Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Gnocchi served as the inspiration for Miss Yunks’s Valentine’s Day dinner.  Gnocchi was fresh on the mind from reading menus to pick a restaurant for birthday dinner and from reading about Katie’s homemade gnocchi on The Small Boston Kitchen.  There was no doubt gnocchi would be the star of dinner.

I used yukon gold potatoes to make my gnocchi.  I’m intrigued by different types of gnocchi, like ricotta and squash, but wanted to try simple potato for my first time.

Ingredients

3 pounds of potatoes – I used about 4 average size yukon gold potatoes
1 egg
1.5 cups flour – I used at least 3 cups of flour
pinch of salt

Directions

1. Boil potatoes in water until soft and just about to burst out of their skin, about 40 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes and pour cold water over them until they’re cool enough to touch.  Peel the skin off the potatoes.
3. Mash potatoes in a medium sized bowl.  Run potatoes through a ricer, or if you’re like me and don’t own a ricer, push potatoes through a pasta strainer with a spoon to get rid of any lumps.
4. Over a well floured surface, make a mound of the smooth mashed potatoes and form a well in the middle.
5. Pour the beaten egg and 1 cup of flour into the well.
6. Work into dough until incorporated.  Keep adding flour and kneed the dough until dough isn’t sticky.
7. When potato dough is no longer sticky, divide into 4 sections.  Roll first section into a long snake, about an inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut the snake into pieces about an inch long.  Press the end of a fork into each 1 inch piece twice.  Each piece of dough will flatten and have a nice ridged design on one side.  This will hold your sauce later.  Fold the dough in half length-wise and pinch ends together.

8. Place 1 section’s worth of shaped gnocchi into boiling water.  Cook until they float to the top of the water, and then 4 more minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer gnocchi to plate, dry them off, and sprinkle flour over them.

9. Finish shaping and cooking the remaining gnocchi.

Serving Options

1. Serve immediately with sauce of your choice.
2. Freeze gnocchi in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, can freeze all together in a plastic bag.
3. Store in fridge until ready to serve, will probably last 1-5 days.
4. My choice: pan fry in a bit of oil until lightly browned.

I prepared my gnocchi the day before Valentine’s Day to save time on the day.  And because it took me about 2 hours from start to finish, I’m glad I got started early!  On Valentine’s Day, I pan fried the gnocchi until lightly browned and crispy.  I prepared a simple tomato sauce by browning 2-3 tablespoons of butter, adding about 1 teaspoon thyme, and simmering with a can of san marzano tomatoes for about 45 minutes – 1 hour.  I usually just use butter with this sauce, but the browned butter added a unique flavor.  I think I used too much flour in my gnocchi; they tasted more like pasta than potato, but frying them did help bring out the potato taste.  We liked the gnocchi a lot! I want to experiment with different types next, and with different preparations.  These gnocchi tasted a lot better after frying; I’d like to find a recipe that doesn’t need to be fried.  Frying may not be the healthiest choice, but these crispy gnocchi were pretty delicious and held the sauce well.

Have you ever made gnocchi at home? What’s your favorite recipe?

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7 Comments

  1. Posted February 22, 2011 at 7:25 AM | Permalink

    I actually JUST made gnocchi for the first time this past weekend – sweet potato gnocchi with brown butter and sage!

  2. Posted February 22, 2011 at 7:55 AM | Permalink

    These look great! I feel like the universe wants me to make gnocchi. I keep seeing it on Top Chef and now all over the blogs. I’ll probably just buy some though.

  3. Posted February 22, 2011 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    I’m not usually into gnocchi but this looks really good!

  4. Posted February 22, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

    So many bloggers have been making gnocchi recently! I’ve made it a few times but have to say yours – and everyone else’s – look so much more attractive than mine :)

  5. Posted February 22, 2011 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    totally impressed! looks delish., I made gnocchi in florence when i was abroad at one of the school’s cooking classes. it was quite a process!

  6. Posted February 22, 2011 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    I love pan-fried gnocchi. Yours looks delicious! I’ve had two failed gnocchi attempts and keep meaning to give it another try.

  7. Posted February 22, 2011 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    awesome job on these! I have never made gnocchi from scratch but I do love to incorporate it into dishes!

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