Chickpea Flour Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

In one of the Italian culinary magazines I found a chickpea (garbanzo) flour gnocchi recipe which seemed very easy and quick to make. It called only for two kinds of flour and there was no special preparation ahead. I could not wait to make them. I invited my Italian friend over to help me translate the recipe and to try the result. As it turned out it was her first time ever to make gnocchi. We had a lot of fun making them. I used a special mandolin, which I brought from Italy, and she used a fork to form them. Both methods were equally productive and in no time our delicious lunch was ready.

My friend wrote down the recipe to make it at home for her kids. She often asks me for the recipes of the dishes I make but for the first time in my life I introduced a true Italian to an Italian dish. All the ingredients used in the recipe are easily available in food stores and chickpea flour can be found in a diet section of food market or any Indian food store.

Chickpea Flour Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce
(Serves four)

Ingredients:
1 cup chickpea flour,
1 cup all purpose bleached flour,
1 cup (150ml) water,
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese,
2 tbsp pine nuts,
15 fresh basil leaves,
2 garlic cloves,
1 can (14 oz) of crushed tomatoes,
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar,
salt and pepper.

Preparation:
1. Using a small food processor purée 10 basil leaves, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese.
2. Mix both flours with 1/2 tsp of salt.
3. In a medium pot bring to boil 150 ml water. Pour in both flours and using a wooden spoon beat it until a smooth paste forms. Turn off the heat.
4. When the dough cools down a little bit, add basil paste, and working with hands knead a smooth dough.

5. On a working surface dusted with flour, roll out the dough into thin (about 1/2 inch-thick) snakes. Cut each into inch-long pieces. Using a mandolin, or squeezing each gently with a fork form gnocchi. Leave them to rest for 30 minutes.

6. In the meantime, heat the oil in a frying pot, add two pieces of garlic and fry it until gold. Discard the garlic from the oil and add crushed tomatoes, the remaining basil leaves, salt and pepper. Simmer on a low heat for about 20 minutes.
7. Boil a large pot of water with salt. Dump in gnocchi and cook until they appear on the surface. Let them boil for about 5 minutes. Drain.
8. Transfer the gnocchi to serving plates and finish with tomato sauce.


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