I miss gnocchi. I used to be quite a fan of those little potato morsels whenever I ate out. But these days, thanks to my issues with gluten and dairy, they’re pretty much off the menu. I have tried to make them once before but they ended up a gloopy mess in the bin. This week I had a glut of potatoes to use up, however, so I decided to give it one more try.
I found this recipe and thought it looked promising. Only problem was that the potatoes I had that I wanted to use up were waxy, thin-skinned, new potatoes. Plus I didn’t have quite enough for this recipe so padded them out with some sweet potato.
So, you know, kind of the opposite of the old, floury potatoes you’re supposed to use.
I then decided to live extra dangerously and peeled and boiled them (I optimistically left a few potatoes with skins on in case I misjudged the weight and had some spare, but I ended up having to mash all of them). I was doing all this at lunchtime so figured if I stored the mash in the fridge between some paper towels it would come good – but I also ended up popping it in a low oven for a bit to dry it out even more, just in case.
Come crunch time, I measured out my 175g of rice flour, sprinkled 2 tsp salt over the top, took a deep breath, and plonked the 500g of mash in the middle.
Only to create a crumbly, dry mess.
Added the 2 egg yolks. Slight improvement, but still impossibly crumbly (sorry – no photos! It was getting late so I didn’t want to take time out to wash my hands enough to pick up my phone). Things did not look good…
I ended up adding water a teaspoon at a time to the small bits I broke off to roll and cut. It took A LOT of water to get it to the right consistency but in the end my potato pillows were ready to go.
So for future reference: don’t freak out too much about getting the mash super dry.
My kids don’t like cooked mushroom that much so I improvised my own “sauce” at this point rather than sticking to the recipe above. I sautéed the following, in the given order:
Splash of oil
Two pinches mixed herbs
Half a red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
7 button mushrooms, sliced
2 cups (approx) shredded kale
Splash of tamari
1/2 cup (approx) walnuts
3 tomatoes cut into wedges
1/2 cup baby peas
While I was cooking that, I put water on to boil for the gnocchi and chucked chunks of lightly oiled red capsicum under the grill, to peel and slice for garnish.
Once the water boiled it took mere minutes for the gnocchi to cook. I tested some to double check they were actually done, and while the texture was good, the flavour was a bit meh. Undeterred, I soldiered on and threw it all in a bowl.
After taking my photo, I mixed it all up and started drafting a blog post about my disappointing gnocchi experiment in my head as I raised a fork-full to my mouth.
Only to experience a taste EXPLOSION.
Seriously, once those little pillows were mixed in with the other flavours and textures they pulled it all together perfectly. The kids were not fans (they never are when I experiment like this), but hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed our meals. The crunch of the walnuts complemented the doughiness of the gnocchi and chewiness of the mushrooms and kale so very nicely! Really satisfying.
I will say, though, that I got a little bloaty afterwards. Next time (and there will definitely be a next time!) I will go for a less refined and starchy flour like besan or millet or quinoa and see how we go. I’m still calling this attempt a win – and am looking forward to nibbling on leftovers tomorrow.