Chickpea Gnocchi!!! Thank goodness for this fabulous outlet for all that ‘aquafaba’ (juice from a can of chickpeas that I needed for last week’s post). Take a look here for Vegan Aquafaba Gluten Free Macarons.
As a kid, I loved helping to make gnocchi. The standard version is made with white potatoes, but my mother always preferred to make them with ricotta because they were much lighter. We’d roll them into a rope and cut them into little pieces and then roll them off the back of a fork to get those ridges that hold the sauce in such a way that you get this delicious, perfect ratio of gnocchi plus sauce. It wasn’t until I read Maria’s – She Love’s Biscotti blog that I even knew that there was this amazing little gnocchi wooden board that made that part of the job so much easier. Take a look at her beautiful work here.
But, back to this different version of one of my childhood comfort foods. Chickpeas are a very high-protein/high fiber food. One cup of chickpeas provides 15g of protein and 12g of dietary fiber. I like that. And, they taste delicious. I like making this Chickpea gnocchi from cooked chickpeas rather than chickpea flour. I think the chickpea flour actually tastes ‘bean-y’ but the chickpeas themselves don’t. That’s why the small amount of flour that’s in the formula is Gluten Free Farina All Purpose Flour.
And, for the sauce, I went back to my early culinary career where I remembered making a Lemon Hazelnut Cream sauce at one of my first jobs in a restaurant. It sounded like a perfect complement to me, although I don’t think there’s a bad choice here. Maybe next time I’ll try a Roasted Red Pepper Cream, or Vodka Cream or Pesto (now that my garden is producing tons of Basil).
And, I apologize for that finished picture. I was so engrossed that I had no idea that the sun was going down and my husband and I chased the sun around the house to get this shot. We ended up in the driveway with the sun setting a few minutes after this picture. No worries. I’ll just need to make them again to get the perfect, up-close shot.
So, here we go. You can use canned garbanzos or you could cook them from dry beans. Don’t forget to save the juice for other uses.
The drained chickpeas are buzzed up in your food processor until all the large pieces are gone. You’ll combine the psyllium husk with the salt, gluten free flour and optional nutmeg. Give it a quick stir and add it to the chickpea mash along with the ricotta and pulse until it comes together. Add the two eggs and pulse again until it’s all incorporated.
Turn out onto a floured board. Divide the dough into about 6 even pieces. Roll one piece on a floured surface into a rope about 1/2″ in diameter. Cut each rope into 3/4 to 1″ long pieces. You don’t need to be exact here. Flour the back of a fork or the gnocchi board, if you have one, and using your finger or your thumb, roll each piece off the board to create ridges on one side and a hollow cavity on the other. Place gnocchi on a floured parchment-lined sheet tray.
Fill a large pot with water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and bring water to boil. Have a separate sheet tray lined with lightly oiled foil. Boil as many gnocchi that will fit in a single layer in the water. It only takes 1 to 2 minutes to cook. Once the pasta floats to the top, they are probably done. Take one out to test to determine how long yours will take. Don’t boil too long or these gnocchi start to fall apart. Take the gnocchi out with a slotted spoon and place in a colander to drain for a minute or two. Then turn out onto the foil-lined cookie sheet. Continue until all the gnocchi are cooked.
Once they are all cooked, it’s time to make the Lemon Hazelnut Butter, the base for the cream sauce. You can make the butter the day before or sooner as it keeps pretty well in the refrigerator. See recipe below. To make the Lemon Hazelnut Cream Sauce, you’ll reduce 1 cup of heavy cream and slowly whisk in the Lemon Hazelnut Butter to form a glorious sauce. Add the cooked gnocchi, heat through and serve!!!