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

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

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

GFree_Miel January 28, 2011 at 12:33 am

You have undone me. Seriously, this looks so amazing. Your photos never fail to make me hungry. I definitely have to try this out. You’ve really outdone yourself this time.

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Jenn January 28, 2011 at 12:46 am

Aww thanks Miel!!! Let me know how it goes for you or if you need any gnocchi tips!

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Rosa January 28, 2011 at 1:14 am

Will have to try your sauce – looks devine! I make my own GF gnocchi and they work. They even freeze well because I usually make the family traditional gnocchi and then my own GFree so always have a bit left over. Mind you when I use my frozen stash, they then have to drool over them while they eat their packet penne!

When I use frozen, the water does get a little cloudy and they look they have disappeared but they haven’t!

I use a similar recipe – 1kg potatoes, 300g flour and 1 egg. Have never used cheese in the pastry but sounds good. Might have to give it a go.

Really lovely styling and photography especially the hero page.

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Jenn January 28, 2011 at 7:56 am

Great idea the freeze them and save them for yourself! I also made a huge batch so that we would have lots of leftovers…

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Kate January 28, 2011 at 1:25 am

Fantastic! Well done. :)

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Jenn January 28, 2011 at 7:56 am

Thanks!

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Ethan January 28, 2011 at 1:43 am

Wow, they look great! You tweeted them on Sunday and here they are now!

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Jenn January 28, 2011 at 7:56 am

Thanks Ethan!

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Aldy January 28, 2011 at 4:21 am

Hi Jenn, What a mouth- watering dish. This GF gnocchi looks Amazing!

Lovely pics :)

Cheers,

Aldy.

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Jenn January 28, 2011 at 7:57 am

Thanks so much!

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Chelsey January 28, 2011 at 5:30 am

Fantastic! Your sauce sounds uber rich. Nothing beats gf gnocchi glory. I had the chance to make some gnocchi (gf of course) a couple of weeks ago. They turned out fab, but they would be even better with your glorious pesto.

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Jenn January 28, 2011 at 7:58 am

Oh cool! What type of flour did you use in the dough? I’m curious now that I had so many failures and this one worked so well… if it was just a measurement issue or if the type of flour really matters as well…

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Chelsey January 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm

I used 1 part tapioca starch, 1 part white rice flour, and about a tsp of guar gum and xanathan gum per cup of flour. There was way more potato than flour. I saw my father on law make halushki (a Hungarian potato pasta) from scratch and he showed me the right texture that the dough needed to be-soft, thicker than cake batter but thinner than bread dough (wheat bread dough). So I just mixed the gf flour into the potato until it looked right, made a ball floured it heavily before rolling it out into long tender strips. One thing is for sure is that it needs less time to boil than the traditional gnocchi. Then when they were done boiling I fried them briefly before tossing them in pesto. I made them for our supper clubs Italian night. No one could tell they weren’t the real thing! I consider that a success.

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Jenn January 28, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Nice! Just curious, did you find the gums necessary for holding the dough together? Looking at my GF bread mix it was rather high in the starches as well, and I’m wondering if the gums are as necessary with the high starch content – I think I will have to play and make my own mix :)

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Chelsey January 28, 2011 at 8:11 pm

I think the gums are necessary so the gnocchi don’t disintegrate in the water. Plus the gums give the gnocchi an authentic chewy texture. That being said you never know till you try! If I were to try without gums I would probably use straight tapioca starch because it tends to ‘jelly’ up nice. Hope
That helps.

Jenn January 29, 2011 at 12:27 am

interesting…i’ll have to think about this!!

dario @ foodpixels January 28, 2011 at 5:48 am

Thank you Jenn, this looks fab; I love the photos, they look so natural, and I really like the low angle of the first pic with the back light making the basil translucent.

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Jenn January 28, 2011 at 8:03 am

Thanks Dario! Yeah I loved how the basil glowed – it was the reason I didn’t diffuse my light any more – I usually would’ve toned down what was coming through my window a bit had it been a different dish and different styling… but the basil just looked so pretty, so then I restructured my whole approach around making it “pop” :)

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Rosa January 28, 2011 at 8:41 am

What a marvelous gnocchi dish! Lovely pictures.

Cheers,

Rosa

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Jenn January 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Thanks Rosa!

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Courtney January 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm

This is amazing, Jenn! And, as always, your photos make me swoon. :)

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Jenn January 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Aww thanks Courtney!

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Amy @ The Nifty Foodie January 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Awesome job, Jenn! This picture is fabulous, too. :)

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Jenn January 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Thanks Amy! I was really proud of myself :)

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InTolerantChef January 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm

I make hideous sweet potato gnocchi at work that just never seems right, I haven’t tried to make gfree before though, so I will certainly give this a go. Lovely job, Jenn.

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Jenn January 29, 2011 at 12:28 am

yes you should definitely try it GF!

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Maggie January 29, 2011 at 12:47 am

Congrats Jenn! And your pictures are beautiful. Especially the first one, just stunning!

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Jenn January 29, 2011 at 9:31 am

Thanks Maggie!! Seriously I’m just as excited as when I made your awesome bagels!!

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Sukaina January 29, 2011 at 5:35 am

You ave some beautiful pictures there. Love it. And the gnocchi looks great too!

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Jenn January 29, 2011 at 9:26 am

Thanks so much!!

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Amanda January 30, 2011 at 1:51 am

I have two friends with celiac and I’m constantly trying to come up with new and inventive ways that they can enjoy their old favourites. This looks divine and I can’t wait to share this recipe. Thanks JENN!

Happy Cooking XO

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Jenn January 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Thanks Amanda, hope they enjoy!

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Valerie @ City|Life|Eats February 1, 2011 at 12:29 am

This dish looks scrumptious :)

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 12:33 am

Thanks Valerie!

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Ashli February 1, 2011 at 6:59 am

Wow, this is beautiful! Been keeping my eyes peeled for a tasty and ideally successful GF gnocchi recipe. Thanks.

By the way, I was told by the chef I work with (who I hate to name drop, but worked with Marcella) that it is important to run the gnocchi along a fork so the sauce will be able to stick to the little pillows of heaven.

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 7:36 am

Thanks! Yeah, I usually am diligent and make the little grooves, I just was lazy this time!

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Aubree Cherie February 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm

I’ve never tried gnocchi before. Honestly, because it’s sort of intimidating to me. But you make it look so easy! I hope I’ll get the nerve up to try it soon :)

I’ve linked this recipe to My fav top 10 recipes from last week post. Thanks!

~Aubree Cherie

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Oh thanks Aubree! Yeah gnocchi isn’t hard, it’s just a bit of work. I think the def. key to success was weighing out the GF flour by weight rather than volume. And you don’t need fancy equipment. I didn’t have a potato ricer, I just used a fork, it worked fine :)

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Paul February 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Wow … this is an excellent recipe, and the pictures are phenomenal. Thank you for such a great post!

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Jenn February 1, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Thanks!!

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Carol, Simply...Gluten-free February 1, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Woo Hoo! Looks AMAZING!

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Jenn February 2, 2011 at 8:19 am

Thanks Carol!!!

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Christine February 1, 2011 at 11:59 pm

I’m always so impressed by the things that you make and how you keep at it until it’s perfect. I’m definitely bookmarking this as gnocchi is SOO good!

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Jenn February 2, 2011 at 8:20 am

Aww thanks!! Truth be told it had been a while since I mustered up the courage to try gnocchi again, but Dario’s beautiful recipe inspired me!

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Kevin (Closet Cooking) February 2, 2011 at 1:08 am

Great looking gnocchi! I really like the sound of a truffled pesto!

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Jenn February 2, 2011 at 8:21 am

Thanks Kevin!!

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 2, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Jenn, I thought I had commented on this but apparently not. I followed you making these on Twitter and was hoping all the time “I hope this is the one!” and it looks like it is. So glad you finally have a recipe that works for you, tastes delicious and looks beautiful! Truffled pesto? You can’t beat that!

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Jenn February 3, 2011 at 12:02 am

Thanks Mardi! Yeah adding truffle oil to pesto was awesome. Will definitely be repeating that again!

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Linda February 4, 2011 at 2:28 am

I’ve never tried making gnocchi and therefore I haven’t had it in years. Yours looks fabulous, especially with the pesto sauce.

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Jenn February 4, 2011 at 7:55 am

Thanks Linda!

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Lisa@bakedinmaine.com February 6, 2011 at 12:44 am

Ooh Jenn!

Once again, I’m delighted to find a fabulous recipe that I’m truly excited to try!

Gluten free and truffle oil?? Woohoo!

PS. I’ve never made gnocchi, this will be my first time, lol!

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Jenn February 6, 2011 at 9:19 am

Thanks Lisa! Yes, you definitely will need to try making gnocchi – it’s really not difficult :)

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Lamielle August 31, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Hi Jenn,

Greetings! My name is lamielle. I also live in Zurich and I am so happy to find your blog. I was looking for some gluten free recipe and I end up here. Thanks heaven! I think I will be very busy reading your very inspiring blog. hihihi (I hope you don’t mind). Have a happy Wednesday!

Lamielle

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Jenn August 31, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Thanks Lamielle!! Hope you enjoy, and if you have any questions just ask :)

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Ian November 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Thanks Jenn! I made this last night for my wife who is celiac. I used russets and made a modified Alfredo sauce with toasted pine nuts, garnished with basil and pancetta. Sounds good eh? It was! It was my first time making gnocchi, let alone GF gnocchi and they turned out perfectly. Much love!!

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Brittany March 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I don’t see the ingredients list for the gnocci, just for the sauce =/

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Jenn March 20, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Brittany – I didn’t republish Dario’s recipe because all I did was switch out regular flour for a standard gluten free all purpose mix – if you go to the link within the post to his recipe, just substitute in your favorite all purpose gluten free mix for flour and follow his directions – that’s all I did :)

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chris March 22, 2012 at 4:03 am

You said you boil the potatoes. Your recipe might be even better if you bake the potatoes first. Scoop the inside out once cooled down and then put it in the fridge overnight. That is how I learned to do it from watching Chef Fabio Viviani. Check out his video on Yahoo.

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Jenn March 22, 2012 at 8:13 am

Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind next time I made Dario’s recipe :)

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JOANANN DEFIGLIA July 1, 2012 at 8:26 pm

The Gluten free gnocchi looks very enjoyable.

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Monika July 3, 2012 at 12:10 am

Hi! I’m new to gluten free cooking and found your recipe searching for gluten free gnocchi. These do look delicious and I will definitely give them a try :) I do have a question since I’m a busy mom and don’t have to much time to cook daily from scratch. Can these be made in bulk and frozen. If so, would you recommend freezing them before cooking?

Thanks!

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Jenn July 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I haven’t tried freezing them, but I would imagine you should be able to… Once they are made (to the point of just before cooking), I would lay them out on a baking sheet individually (so tehy aren’t touching) to freeze them at first, and then once frozen you should be able to store them all together in a sealed container in the freezer. I haven’t frozen these before, so you might have to experiment, but that’s how I would imagine it…

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jill October 29, 2012 at 5:54 am

I would like the recipe for gluten free gnocchi, it wont print from your blog page, your photos are spectacular, just bought the cute little gnocchi board today, you would love it, only 4.99!

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Susan January 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm

The link to the GF gnocchi recipe is broken :(

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Jenn January 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Yeah I’m sorry – the original blog where the recipe was located has been taken down :( You may however, be able to contact Dario for the recipe, or find a gnocchi recipe that uses weight measurements and then substitute in by weight your favorite GF flour mix. Good luck!

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Toni February 17, 2013 at 7:26 am

Hello!

I wanted to say that I made Dario’s recipe twice with the GF flour and they were wonderful. I see the link is broken now – is there anyway that I could get the recipe other than contacting him? My mother in law is. Coming tomorrow and I wanted to make them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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Doug March 24, 2013 at 2:28 am

Awwwww. I was so excited to find a gluten free gnocchi recipe. But link isn’t working. Very dissapointing.

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StillMyDaddysGirl August 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm

I would love to try this recipe- and tried to follow the links to Dario’s recipe but I could not find it anywhere! I would appreciate some help as I have never made any gnocchi before and have recently been diagnosed with celiac disease. Thank you!

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