I have this problem where I keep trying to “de-glutenize” things that have no business being gluten free. Sometimes it turns out okay. Other times it turns out AWESOME. I would like to submit this homemade gnocchi into the ‘awesome’ category. Now, if you think potato gnocchi is as easy as mixing eggs and flour with mashed potatoes, then you’re absolute right. It really is that simple, which is why it was an obvious choice for my pasta-making endeavor: no rolling it thin, cutting strips and shapes, or waiting for it to dry like with other types of pasta. You can also freeze the uncooked gnocchi if you’re not going to use it all right away.
The delicious “ricotta” sauce that tops the gnocchi actually stemmed from a failed attempt at making tofu meatballs. When my once-spherical creations flattened to mush in the pan, my only option was to go for broke and drown it in marinara for a bolognese-esque sauce. As it turns out, tofu mixed with grated Parmesan has the same taste and texture as ricotta cheese. It’s a great trick if you want to cut back on dairy (the amount of Parmesan is negligible compared to the amount of ricotta you would have to use) and give your meal a protein boost at the same time. To make the sauce completely vegan, substitute nutritional yeast for the Parmesan–although I haven’t tried it and can’t vouch for the taste comparison!
Gluten Free Potato Gnocchi with “Ricotta” Sauce
Ingredients (6 servings)
- 4 large baking potatoes
- 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites, beaten
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose gluten free flour (regular AP flour can be substituted)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 16 oz. extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
- ½ large onion, chopped
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- ½ tsp. basil
- ½ tsp. oregano
- ½ tsp. parsley
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 3 cups marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Poke holes in each potato with a fork and bake for 45-50 minutes or until skins are tender. Place on a cooling rack and cut open to allow moisture to escape.
While potatoes are cooling, combine tofu, onion, Parmesan, garlic and spices in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until blended. Set aside.
When they are cool enough to handle, scoop the potatoes out of their skins and mash with a fork or potato masher in a large bowl. Add eggs, flour and salt and mix until a ball of dough forms. Break into several pieces.
Dust a countertop or flat surface with flour and roll each piece of dough into a ¾-inch diameter tube. Cut into 1-inch pieces and use fork tines to form an indentation in the center of each gnocchi. If freezing, place gnocchi on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze before transferring to a storage container.
Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil and drop gnocchi in a few at a time. Remove with a slotted spoon as soon as each one rises to the surface. Repeat with remaining gnocchi.
While gnocchi are cooking, place a large pan over medium-high heat and lightly coat surface with cooking spray. Add tofu mixture and cook 5-7 minutes. Add marinara sauce and cook until heated through.
Remove sauce from heat and serve over finished gnocchi.