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Polenta Gnocchi

Gnocchi is an Italian dish that is usually based on potato, but polenta offers a delicious alternative. This version is very simple to prepare.

Image of Polenta Gnocchi
Ingredients

Oil for greasing
1 litre milk
1 large onion, peeled and studded with 1-2 cloves
1 bay leaf
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Pinch of salt
150 g polenta or coarse maize meal
3 egg yolks
100 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Butter for greasing

(makes 400 g)

Details

Serves: 4


Method

Lightly grease a baking tray with a little oil. Pour the milk into a large saucepan, add the onion and bay leaf, a little grated nutmeg and the salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low setting and simmer gently for at least 10 minutes. Remove the onion and bay leaf from the pan with a slotted spoon and discard.

Hold the bag containing the polenta high above the pan and pour into the hot milk in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly. Continue stirring and cook the mixture over low heat for 10 minutes or until it has a thick consistency and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Add some more milk if the polenta becomes too thick.

Remove from the heat and beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Beat in half the grated Parmesan cheese and season with salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper and a little more grated nutmeg if desired.

Turn the polenta out on to the baking tray and spread into an even layer, roughly 1 cm thick. Brush with melted butter, then leave to cool and set for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230C, gas mark 8. Grease an ovenproof dish with melted butter.

When set, cut the polenta into 5 cm squares and place them, overlapping, in the ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the gnocchi and bake in the top of the oven for roughly 15 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve with a salad tossed in a herb and garlic dressing.

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