Chef Jenn Louis' Gluten-free Ricotta Gnochetti & Tomato Sauce
Jenn Louis, the chef/co-owner of Lincoln Restaurant and Sunshine Tavern in Portland, Ore., knows a thing or two about pasta. The one-time Top Chef Masters competitor and member of Food & Wine's Best New Chef class, has a still-untitled cookbook coming out next spring all about Italian dumplings. So when we asked Jenn to create a recipe for us using Cup4Cup's gluten-free flour, she immediately turned it into a delicious ricotta gnochetti with a homemade tomato butter sauce. Ready to whip up a batch? Don't forget a nice bottle of red wine to wash it down.
Chef Jenn Louis' Gluten-free Ricotta Gnochetti & Tomato Butter Sauce
- Mix all ingredients together except for flour, until fully combined.
- Add flour and mix just until combined — do not over mix. The dough should be slightly sticky and wet.
- Cut dough into small chunks, about ¼ cup portion at a time, roll rope of mixture about 1/4” in diameter.
- Cut into 1/2” chunks and lay on flour-lined tray.
- Refrigerate until ready to cook.
- Bring a pot of water to a summer and season with salt.
- Poach gnochetti until almost floating, remove immediately from water and place in saucepan of warm sauce, just coating gnocchi.
- Warm gently, divide upon 6 plates and serve with grated parmigiano-reggiano.
Tomato Butter Sauce
Yield: 3/4 quart
- Place medium pot over medium heat.
- Add olive oil, onions, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves and chili and cook until onions are translucent and lightly brown, about 10 minutes. If onions brown quickly, lower heat.
- Add tomato puree and butter and bring sauce to a gentle simmer. Simmer for about an hour, stirring regularly until slightly thick but not pasty, butter will have emulsified into sauce.
- Season with salt to taste.
- Pour sauce through a fine-mesh strainer and discard vegetables and herbs.
Q&A: Jenn Louis Talks Cup4Cup Gluten-free Flour
Abe's Market: Why did you want to work with Cup4Cup gluten-free flour?
Jenn Louis: I knew its reputation and I hadn't found it in my local markets. When you sent it I was excited to work with it. I get a lot of requests to make gluten-free pasta and we do a lot of pasta in the restaurant; some can't be made gluten free. I found Cup4Cup really easy to use.
Abe's: Was the ricotta gnochetti an existing recipe that you
modified or a totally new creation?
Louis: I started making pasta from scratch when we opened Lincoln in 2008 and I knew I wasn't going to serve dry pasta because I thought it was special to serve fresh pasta. We could do it in house and there are so many varieties. This is one of my original recipes I've had for a long time. It's tried and true and easy to make, but I've generally made it with gluten.
Abe's: How was working with Cup4Cup versus wheat-based flour or
Louis: I found it to be very similar. The texture is a little different and it's one of those things where you can't compare everything apples to apples. There's a small difference, but most palates likely can't taste it. I think it's pretty darn similar and if you have a dietary restriction it's a perfect substitute. You're not using anything that's poor quality. It really is cup for cup. There are other gluten-free flours I've tried in the past that are fine, but you have to do something to them and this was easy and just like using flour but not using wheat flour.
Abe's: Is this a pretty easy recipe to make at home or more labor intensive?
Louis: I think it's really easy and that's one of the reasons I chose it. It's a few ingredients, you don't need a mixer and it's really approachable to make at home. A lot of people think gnocchi is simple, but it takes practice. The first couple of batches you will find tricks that work for you.
Abe's: What are some things home chefs should know when working with this sort of
Louis: There aren't a lot of tricks to the recipe. I always like to combine all my wet ingredients first and add the flour last. If you mix your wheat flour longer it'll become tougher, but with this is doesn't really matter. Storing these are best when they're fresh so eat them the day of or day after. Us a little additional flour on the work surface so it doesn't stick when you roll them will cause them to be lighter. And don't overwork the dough. In the water, put it at a gentle simmer and when the gnocchi start to bob, take them out and put them in the sauce. They'll be heavier if they absorb too much liquid. You'll have better success.