Gluten-free gnocchi sounds like a tall order: tender, potato-y pillows made with alternative flours. Yet this recipe comes closer than others we've tried, especially once they are sauteed in warm, herbed olive oil and sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The flavor is not like that of potato gnocchi made with wheat flour, but the texture of the sauteed gnocchi is pleasingly soft-firm.
You'll need a potato ricer. Sweet rice flour is available on the Asian aisle of some Safeway stores and at Asian specialty markets.
Adapted by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern, from a recipe in Marco Canora's "Salt to Taste: The Keys to Confident, Delicious Cooking" (Rodale Books, 2009).
GLUTEN-FREE POTATO GNOCCHI
Makes 6 servings
MAKE AHEAD: The considerable amount of leftover gluten-free flour mix can be stored in an airtight container at a cool room temperature for several months. Although it's best to cook gnocchi when they are freshly made, they can be refrigerated (uncooked) a few hours in advance.
For the gluten-free flour mix
400 grams (2 1/2 cups) millet flour
300 grams (generous 1 3/4 cups) potato starch
300 grams (generous 1 3/4 cups) sweet rice flour
For the gnocchi
3 russet potatoes, 12 to 14 ounces each
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the cooking water
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
For the gluten-free flour mix: Combine the millet flour, potato starch and sweet rice flour in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Seal and shake/massage well to incorporate. Reserve 140 grams (a generous 1 1/3 cups, plus more for sprinkling) and store the rest.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prick the potatoes with a fork and place them on a baking sheet. Roast for about an hour or until they are soft, turning them halfway through to avoid scorching.
Cut the hot potatoes in half lengthwise to let the steam escape. After they sit for a few minutes, scoop out the potato flesh, discarding the skins. Transfer the flesh, in batches, to the potato ricer. Process the potatoes, letting the shreds fall into a wide pile on a clean work surface, such as a smooth kitchen countertop or a marble board. Season the potatoes with the salt.
Beat together the egg and egg yolk, then drizzle them over the potatoes. Sprinkle the reserved portion of gluten-free flour mix over the potatoes. Use a bench scraper to blend the mixture, turning the potato mixture over onto itself, chopping in the ingredients and folding them until the dough resembles coarse crumbs. Use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball.
Sprinkle extra gluten-free flour mix onto the countertop, then place the dough on the flour. Lightly press down and fold the dough onto itself several times, until the flour is fully incorporated. Sprinkle more gluten-free flour mix onto the surface and repeat the folding two more times, sprinkling flour as needed, until the dough feels pliable and soft yet not tacky. If the dough feels dry because you have added too much of the flour mix, moisten your hands with water and continue to lightly work the dough.
Dust a baking sheet with gluten-free flour mix.
Roll the dough into a stocky log, then cut the log crosswise into 8 equal pieces. Use your fingers (not palms) to roll each section into a 1/2-inch-thick rope, starting at the center and working out to the edges, pressing together any fissures or breaks as you work. (You might have to knead the portion of dough a bit to coax it into the right shape.) Cut each rope into 1-inch lengths, transferring them to the baking sheet as you go and immediately covering them with a kitchen towel. Repeat to use all of the dough.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt. Use a pastry brush to remove any excess flour from the gnocchi. Working in batches, drop one-third of them into the water and cook, undisturbed, until at least half of them bob to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes.
While the first batch is cooking, combine the oil, thyme and rosemary in a large skillet over low heat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the just-cooked gnocchi to the skillet. Toss lightly to coat, making sure no gnocchi are sticking. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi, cooking to create a golden exterior and slightly brown crust on some of the sides.
Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the gnocchi in the skillet. Divide among individual plates and serve right away.
NUTRITION Per serving: 340 calories, 12 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 410 mg sodium, 52 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar, 7 g protein.