Grain-Free Gnocchi

I posted my Paleo Gnocchi (Round 3) a few months back. Since then I have received fantastic feedback about the recipe and method. I figured it was time to give round four a shot.

Taking some good advice I baked the sweet potatoes instead of boiling them. I decided to scrap the fridge time and head straight to the oven, as some followers mentioned they had success with.  I was also a bit more detailed in tracking measurements and photographing textures along the way. The other thing I changed was the name… Amazing how hung up some peeps can get with “Paleo” in the title.  So Grain-Free Gnocchi it is. Whether you’re Paleo, Primal, Lacto-Paleo, Perfect Health Diet, whole foods only, gluten-free, Low FODMAP or even following an autoimmune protocol, this faux-pasta could potentially find its way to your plate.

Some new elements I came up with really drove this method home.  I replaced the egg yolk with whites whipped to a soft peak and added a touch of baking powder. I likey.

If you made my Round 3 version, let me know how you think this compares. I shared a plate with a friend this afternoon and we both enjoyed this one. We found it has a better tooth-feel… if that makes sense.

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked, riced and loosely packed sweet potato (NOT yams!)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking powder (aluminum free is best)
1 egg white, whipped to soft peak

Prep:
You’ll have to determine for yourself how many sweet potatoes to select in order to yield two cups. I had one mondo sweet potato that did the trick. Better to cook a little more than you think you might need and deal with leftovers than find yourself a quarter cup short.

Wash the sweet potato(es), pat dry and prick a few times with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes unwrapped, uncovered. Allow to cool for a few minutes before you try handling it. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Using a paring knife or even the backside of a butter knife, remove the skin and send the flesh through a ricer.

Mix the salt and baking powder into the riced potato first, then the tapioca flour. Separate one egg and whip the white into a soft peak.

As gently as you can, fold the whites into the dough. The dough will loosen, that’s ok.

I still favor the piping method when it comes to shaping, but if you would like to use a spoon (or hands?), go with it.  I transferred the dough to a large resealable plastic bag, cut a one-inch opening off a corner and started piping inch-long pieces onto a silicone baking sheet.

Bake at 325 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 40-45 minutes.  The bottoms will be a crisp golden brown, the tops will have slight color. The inside of the gnocchi may appear under-done… don’t worry about that.

When it comes to finishing the gnocchi, there really is a right way to do it.  It needs to be sauced in the classic pasta-saucing style, not heaping some meat sauce over the top and calling it a day. This means you heat whatever sauce you plan to use in a sauté pan first, then add the desired portion of gnocchi to it and toss to coat. When the gnocchi has a glossy sheen, it’s ready to eat. This process achieves the right texture for this grain-free gnocchi.

Today, I prepared these in two tablespoons of butter and a quarter cup of chicken stock to test them out. I topped with some chopped pistachios and a little fresh tomato and basil. Worked perfectly!

www.PopularPaleo.com | This recipe uses inexpensive ingredients -- no almond flour!

 

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Sometimes Paleo food uses unfamiliar ingredients in order to keep it grain free. Here are the products I used to prepare this recipe:

Here are the special tools I used: silicone baking sheet, ricer and a sauté pan to finish the gnocchi:

 



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Comments

  1. AnGela says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. One question though, I can’t eat egg whites, is there anything I can substitute? Oddly enough I can eat egg yolks, would that work?

  2. KariVery says

    Hi – just wondering why the change from just the egg yoke to just the egg white? Does it change the texture? haven’t made this yet but the sweet potatoes are baking as I type.

    Thanks

    • popularpaleo says

      Hi! Yes, I was experimenting to gift the gnocchi more loft using the egg whites. I was pleased with the texture change.

      • KariVery says

        ah – okay. Thanks for answering my question. I have made the dough and this’ll be my first batch. I made 4 large sweet potatoes so I could try out different things with a few batches. i love playing chef :-)

          • KariVery says

            The first batch came out so well, I decided to just go ahead and make it all with the egg whites (around 6 cups of batter). I don’t yet have a ricer so I used a pastry cutter on the cooked SPs, then I used my electric mixer on high for about 3 minutes to get the lumps out. It made them nice and fluffy – I stopped before they became too much like a puree. For each batch of dough, I measured out 2 cups of SPs, and then added the “flour” mixture and incorporated that into the SPs with my hands, and then the whipped egg white (for which I also used the electric mixer to get those frothy). My doggie was very happy to help me out with those left over yokes… I lined a cookie sheet with non-stick parchment paper (the one with the foil on the back). The first batch stuck a little bit, so I put on a new sheet and slicked it with some avacado oil and that worked like a charm. These are sooo good!! I hope I have some left over for tonite’s dinner – I kept eating them fresh out of the oven! Thanks for a great recipe!!

  3. Darcie says

    Oooh, this looks like just the thing for my kid who has an awful hankering for perogies. Going to give them a try!

  4. saelasjo says

    This sounds delicious! I’m still getting the hang of this whole “ricing” thing. What is a ricer? Is there a way that this can be “riced” or grated and then cooked?

    • says

      Hey there! So essentially a ricer does to potatoes what a sifter does to flours… It breaks the potato down into small bits that are light and airy (as opposed to just smashing and mashing). Ricers kinda look like large garlic presses. You place a chunk of hot, cooked potato in the ricer and squeeze down on the handle. Bits of potato, resembling rice, are pressed through and into your bowl to start the dough. This process yields light and fluffy gnocchi rather than chewy little potato nuggets. I have a picture of what this looks like in progress in my first gnocchi recipe: http://popularpaleo.com/2013/01/17/paleo-gnocchi-round-three/

      And you really can’t rice a potato first and then cook it. That’d be more like boiling hash browns… no bueno. Do some reading on traditional gnocchi recipes/methods and then go for the Paleo version. I learned a lot of the technical/specific stuff from Mario Batali books, if you’d like a recommendation.

      Hope this comes together for you!

  5. szonja says

    Hello, this is a great recipe again, thanks! :)
    One question though: how do you manage to get the gnocchis from the baking paper?
    Mine stick so hard I can’t get them move and half of them remained on the paper, even if I tried to use some coconut oil for the second time :(

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