Chickpea gnocchi

Chickpea gnocchi

Panelle alla romana

Laura Edwards

The inspiration for this dish was the Roman gnocchi alla romana, made with polenta or semolina. Here, though, instead of using semolina, I use chickpea flour. In Sicily, panelle are fritters made of chickpea flour, and these are sold between slices of bread or in a roll as a popular street food.

Chickpea flour can be found in many supermarkets, and in Indian grocers, as ‘gram’ or ‘gram flour’. It is gluten-free, so is ideal for those who are wheat intolerant.


Quantity Ingredient
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
400g chickpea flour
2 medium eggs, beaten
freshly grated nutmeg
60g unsalted butter
30g parmesan, freshly grated
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put 1.2 litres of water into a large saucepan, add the olive oil and some salt, and bring to the boil. Pour the flour into the boiling water, using a large whisk to prevent lumps forming. Cook for 10 minutes, until the mixture is smooth, then let it cool down a little before adding the beaten eggs and a couple of grates of nutmeg. Stir well.
  2. Pour on to a marble surface or other cold work surface and, using a spatula, spread the mixture out until it is evenly about 2cm thick. (A tip: oil the spatula before you flatten the mixture, which will stop it sticking.) Leave to cool further.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  4. Now cut the cooled mixture into teardrops with a medium biscuit cutter. Butter a baking tray and lay the chickpea discs on it, slightly overlapping, like the tiles on a roof. Sprinkle with flakes of butter and the grated Parmesan.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes, until a golden crust forms on top. Serve as a starter, with some tomato sauce if you like.
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