A long, long time ago I had the pleasure to be introduced to the magic of Italian pasta by a lovely lady from Italy. She showed me how to make gnocci. I was intrigued! She paid a lot of attention to the smallest detail in order to make it perfect. Even the tomato sauce was more labour intensive than I was used to. But of course, the result was absolutely delicious also!
Since living in New Zealand on a gluten-free diet, I have not had any gnocci in years. So I decided that it is time, to refresh my memory and make my own! Only this time without gluten.
I’m sure this lady would roll her pretty eyes if she could see the not quite so impressive result, hee hee hee 😉 But I gave my best and am pretty pleased with the result! Nothing beats good old home-made cooking!
Make sure you use some floury potatoes, like agria, and fiber husk. These are the essential ingredients in this dish!
For 4 portions you’ll need:
For the gnocci:
3 large potatoes (approx. 900g)
1/3 cup (55g) buckwheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoon fiber husk, ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
some flour to dust the surface (I prefer rice flour)
For the tomato sauce:
1 bottle passata
1/2 small onion
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar
salt & pepper to taste
1 handful fresh basil leaves
For the gnocci:
1. Peel and cook the potatoes in a pot of water until soft. Drain the water and mash the potatoes as fine as possible. Let cool down a little.
2. Add buckwheat flour, fiber husk and salt. Mix well.
3. Dust the surface with some rice flour. Take some of the dough into your (clean) hands and roll it finger-thick. Then cut it into approx. 1 inch long pieces. You can also make them bigger if you like.
4. Pick up one piece at a time and smooth the corners. Then place it in your palm, holding it slightly facing downwards. Take a fork and and press it into the gnocci. Then press the fork and pull it at the same time downwards. The gnocci should roll with the fork and you will spread the fork imprint onto it (you can skip this step but it helps to make the sauce stick to the gnocci). Keep dusting the surface until all gnocci are prepared.
5. Bring a big pot of water to boil. In the meantime prepare the sauce. You want the sauce to be ready when the water starts boiling. Because once it boils, things will go at a pretty good pace 😉
6. Once the water boils, pour the gnocci into the pot. They will start to float onto the surface when they are done. This will happen pretty quick so be prepared to scoop them out of the pot asap!
For the tomato sauce:
1. I recommend to have the sauce ready when the water for the gnocci starts to boil. Peel and chop the onion into fine cubes. Peel and mice the garlic into a small bowl.
2. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan (I prefer my wok for this). Cook the onion until they start to turn golden brown. Add thyme and cook it for a few more minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Add the passata, stir well and bring to boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. While it simmers, pluck the fresh basil leaves into small pieces. Then switch off the stove and add the minced garlic as well as the basil leaves.
4. When the gnocci are starting to cook and float to the surface, scoop them out of the pot straight into the tomato sauce, stirring them very gentle. Serve immediately.
NOTE: I prepare the garlic prior to cooking because it is best crushed to activate its goodness. It is also better if you add it to the dish at the end so as not to cook it to death. It will have a much stronger flavour. Since I have been preparing it this way, I’m using less because it is pretty powerful.
…and if you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you 😉