Gnocchi has a very special place in my heart, but not for the reasons you may think. It is because it’s the very first thing my nonna ever taught me to make. When I was younger I used to always go over to her house and we would spend all morning making gnocchi and then have a huge plate for lunch. The alluring smell of fresh herbs simmering away in tomatoes and the dough would fill her kitchen as I anxiously waited for it to be ready. She taught me all her tips and secrets which I am ever so great-full for, because now she doesn’t remember any of that. She had such an amazing mind and was the most talented cook I’ve ever met. Every time someone came over they were blown away by her creations and the way she could turn the most simple dish into something truly spectacular. It’s so sad to think that no one will ever taste her delicious creations again, as she is not capable anymore, both in a mental and physical sense.
This gnocchi is slightly different from my nonna’s traditional recipe, but none the less it is pretty much unnoticeable both in appearance and flavour. I have opted for gluten free flour as opposed to regular plain flour and I eliminated the egg and thats it!! It tastes exactly the same, which I was surprised and happy about.
This meal is actually healthy. There is no fat what so ever and its low in salt. It’s a perfect meal for those high carb, low fat vegans out there. As I personally don’t use oil, there is none in this recipe, even in the sauce. Traditionally this recipe has quite a bit of oil in the sauce, and of course there was meat in it as well (no thanks) So, naturally it was quite high in saturated fat and cholesterol, but not anymore.
Believe it or not, gnocchi is actually quite easy to make, it’s just quite time consuming if you are making a large batch. But in the end it’s totally worth it. I love making lots of trays of gnocchi and freezing the extra ones for another day.
- For the Gnocchi:
- 2kg Red skin potatoes
- 2-3 Cups All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
- For the Sauce:
- 1 Bottle Passata Sauce
- 1 Onion
- 2-3 Cloves of garlic
- Large handful fresh parsley
- 3 Tbs Fresh Basil
- ¼ Cup Salt Reduced Vegetable Stock
- Bring a very large pot of water to the boil. Add the potatoes to the water (Do not remove the skin!!) and allow to cook until soft and you can poke a fork all the way through. The skin should be falling off.
- Drain potatoes and begin peeling the skin off with your hands.
- Using a moulie (like a potato ricer) place the potatoes inside and rotate the handle over a large bowl, catching the "riced" potato. (Note: Try to do this quickly as you want to do it when it's still warm, if cools too much, potatoes will become hard)
- Transfer potato to a large wooden board. Flour the surface with the gluten free flour, combine the potato together with your hands, add flour accordingly and work the dough until all combined together. Add more flour if needed.
- When the dough mixture is in a large bowl, cut a small piece off and roll it into a sausage shape. Cut into small 2cm pieces.
- Using a fork, roll the small piece of dough mixture over it with your finger. It should leave lines in your mixture and there should be an indent at the back of the gnocchi piece. Repeat with the rest of the dough and place on a floured surface such as a large tray.
- To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add salt if desired and place the gnocchi in. As soon as they rise to the top they are cooked. Please note, this is very quick, it takes less than a minute. Be sure not to overcook it otherwise it will become very soggy! Scoop the gnocchi out with a strainer straight away and place in a bowl.
- For the sauce:
- In a saucepan, add chopped onion, garlic and vegetable stock (this replaces the oil) and sauté until translucent.
- Add the passata and herbs (also add salt and pepper if desired)
- Let simmer on low heat for 25 minutes. When finished, remove from heat and puree the mixture with a hand blender to achieve a smooth, creamy consistency.
- Serve on top of gnocchi and enjoy!