New Potato Gnocchi

Flexitarian chef Abby Fammartino serves a spring dish almost anyone can enjoy.

By Benjamin Tepler April 12, 2013

Image: Nomad

Abby Fammartino relishes a good challenge. At her supper club and cooking school, Abby’s Table, she is a tireless explorer of dietary restrictions, inviting all manner of quirky eating habits and gluten sensitivities into her sun-flooded kitchen in Southeast Portland. “Please—tell me you hate mushrooms, that you can’t stomach dairy,” she dares. 

We gave Fammartino a challenge of our own: to reach beyond the ubiquitous harbingers of spring (asparagus, we’re lookin’ at you) and unearth some of May’s more underutilized gems for a healthy dish that surprises. Her response: guilt-free gnocchi (potato dumplings) with pesto. First, she reached for new potatoes—an immature stage of tuber that’s sweeter and more supple than the usual russets. Next, in place of pesto’s signature basil came the intensity of red-veined sorrel, a citrusy herb and farmers market favorite best used raw to brighten sauces and salads early in the season, before its puckering acidity fully matures. 

For the gluten-averse, Fammartino’s gnocchi subs out regular all-purpose flour in favor of a variety made with chickpeas and sorghum, with vegan-friendly coconut oil in place of eggs. For the lactose-intolerant, nutritional yeast replaces the pesto’s parmesan. If such tweaks make you squirm (or if nutritional yeast just isn’t in your wheelhouse), fear not: substitutions are politely encouraged.   

New Potato Gnocchi with Spring Sorrel Pesto 

(Serves 4)

  • 1½ lb new potatoes 
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill), sifted
  • ¼ tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • ¼ cup potato starch or cornstarch
  1. PREHEAT oven to 350, poke holes all over potatoes, and roast whole on a lightly oiled sheet for 1 hour.
  2. PEEL potatoes when cool enough to handle but still hot, and pass through a food mill or grate against the large holes of a box grater, allowing the steam to release.
  3. MELT coconut oil, add to potato, and mix evenly.
  4. MIX flour, salt, and starch in a separate bowl. 
  5. COMBINE flour mixture and potato by hand and knead until it forms a springy dough, being careful not to overwork.
  6. FORM dough into a ball, divide into 6 pieces, and form into long ropes about  inch in diameter.
  7. CUT the ropes into 1-inch segments, and roll each segment on the back of a fork to create grooves.
  8. BRING a large pot of generously salted water to a boil, and turn down to a simmer.
  9. DROP IN gnocchi in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pot.
  10. REMOVE from the pot with a slotted spoon 10 seconds after the gnocchi have begun to float on the surface.
  11. TOSS gently with the sorrel pesto* and serve.


*Sorrel Pesto

  • 1 cup sorrel, loosely packed 
  • 1 cup parsley, firmly packed (stems included)
  • 3 scallions or green garlic, root ends removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt 
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  1. COMBINE first six ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until finely minced.
  2. ADD oil in a slow, steady stream with the machine running, scraping sides as needed.
  3. ADD salt and lemon juice, process a few seconds longer, and adjust seasoning to taste.
    Pesto can be stored up to 1 week in refrigerator. 

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