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Got Gnocchi?

Inspired by recipes I found on Foodbuzz that looked so delicious I had to share gluten free versions! I have two of my favorites listed. The italicized green words are my changes and notes to make these gluten free versions.

Here is the first original recipe from 5-Star Foodie Culinary Adventures, "Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Nori Butter."

1 large sweet potato (about 1lb), peeled, cut into cubes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup tamari sauce
1 tablespoon white miso paste (make sure it is not barley based)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon wild porcini salt (I couldn't find this so I took dried porcini's and sea salt and mixed them in my coffee grinder)
3/4 cup flour (I used potato starch, but most any low flavored flour would do. I used sweet rice flour to flour my board.)
1 egg
Pinch of salt
2-3 nori sheets
2 sticks butter or butter substitute

Combine balsamic vinegar, tamari sauce, miso, brown sugar, sesame oil and wild porcini salt. Whisk until the mixture is completely smooth. In a plastic bag place the sweet potato cubes and pour the marinade in. Shake gently, seal, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Discard from marinade. (I saved the marinade to use in soup) Roast for 20-25 minutes on 425°F or until soft. Cool a little and then process through the foodmill or a food grinder.

Place the potatoes on a board and make a well in the center. Sprinkle potato starch and break the egg in the middle. Add salt. Stir the flour and potatoes using a fork and mixing the egg in. Then knead the dough gently with your hands to form a ball. Sprinkle with a little sweet rice flour flour if necessary. Divide the dough in small balls. Roll each into a thin "rope". Slice into 1-inch pieces and flick them with a fork.

Boil water in a large pot to boil. Salt and add the gnocchi. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the gnocchi float to the top. Drain gently and serve, pouring nori butter sauce all over.

For nori butter: Grind nori sheets into powder in a spice grinder. Cut the butter into pieces and melt until foamy and golden. Whisk in 1 or 2 teaspoon (to taste) of nori powder (reserving the rest of the powder for later use).

The second recipe I had to try was, "Malfatti a la Al Di La" from Tasty Trix, who seemed to have taken it from the New York Times -- but here is the gluten free version:

1 pound whole milk ricotta
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 bunches Swiss chard (about 4 pounds) (spinach would do well in this recipe too)
8 ounces butter
1/4 cup AP flour, plus more for shaping (again I used potato starch but this time I also used it for the shaping)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
1-2 handfuls fresh sage leaves
Parmesan cheese for serving

You'll have to plan ahead and let the ricotta drain in a cheesecloth overnight.
Next, remove the stalks and any large ribs from the chard (but make sure to save the stalks, they're delicious roasted). It's a lot of chard, but by the time you're finished it will have shrunken to just a cup. Working in batches, blanch the chard in salted boiling water for 3 minutes and immediately immerse in ice cold water.
Next, squeeze it out by hand and lay your chard out on a dishtowel. Roll it up in the towel, and twist and squeeze. I mean really, really squeeze. You want to get all of the water out so that your malfatti aren't soggy. (And only use a dishtowel that you don't mind turning a permanent shade of light green.)
This is a two-person job for sure, and Poppa Trix performed feats of wringing super-strength that day, let me tell you. Once you've got the water out, run the chard through a food processor and lay it back out on a dry towel.
Oh I'm sorry - you didn't think you were finished squeezing yet, did you? Wrap it up and do it again, and when you think there's no more water left in that chard, give it another squeeze for good measure. You'll be glad you did, I promise!
Besides, now it's time for the fun stuff. Mix 1 1/2 cups of the ricotta with your chard.
Add to this 4 oz of melted butter, 1/4 cup flour, 1 heaping tsp salt, 1 heaping tsp freshly grated nutmeg and mix. Add the egg yolks and egg, season with ground pepper, and mix again.
Now shape the mixture into little balls, about a tablespoon each, and place them gently on a floured cutting board or plate.
Now comes my favorite part: shaping the malfatti! Simply plop each ball into a tall wine glass containing about a tbsp of potato starch, swirl until a quenelle (sort of an egg shape) forms. Remove, repeat. Fun!
Now you can either freeze them or cook and eat them. We did both, and the frozen ones were just as flavorful as the fresh. If you're cooking them, do so in a salted pot of boiling water for about 8 minutes (boil for 10 minutes if frozen). (make sure the water is boiling before adding the pasta!)

As for the sauce, it's a classic, simple brown butter and sage sauce. You know what to do: heat the remaining butter in a saute pan until it's brown and smells nutty, and then toss in the sage leaves for another 30 seconds. The smell is pure heaven.
Plate up the nude gnocchi with your sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan, and all that chard squeezing you did will suddenly be worth it.

Want more from this groups amazing gnocchi night?! I like these recipes too! (change the flour to potato starch)
Tummy Rumbles 'gnocchi di patate de funghi e salvia'
Kitchen Butterfly 'chocolate filled plantain gnocchi with chillies'

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