There is nothing quite like fresh, homemade pasta. It just tastes so much more real than anything you can buy in the store. Making pasta actually isn’t that difficult either. Sure, it may take a little more time than opening a box and dumping dried pasta into boiling water but the results of taking the time to make and roll your own dough are worth it. This recipe for gluten free roasted garlic gnocchi will taste so amazing that you will want to make it again and again! Pairing the dish with a simple tomato sauce will highlight the gnocchi’s flavor and complete your meal perfectly.
While gnocchi alone is quite delicious, the addition of roasted garlic really makes these little dumplings even more spectacular. You can roast the garlic a day in advance which will give it time to cool, making it easier for you to squeeze the garlic cloves out of their shells. Save the oil in which you roasted the garlic to use in the pasta sauce – no waste! You can also begin straining the ricotta a day in advance, however, if you forget or don’t have time, 30 minutes to an hour of straining will do. Just remember that the drier the cheese, the better.
Making gnocchi dough is simple. You literally throw everything together in one bowl and stir. While this recipe uses rice flour and tapioca flour, you can substitute any gluten-free flour mix – just make sure that you add the appropriate amount of xanthun gum or other starch to act as a binder. If you do not need the gnocchi to be gluten free, whole wheat flour will work in place of the gluten-free flours. Once the dough comes together, you may be thinking that the recipe didn’t make enough for the suggested two servings. It will look like a small amount but don’t worry, there will be plenty for two people.
Rolling and cutting the dough takes a little time. Traditionally gnocchi are cut and then rolled on a ‘gnocchi’ board which gives the pasta it’s signature lines; the purpose of these lines is to make indentations that will help the sauce stick to the gnocchi. However, you can skip this step if you are looking for a quicker version of the recipe or you can simply roll the gnocchi dough on a fork.
After making the gnocchi, the sauce comes next. This is a basic fresh tomato sauce recipe that is versatile and great for any dish. As an alternative, you can instead top your gnocchi with a simple olive oil, a meat sauce, or even a pesto if you like. If you do choose to go with this tomato sauce recipe, you can leave it chunky or puree it. It’s time to channel your inner Italian grandma and make some show stopping gluten-free gnocchi!
Gluten Free Roasted Garlic Gnocchi (2 servings)
1 cup ricotta cheese, strained
1/2 clove roasted garlic
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
- Place the ricotta cheese in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and allow it to strain for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight. Drying out the cheese will ensure your gnocchi are not too dense. Discard the liquid from the cheese.
- Chop the tops off one clove of garlic but leave the remaining shell on. Place the garlic in a small ramekin and fill with olive oil to the top of the garlic clove. Cover the ramekin with foil and roast in a 250 ̊F oven for one hour. Allow it to cool and then squeeze the garlic clove from the bottom and work your fingers up, pushing out the roasted cloves. Set half of the cloves aside for sauce (or another recipe) and put the remaining cloves in a large bowl.
- In the bowl with the roasted garlic, mix all of the ingredients together to form a dough. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. You want the dough to come together to form a ball but not be too dry or stiff, just easy enough to work with and roll without getting stuck to the table!
- Cut the dough into 4 sections and roll the first section on a lightly floured surface (using rice flour for gluten-free) into a long log about 1/2 inch thick. Use a small paring knife to cut the log into 1 inch sections. Roll the gnocchi with a fork or gnocchi board to create indentations or simply set the gnocchi pieces aside on a foil lined tray. Continue this process with the remaining dough.
- If you will be using the gnocchi later, wrap the tray and keep refrigerated until you are ready to use.
- In a large pot, bring water to boil then add half the gnocchi to the boiling water (cooking the gnocchi in batches will prevent it from sticking together). Boil the gnocchi for about 3 minutes or until they float on the surface of the water. Strain and eat immediately.
Fresh Tomato Sauce (4 servings)
8 large tomatoes
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 clove roasted garlic
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 basil leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil. If you have remaining oil from your roasted garlic, use it here instead of plain olive oil.
- Sauté the chopped red onions until translucent, about 5 minutes
- Cut 4 of the tomatoes in fourths and squeeze out the seeds. Dice the remaining tomato skins/meat and toss into the sauce pot. Chop the remaining whole tomatoes, leaving the seeds in, and add to the pot.
- Allow the tomatoes to come to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the basil, salt and black pepper and turn the heat off. If you like a chunky sauce, then you are done! If you like a smooth sauce, puree the mixture with a hand blender or regular blender once cooled. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Using freshly grated parmesan is preferable in this recipe, but if you only have dried cheese use 1/2 cup.
- This recipe also works well without the roasted garlic if you are looking for a quicker version.
- Adding freshly chopped basil to the dough is a tasty addition.
- If you do not have roasted garlic, chop 4 cloves of regular garlic and sauté with the onions.
- If you do not have fresh basil, use 1 teaspoon of dried basil or oregano in your sauce instead.
- A meat version of this sauce is also delicious. Once the onions and garlic are cooking in the oil, add 1/2 pound of ground beef or sausage and stir until fully cooked (about 10 minutes). Then continue with the recipe as written. This sauce also freezes very well and can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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