- Gnocchi is a popular Italian dish
- Wheat is one of the ingredients used to make traditional gnocchi
- Gnocchi is not gluten-free making it unsafe for people on a gluten-free diet
- You can prepare homemade gluten-free gnocchi or buy gluten-free gnocchi
Gnocchi is an Italian staple, which is delicious and makes for a mouthwatering dish. But is gnocchi gluten-free?
Classic Italian gnocchi is not gluten-free. All-purpose wheat flour is one of its main ingredients. However, you can still enjoy homemade gluten-free gnocchi by substituting wheat flour with gluten-free flours. Also, there are some brands of gluten-free gnocchi on the market.
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What Is Gnocchi?
Gnocchi is a household Italian food consisting of small potato dumplings. They originated in northern Italy, thanks to the area’s friendly conditions for growing tomatoes.
And, it’s easy to confuse them with pasta, since they resemble it in various ways. However, gnocchi and pasta are two different things.
You can serve or enjoy these potato dumplings with a wide range of sauces. But, the most common ones used are pesto and tomato sauce.
Gnocchi is a highly versatile food and there is a lot that you can do with it, right from uncooked gnocchi. You have the option of either serving them as a side dish or a first dish, depending on your preferences.
Gnocchi is made using potato, wheat flour, semolina, pepper, egg and a couple of other ingredients. Some recipes also use parmesan cheese and ricotta. The wheat flour helps to bind the dumplings and keep them together.
Gnocchi are flavored with different products, but one of the most common ones is parmesan.
After the dumplings have been formed, the chef will then press them against a traditional gnocchi board or fork, which helps to give them their signature shape and look.
Gnocchi comes in different tastes and flavors. But, regardless of the region or the recipe, potatoes remain the base ingredient.
It is worth pointing out that it is better to use gnocchi with baked potatoes when compared to boiled potatoes. Russet potatoes are also ideal for gnocchi. Because gnocchi are potato based, they do have a lot of choices when it comes to pairing.
You do not have to throw away any food that you have left in the house. For example, you can use leftover mashed potatoes with gnocchi. Salted boiling water is an important component in gnocchi.
On the part of gnocchi, frozen gnocchi can be used for a longer time, and this will be economical for your food budget. If you cook frozen gnocchi, you are going to recycle food and avoid wastage.
Freezing gnocchi requires that you arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet, and place them in your freezer. After they are frozen, proceed to transfer them to a container for your future use.
Again, the preparation of gnocchi does not require any special equipment, not even a potato ricer.
However, if you want to make good gnocchi, you will need to be patient- this is one of the foods that require a lot of patience. In particular, potato gnocchi is delicate and light.
Gluten is a type of protein found in several grains in the grass family. These grains include barley, wheat, triticale, rye, spelt, and kamut. Also, most of the hybrid wheat and barley grains contain this protein.
And, considering that gluten is a naturally-occurring protein in this family, you can’t separate it from the cereal. Therefore, you will find it in whole grain as well as processed foods made using these cereals.
So, any food that has been made with wheat, barley or any other grain from this family will also contain gluten.
And, the majority of the population can consume food with gluten grains without any issues. However, the case is entirely different for individuals with gluten sensitivity, celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
If people with any gluten sensitivity consumed gluten-containing grains or foods with gluten-containing ingredients, they will experience numerous negative reactions, which can be short-term and long-term. In light of this, individuals with gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity have to stick to a gluten-free diet.
At the center of this is the need to check the food labeling. An increasing number of companies are giving information about consumer products, and they want to help the consumers to make an informed decision.
Besides, reputable organizations such as FDA are fighting for a more transparent market, a market that is sensitive to the consumers.
Is Gnocchi Gluten Free?
If you love visiting Italian restaurants, there’s a high chance gnocchi will be part of the menu, considering it’s one of the most popular Italian foods. Italian foods have colonized the world, and many Americans have explored Italian cuisine.
However, if you’ve been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity or you have just started on a gluten-free diet, you may be wondering whether this dish is safe for you. This is because you are limited in terms of what you can take.
Is gnocchi gluten free? Can people on a gluten-free diet take gnocchi? Can you take gnocchi if you have celiac disease?
To answer these questions, we will take a closer look at the ingredients used to make this dish. The main ingredients used to make gnocchi are potatoes, wheat flour, eggs and semolina.
And as we’ve pointed out above, wheat is a gluten grain, meaning wheat flour also contains gluten.
In light of this, we can say that gnocchi is not gluten-free, considering that wheat is one of its primary ingredients. Many wheat products are naturally not gluten free.
But, if you are on a gluten-free diet, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy gnocchi. You can prepare your own gnocchi at home using gluten-free ingredients and you will be able to follow a gluten free gnocchi recipe. Homemade gnocchi is equally delicious.
You can substitute the gluten-containing wheat flour with other gluten-free flours like rice flour, sorghum flour, arrowroot flour, amaranth flour, millet flour, chickpea flour, tapioca flour, cassava flour and almond flour.
Some varieties of gnocchi are simple to follow. For example, gnocchi with tomato sauce is simple to prepare.
You can also use buckwheat flour instead of all-purpose wheat flour to make gnocchi dough. Despite its name, buckwheat flour is gluten-free.
But, we should mention that in most farms, both the gluten grains and gluten-free grains are farmed, harvested, and processed together, meaning there may be cross-contamination. Again, when food processors use the same equipment for different foods, gluten free foods are also compromised.
So, whenever you are buying wheat flour substitutes for your homemade gnocchi, you should read the label to see if it has been certified gluten-free. By using certified gluten-free flour, you can be confident you won’t experience any gluten-related complications.
The Best Gluten-Free Gnocchi Brands
Evidently, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy gnocchi just because you are allergic to gluten or you are on a gluten-free diet. You can still prepare homemade gnocchi using gluten-free ingredients.
Alternatively, you can also buy gluten-free gnocchi, sold by reputable gluten-free gnocchi brands.
Some of the top brands that sell gluten-free gnocchi include Schar, Caesar’s Kitchen, Alessi, Ditafti, Delallo, Granoro, Le Veneziane, Rising Moon, Nocca Cocola, Corabella, and Simply Wise.
The gnocchi sold by these brands has been certified gluten-free. So, regardless of the brand you choose, it should be safe to consume if you have gluten sensitivity, celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker