Whether it be a medical necessity or by choice, the need and demand for gluten-free options are increasing. This does not always mean that alternative versions need to be heavy or in the case of gnocchi, of bullet-like texture. As pumpkin is available 12 months of the year, you can change the accompanying vegetables according to season to make this a dish that will taste delicious no matter the weather. If the puree is wet a sloppy, allow to drain through muslin cloth for an hour or so. Chickpea flour, rice flour and golden flaxmeal should be in the health food section of most supermarkets otherwise try specific health food retailers.
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups (500 g) fresh ricotta, drained
3 free-range eggs
¼ cup + extra freshly grated Parmesan
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup chickpea flour (besan)
½ cup + extra rice flour
2 tbsp golden flaxmeal
3 tbsp + extra virgin olive oil
180 g pancetta or speck, thinly sliced & roughly cut
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup Italian parsley leaves
freshly cracked black pepper
- Whisk the pumpkin puree, half the ricotta, eggs, ¼ cup Parmesan, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl.
- Stir in the chickpea flour, ½ cup rice flour and golden flaxmeal until the dough starts to come together. Add extra rice flour if needed. It should be a soft and slightly sticky dough. Leave to rest 15-30 minutes.
- Bring a large deep pan of salted water to the boil.
- Divide the dough into 6 portions.
- Squeeze, press, and roll one portion into a 2 cm wide rope, dusting the surface and your hands with extra rice flour to keep it from sticking. Cut the rope into 2 ½ cm lengths and cook in the boiling water in two batches until they float to the surface.
- Heat the 3 tbsp olive oil in a large pan and fry the pancetta until just starting to crisp.
- Add the gnocchi and continue to cook on medium heat until the gnocchi are also browned.
- Toss through the cherry tomatoes and Italian parsley leaves and serve with dollops of fresh ricotta, extra virgin olive oil, a scattering of Parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper.