Gnocchi is an Italian dish that refers to any kind of pasta made up of small, soft dough dumplings flavoured with sauce and various herbs. The key ingredient are potatoes.
In Italy, gnocchi are usually served after appetizers as a first course, instead of a main course. When Italians eat gnocchi this way, the portions tend to be on the small side. However, gnocchi can just as easily be served as a main course and that what you get in this recipe.
What does Gnocchi taste like?
Gnocchi’s plump, pillowy texture and mild, delicate flavor.
What are the best potatoes to use for Gnocchi?
The best kinds of potatoes for gnocchi are floury or all-purpose potatoes. They don’t have a lot of moisture and can hold their shape well even after rolling them into dough, which makes them well-suited for the compact ball-sized lumps that make the best gnocchi.
The best are….
- Desiree potatoes
- Yukon Gold potatoes
- Creme Royale potatoes
- Idaho potatoes
What sauces can go on top?
You can pair Gnocchi with rich, hearty sauces like Browned Butter & Sage, Creamy Alfredo Sauce, Creamy Cheddar Cheese Sauce or Pesto. The possibilities are endless. In general, meat sauces are a fantastic match, but butter and cream-based sauces work well, too.
In this recipe, I made a traditional tomato sauce from canned sauce and added black pepper, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.You can just buy store bought sauce to save time. Lastly, for the cheese sauce, I simply bought a package of Velveeta Sauce to put on top. Sometimes, the lazy way is the best way to go.
By the way, this recipe is just on how to make the Gnocchi itself.
How do you create the line texture in the Gnocchi?
Classic Italian homemade gnocchi are pressed on a fork to curl them and impart the traditional ridges. That’s how I created mines. It’s very time consuming and there is a better way to save time.
To save time, you can just cut them in small squares and leave them as cute little pillows.
Let’s get started……
I totally forgot to make step by step pictures. However, when I make it again, I will update this recipe with them.
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 1 hr
- 3 large potatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds), scrubbed
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (more needed)
1. Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough cold water to cover them.
2. Bring the water to a boil and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a skewer, about 30-35 minutes.
You can bake the potatoes in a preheated 400°F oven until tender, about 35-40 minutes.
3. Drain the potatoes and let them stand just until cool enough to handle. (The hotter the potatoes are when they are peeled and graded, the lighter the gnocchi will be.) Working quickly and protecting the hand that holds the potatoes with a folded kitchen towel or oven mitt, scrape the skin from the potato with a paring knife.
4. Grade the peeled potatoes through a cheese grader if you don’t have a potato ricer. (Using a ricer makes fluffier potatoes and therefore lighter gnocchi.)
5. Spread the graded potatoes into a thin, even layer on the work surface, without pressing or compacting them. Let them cool completely, about 20-30 minutes.
6. In a small bowl, beat the egg and salt. Gather the cold potatoes into a mound and form a well in the center. Pour the egg mixture into the well.
7. Knead the potato and egg mixtures together with both hands, gradually adding the grated cheese and enough of the flour, about 1 1/2 cups, to form a smooth but slightly sticky dough. This would take about 2 to 3 minutes. You don’t want to over work the dough because the longer the dough is kneaded, the more flour it will require and the heavier it will become.
Note: As you knead the dough, it will stick to your hands and to the work surface: Repeatedly rub this rough dough from your hands and scrape it with a dough scraper from the work surface back into the dough as you knead.
8. Wash and dry your hands. Dust the dough, your hands, and the work surface lightly with some of the remaining flour.
9. Shape small portions of the dough into long “snakes”. On a floured surface, cut snakes into half-inch pieces.
10. Sprinkle the rounds lightly with flour and roll each piece quickly between your palms into a rough ball, flouring the dough and your hands as needed to prevent sticking.
11. Hold the sharp point of a fork at a 45-degree angle to the table with the concave part facing up. Dip the tip of your thumb in flour. Take one ball of dough and with the tip of your thumb, press the dough lightly against the tines of the fork as you roll it downward toward the tips of the sharp point. As the dough wraps around the tip of your thumb, it will form into a dumpling with a deep indentation on one side and a ridged surface on the other. [You can skip this part and just keep the pillow shape and cook]
12. Set on a baking sheet lined with a floured kitchen towel and continue forming gnocchi from the remaining dough balls. With remaining dough, repeat the whole process.
13. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until gnocchi have risen to the top; drain and serve with your sauce of choice. [Add graded Parmesan cheese on top.]
What are the storage instructions for leftovers?
Cooked gnocchi will keep for 2 days in the fridge. So eat up quickly!
What are the freezing instructions?
It is best to freeze gnocchi uncooked as soon as they are shaped. Organize the gnocchi in a single layer on a baking pan and place the pan in a level position in the freezer. Freeze for about 3 hours until they become solid. After, gather the frozen gnocchi into resealable freezer bags. I like to use Stasher bags. Frozen gnocchi can be stored in the freezer for 4 to 6 weeks.
How do you cook Gnocchi from frozen?
Frozen gnocchi must be cooked directly from the freezer. That means you need to first bring 6 quarts salted water to a boil in each of two large pots. Then take gnocchi from freezer, shake any excess flour from the frozen gnocchi and split them between the two pots, stirring gently as you add them to the boiling water. It is important that the water return to a boil as soon as possible; cover the pots if necessary. Drain the gnocchi as described above and sauce and serve.