Flour Gnocchi with Peas and Pancetta


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This unique pasta has many variations all across Italy where different regional traditions make use of a variety of ingredients: semolina, ricotta and spinach, breadcrumbs, pumpkin and many more. This gnocchi recipe, made without potatoes, is prepared just with flour and water. It’s the easiest homemade gnocchi recipe, ready in 30 minutes, light and delicious.

For the gnocchi dough:
250g / 8oz / 1 cup water, room temperature
25g / 1oz / 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
30g /~ ¼ cup* parmesan cheese, grated
A pinch of salt and black pepper
250g / ~1½ cup +1Tbsp* flour (I use “00” double zero)
Couple handfuls** of coarse sea salt (for boiling water used to cook the gnocchi)

*Measure ingredients by weight for best results
**Less salt is needed if using fine salt instead of coarse

For the sauce:
3-4 slices pancetta (or bacon), diced
75ml / 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil*
1 fresh leek (or spring onion), finely chopped
200g / 2-3 cup sweet peas, cooked or frozen and thawed
30g /~ ¼ cup* parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Tools to have on hand:

a wooden work surface
a dough scraper (or knife) to cut the gnocchi to size
a gnocchi board, dinner fork, or grater
a colander
a large pot to boil water and cook gnocchi
a long spoon to stir the gnocchi dough
a cheese grater
a small sauté pan to crisp up pancetta or bacon (if using)
a large sauté pan to fit sauce and gnocchi

INGREDIENTS NOTES

See detailed ingredient notes in the recipe below.


  • flour gnocchi

FLOUR GNOCCHI & SWEET PEAS

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This unique pasta has many variations all across Italy where different regional traditions make use of a variety of ingredients: semolina, ricotta and spinach, breadcrumbs, pumpkin and many more. This gnocchi recipe, made without potatoes, is prepared just with flour and water. It’s the easiest homemade gnocchi recipe, ready in 30 minutes, light and delicious.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes
Servings 2

Equipment

Ingredients

For the gnocchi dough:

  • 250 g 00 double zero flour
  • 250 g water - room temperature
  • 25 g butter - room temperature
  • 30 g parmigiano cheese - grated
  • salt and pepper - to taste
  • Coarse sea salt - a couple handfuls (for boiling water used to cook the gnocchi)

For the sweet pea sauce:

  • 4 slices of pancetta or bacon - cut into smaller bite size pieces
  • 75 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek (or spring onion)
  • 200 g peas - cooked or frozen and thawed
  • 45 g parmigiano cheese - grated
  • salt and pepper - to taste
Ingredient Notes:
  • We highly recommend measuring flour by weight. See this article: Why we measure by weight.
  • I recommend using ’00’ (double zero) flour for the right texture. AP flour is ok but if possible, try to purchase 00 flour to get the right texture. What’s the difference between these flours (and others)? Check out this really great article.
  • To get the best results, the dough should be made using equal weights of water and flour.
  • Vegetable substitutions: this recipe is flexible! Use asparagus instead of peas. Shallots instead of leeks. Add or omit based on your own personal preference.
  • Meat substitutions: if you can't find pancetta, you can also substitute this ingredient with bacon. You can also omit meat altogether.

Instructions

Prepare the Dough

  • In a large pot, bring water to boil over high heat with butter, a pinch of salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
  • When water is boiling, add the flour all at once, turn the heat off and stir vigorously until all the ingredients combine together and a crumbly dough forms.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands (it will be hot, be careful!) until the dough gets soft and smooth. Knead the dough for just a few minutes, to combine the ingredients together and be able to roll it out.

TIP: Don’t overwork the dough. Over-kneading the dough will create too much gluten, and will leave your gnocchi hard and rubbery.

    Cut the Gnocchi

    • Take a piece from the dough and cover the remaining dough with a kitchen towel to prevent it from drying. Shape the first piece of dough into a rope about 3⁄4 inch thick and 4’’ long. Cut the gnocchi along the rope from end to end into small pieces, the size of a hazelnut, the shape of a tiny pillow.
    • Set the already made gnocchi on a floured baking sheet. To prevent them from sticking, dust with more flour if needed. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.

    TIP: It is important to attempt to keep the gnocchi all the same size so that cooking time is uniform.

      Shape the Gnocchi

      • To curl the gnocchi, you can use the back of a fork or a gnocchi board if you have one.
      • Hold the fork (or the gnocchi board) in one hand and roll the gnocchi off of the tines of the fork (or gnocchi board), gently pressing down with your thumb as you go.This creates a cavity on one side and a pattern on the other, both of which will help the sauce to stick.
      • You can skip step 6 and 7 (curling gnocchi) and just cook your gnocchi as little dumplings.

      Start Boiling the Cooking Water

      • In a large pot (for boiling the pasta), fill to about ¾ full with water and start heat on medium to medium/high.

      Prepare the Sauce

      • In a small sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and the pancetta (or bacon). Turn the heat to medium-low and gently sauté to render the fat and get crispy. Once crispy (to your personal preference) turn off heat and place on side. Reserve for later.
      • In a sauté pan, large enough to hold all the gnocchi (30 cm diameter), add the remaining extra virgin olive oil. Add the leeks. Cover with a lid and sauté the leeks over low heat, until the they are turning translucent and soft, stirring once in a while.
      • Add peas, mix and cook until peas are soft, for about 5 minutes, with lid on. Turn the heat off and set aside.

      Cook the Gnocchi

      • Return to the cooking water and bring to a boil (if it’s not boiling already). Add the coarse sea salt.
      • Put the gnocchi in the water and lower the heat. The water must retain a soft boil. Cook the gnocchi for a few minutes. They are ready when they float to the surface of the water.
      • Scoop up the gnocchi with a small strainer and drain them very well, trying to remove as much liquid as possible.

      Combine Sauce and Gnocchi

      • Place the cooked gnocchi in the pan with the leeks and peas. Add the reserved pancetta (or bacon). Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese, toss everything together, and serve warm.

      Notes

      • I use a gnocchi board to shape the gnocchi. If you don’t have one, you can also use a dinner fork, the back of a grater, or another tool that will imprint a texture. See video here.
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