small to medium sized pieces, as well as larger pieces; from here on, add 1Tbsp of flour mix at a time and, with your hands, incorporate, knead, until all the flour mix is added, and absorbed - you are looking to form a gnocchi dough ball that is firm, yet to a degree soft (yet not soft and sticky) – it should hold together, stand up on its own and not collapse, and hold together when you roll it in your hands - add more flour mix if required, 1Tbsp at a time, until you get the desired result (it was a hot day when I made this recipe, and I ended up adding an extra 15g of flour mix), the gnocchi dough ball may show cracks and that is OK, normal, and they will disappear when you begin to roll it into a smaller ball/cylinder.
(To know if you have added enough flour to the gnocchi dough, put a saucepan of lightly salted water on the stove and bring the water to a rolling boil and then to a simmer, form one or two gnocchi, place them in the simmering water and see what happens - if they hold together and float to the surface, you have added the right amount, if they disintegrate then you need to add a little more flour to your gnocchi dough).

With a pasta scraper/cutter, or knife, cut the gnocchi dough ball into quarters; take one quarter to work with; and place the remaining gnocchi dough quarters onto a parchment paper lined baking tray and cover with a damp paper towel or cloth.
On a lightly floured, parchment paper covered, work surface, place the piece of gnocchi dough that you are going to work with, cut that piece into either a half or quarter again (depending on the size of your work surface); roll one of these pieces into a ball in your hands, then begin to roll that ball into a solid cylindrical shape between your hands before transferring the rolling, again with the hand, to the work surface (you are looking to end up with a cylinder approx. 15mm (9/16in) wide), and making it both an even width and round; using a floured knife or scraper blade, cut the cylinder into 25mm (1in) lengths; separate each cut length and round the cut ends with your fingers; indent each gnocchi with the back of the prongs of a fork, or roll it along the tines of the fork, rolling all around the gnocchi; repeat with all the pieces of gnocchi.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and lightly flour; using a metal spatula gently transfer to it the formed gnocchi, arranging them so that they are not touching; repeat with all the formed gnocchi; and repeat with the rest of the gnocchi dough.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted, water to a rolling boil, and then to a simmer; with a metal spatula, or fish slice, scoop up several raw gnocchi and place them in the water and cook for about 1 ½ - 2min or until the gnocchi floats to the surface and stays there for at least 30sec; lift gnocchi out with a spider (a wire draining spoon) or slotted spoon, place in a bowl and drizzle with a little oil or sauce; and repeat the above with the remaining gnocchi before eating them with your desired sauces, etc.

Enjoy!!!

You can freeze the raw gnocchi by arranging the gnocchi, non-touching, into a single layer on a lightly floured, parchment paper covered baking sheet and place this in a freezer to chill (approx. 1hr); place chilled gnocchi in a plastic bag, seal and keep in freezer for up to 2 weeks. To cook frozen, as before, use a saucepan of slightly salted boiling water, add some frozen gnocchi, and wait for them to rise to the surface (3 - 4min this time), remove, and bring water back to the boil (otherwise the water will not be hot enough - it will only cook the outside and not the inside) and repeat until you have cooked enough.

Rice flour mix*
Brown rice flour 313g
Sweet rice flour 187g
Total weight 500g
 

Chu

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Delicious!

There are many regional variations, Italian, Croatian, Polish, French, and there is an interesting story about gnocchi in South America, where the significant number of Italian immigrants introduced gnocchi to the continent. In Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina there is, apparently, a tradition of eating gnocchi on the 29th of the month (pay day) with some people putting money beneath their plates to bring prosperity.

In my big Italian family (Argentina), we used to have gnocchi every 29th of the month, indeed. :-) But we never put money under our plates, that I remember.

Derived from this tradition, useless and parasitic State workers are often called "gnocchis". Why? Because they only show up at work on pay day, on the 29th of each month. :lol:
 

Martina

Jedi Master
Thanks. Very interesting! We (here in NW Croatia) cook whole potatos in hot water and eat gnocci as a desert with minced walnuts, local name is shishkerli:-) or you can make with the same dough dumplings with plums. I made gluten free gnocchi couple of times, tasty.
 
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