Chestnut gnocchi with pancetta and mushrooms

Chestnut gnocchi

A pound of potatoes, 1 1/4 cup chestnut flour and 1 medium egg is the base for this autumn dish. Chestnut flour has no gluten which would mean good news for those who can’t have wheat, but I found that working with chestnut flour is very sticky business. All-purpose flour was used for dusting the work surface and made handling the dough less difficult to deal with.

As for the sauce, the choice is up to you but I suggest something savory to complement the gnocchi’s sweet-ish flavor. For this dish: 2 ounces diced pancetta briefly cooked in a little bit of olive oil and butter, 12 ounces of sliced fresh oyster mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of minced fresh rosemary, 1 clove minced garlic and a half glass of white wine. Cook until mushrooms are soft; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the boiled gnocchi and toss to combine. Makes a whole lot for 2 or a modest amount for 4.

Making chestnut gnocchi (1)
One pound (or 500 grams for the metric cooks) of potatoes, boiled until tender, peeled and put through the potato ricer.

Making chestnut gnocchi (2)
1¼ cup chestnut flour sifted onto potatoes.

Making chestnut gnocchi (3)
Add 1 beaten egg and combine the ingredients. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until it comes together. Since chestnut flour has no gluten, you don’t need to worry about overworking the dough. Continue to flour the work surface as necessary.

Making chestnut gnocchi (4)
Shaping the dough into long ropes.

Making chestnut gnocchi (5)
Slicing into individual pieces, about 3/4 inch.

Making chestnut gnocchi (6)
Making the indentations using a rigagnocchi tool. Don’t forget to lightly flour the tray that you place them in. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and lightly salt it. Lower heat to a steady simmer and add the gnocchi one by one. When they come to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon.

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