Cauliflower Gnocchi


When I was little, occasionally my parents would take us to dinner in Little Italy. My Dad always brought us to his favorite place there. It was a modest family-owned restaurant, and the family matriarch headed the kitchen. When we arrived, she would come to greet my Dad and then head back to the kitchen to do her thing. I never needed to look at the menu because I knew I would be ordering my favorite Gnocchi with Marinara sauce. I still remembered my steaming bowl delivered to the table, and the billowy pasta just calling my name. All these years after, it is still a favorite of mine, so I have decided to create a healthier version. I started with the versatile cauliflower and added cassava flour, potato starch, spices, and cheese. I baked them in the oven and then tossed them in a restrained amount of marinara sauce. With my first bite, it was clear that Cauliflower Gnocchi was just as delicious as my memories and that a star had been born.



Ingredients for Cauliflower Gnocchi:

yields approximately 80


24 ounces frozen cauliflower

1/2 cup + 1/2 cup cassava flour

1/2 cup potato starch

1/3 cup parmesan cheese plus more for serving

1 egg

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 jar of marinara sauce for serving


Time- Saving Tip: The gnocchi can be shaped hours before cooking and refrigerated.


Let's see what we need.


We're ready to cook.


Microwave the cauliflower according to the package directions. Transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet pan and then squeeze the cauliflower to discard excess liquid.


Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until it looks like rice.


Add the 1/2 cup of flour, potato starch, cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and pulse a few times. Add the egg and pulse until just blended. The dough will be soft.


Transfer the dough to a flat surface covered with parchment paper and a 1/2 cup of flour. Gently knead until dough is firmer. Divide the mixture into four portions and roll each one into logs 1/2" in diameter. Cut into 1 " pieces and transfer the gnocchi to a parchment-lined sheet pan coated with cooking spray. The gnocchi can be refrigerated at this point for a few hours before cooking.


Spray the top of the gnocchi with oil and transfer to a preheated 400-degree oven. Bake until the bottoms are golden and they are puffy; this will take about 12-15 minutes.


Transfer the gnocchi to a large bowl and toss with just enough sauce to coat the pasta.


It's ready! Cauliflower Gnocchi is one of my new go-to things to prepare. Each pillow-like pasta melts in your mouth and is delicious. I love it with marinara sauce, but feel free to dress it up with your favorite sauce for the most delectable meal. While I'm not sure any restaurant in Little Italy would serve my modern version of this old-time dish, it's my new favorite.


Enjoy!


Cauliflower Gnocchi:

yields approximately 80


  • 24 ounces frozen cauliflower

  • 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup cassava flour

  • 1/2 cup potato starch

  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese plus more for serving

  • 1 egg

  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 jar of marinara sauce for serving

  • Microwave the cauliflower according to the package directions. Transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet pan and then squeeze the cauliflower to discard excess liquid.

  • Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until it looks like rice.

  • Add the 1/2 cup of flour, potato starch, cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and pulse a few times. Add the egg and pulse until just blended. The dough will be soft.

  • Transfer the dough to a flat surface covered with parchment paper and a 1/2 cup of flour. Gently knead until dough is firmer. Divide the mixture into four portions and roll each one into logs 1/2" in diameter. Cut into 1 " pieces and transfer the gnocchi to a parchment-lined sheet pan coated with cooking spray. The gnocchi can be refrigerated at this point for a few hours before cooking.

  • Spray the top of the gnocchi with oil and transfer to a preheated 400-degree oven. Bake until the bottoms are golden and they are puffy; this will take about 12-15 minutes.

  • Transfer the gnocchi to a large bowl and toss with just enough sauce to coat the pasta.

  • Time- Saving Tip: The gnocchi can be shaped hours before cooking and refrigerated.


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