It’s been cold–COLD–in Texas this February, and no, I don’t mean 50 degrees. I’m talking icy, single digit mornings, and bleak, gray days in the teens. But since the months of extreme heat and summer salads are not far away, (“summer” lasts at least 6 months of the year in these parts), I’m reveling in warm, cozy–but not too complicated–comfort food.
Inspired by the chickpea flour gnocchi I had (and LOVED) on a recent trip to New York City , I devised my own chickpea flour gnocchi recipe. I’ve made homemade gnocchi before, but decided to give the chickpea flour a go because it is so nutritious and has a subtly nutty flavor (yum). It also happens to be gluten-free and low-glycemic, perfect for carb-loading before a big race (I have one coming up soon; always a good reason to create and eat more food :)). Chickpea flour is also inexpensive, an appealing attribute for healthy ingredients in particular.
You’ll see I went for a simpler (and faster) gnocchi shape. If you are purist and can make the traditional shapes with your eyes closed, go for the classic tube shape. But if you are just now venturing into the world of gnocchi, give the little balls a try first.
You can leave out the spinach if you like and make plain gnocchi, too. If you are so inclined, you can add additional vegetables to the marinara mixture. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large skillet and saute some mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, eggplant, fennel…you get the idea. It’s a good way to clear out the vegetable bin in delicious fashion. And you are dairy-free, simply leave off the Parmesan cheese.
- 1 pound of potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled
- 1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 large egg (at room temperature)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1-1/2 cups (180 g) chickpea flour, plus more for kneading
- Warmed marinara sauce, for serving
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook the potatoes in a medium saucepan of boiling water for about 30 minutes until tender. Rinse until cool enough to handle and mash with a ricer or a fork (get rid of all of the lumps!.) In a large bowl, stir together the potatoes, spinach, egg, salt , pepper and nutmeg until blended.
- Start mixing in the flour, a little bit at a time until the mixture comes together into a dough (you may not use all of the flour; the dough should not be too soft and sticky, but it should not be hard, either, as you will need to shape it).
- Shape the gnocchi into ¾ inch balls (do not overwork dough or they will be tough).
- Cook the gnocchi in a large pot of salted, boiling water. The gnocchi are done when they float up to the surface.
- Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon and divide among serving plates. Serve with marinara sauce and cheese.