Gluten Free Potato Gnocchi with Truffled Pesto Sauce

by Jenn on January 28, 2011

in Dips and Sauces,GF Substitutions,Gluten Free,Pastas and Grains,Vegetarian

Gluten Free Potato Gnocchi

Woohoo!! I did it!

My first successful gluten free potato gnocchi, ever!  I taught myself how to make conventional glutenicious potato gnocchi a few years ago thanks to the wonderful instruction found in a Marcella Hazan cookbook that my mother handed down to me, usually with great results.  Ricotta gnocchi work easily gluten free because the only flour is a mere dusting on the outside of the little dumplings.  I’ve attempted gluten free potato gnocchi in the past too – in fact several times, but every trial of potato gnocchi always ended in dismal failure, watching in sadness as my gnocchi dissolved away into starchy nothingness in the simmering water.  All that hard work cooking the potatoes, making the dough, rolling and cutting into those cute little gnocchi dumpling shapes, all gone to waste in about 30s of time in a pot on the stove.  It was discouraging and depressing.  In fact so much so that I haven’t even attempted gluten free potato gnocchi in over two years.  Until now.

One of my favorite food photographers, Dario Milano, recently posted on his blog a recipe for potato gnocchi.  And the measurements were in grams! I’d always wondered if the gluten free flour I had used in the past might have been the wrong amount, and this was my chance to try the recipe again, using a simple 1:1 mass substitution.  I took my favorite gluten free bread mix, and added in a little bit more cheese (because I like cheese), and went to work.  I was so inspired by Dario’s gorgeous step by step photos that I decided to show you a few more pics than usual, so you can see my gnocchi process…

Gluten free potato gnocchi starts off just like regular potato gnocchi – with the potatoes, boiled and then peeled:

Making Gluten Free Gnocchi Making Gluten Free Gnocchi

Next all the ingredients are combined and shaped into dough, cut into portions and rolled out into long “snakes”, just like when I was little making what was surely quality “art” with play-dough – this is always my favorite part of making gnocchi:

Making Gluten Free Gnocchi Making Gluten Free Gnocchi

The dough handled really well.  I had no problems with the dough crumbling apart or sticking, a good sign that 1. my GF substitution worked and 2. that my potatoes weren’t too wet.  Then, just a quick chop chop chop and all the cute little gnocchi dumplings are ready to cook.  See, not so hard!

Making Gluten Free Gnocchi

Decided not to shape them over the back of my fork, because I am lazy.  They seem just fine without dimples, no?

The true test came with the cooking.  I think before, during my awful flops, the reason why they dissolved into the water was because I had way too much gluten free flour in there.  The extra flour and starch made the gnocchi very dense, and they had to cook longer to cook through.  That longer cooking time was enough to spell complete ruin.  But not this time! This time they were just perfect!

Making Gluten Free Gnocchi Gluten Free Gnocchi

I kept the sauce really quite simple.  I know the name sounds fancy, but it’s really not – your typical pesto with pesto ingredients, except using butter instead of olive oil.  Then truffle oil is added in after (because the heat may take away the flavor of the beautiful oil).  I know the sauce is rich, but you really don’t need much, a tablespoon or two.  I like this sauce because it added a bit of flavor, and still the gnocchi could shine through in all of their gluten free potato glory.

What a glorious feeling it was to know that I’ve now conquered gluten free gnocchi :)

Also submitted to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays


Gluten free potato gnocchi was made using a 1:1 substitution by mass of a gluten free bread flour mix for flour using Dario’s recipe.  However the sauce is all my own creation.

Truffled Pesto Sauce

Prep Time: 2 min
Total Time: 10 min

1 bunch basil
small handful toasted pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
handful grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup white truffle oil

1. Combine basil, pine nuts, garlic,  cheese, butter, and salt & pepper in a food processor and pulse to combine.  Feel free to alter the amounts to suit your personal taste.
2. Transfer pesto to a  small pot on the stove, and heat on medium heat until the butter is melted.  Let the pesto fry for a few minutes – this will mellow out the garlic and let the flavors come out into the butter.
3. Remove from heat and transfer the sauce to a small bowl and let cool for about 2 minutes, so that the melted butter isn’t frying anything anymore.  Stir in the truffle oil, and serve immediately over gnocchi.


Need a dairy-free version? Check out this vegan gluten free gnocchi recipe by Manifest Vegan.