Potato Gnocchi

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

My parents took their first trip to Europe a couple years ago, spending a week in the Tuscany region of Italy. They both came back inspired by the Italian food they enjoyed and, as a result started to make many of the Italian dishes they had while in Italy.

This is one of the dishes we started making as a result of their trip, and we’ve experimented with various ratios of potato to flour. What you want is a minimal amount of flour, too much and the gnocchi will be too dense.

The trick, we’ve learned, is to use older potatoes, and to bake them, not boil or steam them, so that they get pretty dried out. Also it helps to put them through a potato ricer for a smoother consistency. Gnocchi goes well with practically any good pasta sauce.

Potato Gnocchi Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs whole baking potatoes
  • 2 beaten egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Your favorite pasta sauce (for example, this basic, delicious tomato sauce)

Method

1 Bake the potatoes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spear the potatoes with fork tines in several places around each potato to vent moisture as the potatoes cook. Bake the potatoes in their skins until tender, about an hour. Let cool on a rack, cutting them open to help cool and let more moisture escape.

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2 Mash and fluff potatoes: Scoop out the potatoes from their skins. Mash the potatoes and fluff them up with a fork into a large bowl. (It works great to pass the potatoes through a potato ricer if you have one.) It is best to work with the potatoes when they are still warm.

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3 Add flour, egg, salt, mix into a ball of dough: Add the flour, egg and a pinch of salt. Mix by hand until you have a nice pliable ball of dough. Do not over-mix.

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4 Roll pieces of dough into long cylinders: Prepare a work area and dust it with flour. Take the dough, a piece at a time, and roll it out gently with your hands until you have rolls about 3/4 inch in diameter. It is very important to keep a light touch while you are rolling the dough. Gently roll the dough with your fingertips while while exerting the lightest pressure outwards, not down, to draw the dough out.

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5 Cut into pieces, and form indentations: Cut the tubes of dough into pieces about one inch long. Using either the tines of a fork or your fingertip, press against a piece of the dough and roll it slightly to form an indentation (good for catching the sauce). As the gnocchi are made, place them on flat baking pan, lightly dusted with flour or lined with wax paper.

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At this point you can freeze the gnocchi ahead of time. Freeze them first on a floured or lined tray, then once frozen you can put them into a freezer bag for more easy storage. To cook, just put the frozen gnocchi into the simmering water for the next step.

6 Drop gnocchi into simmering water: Bring at least 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in a shallow saucepan. Gently drop the gnocchi, a few at a time, into the water. As soon as they rise to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon, draining well. Arrange on a warm serving dish. Continue cooking the gnocchi in the same manner.

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7 Serve with sauce: As soon as all the gnocchi are ready, pour heated pasta sauce over them and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.

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Links:

Video on Gnocchi making from Chef Taryn Wa

Potato Gnocchi with Sautéed Mushrooms from Béa of La Tartine Gourmand

Ultimate Gnocchi from Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything Once

Gnocchi with a taste of herbs and Gnocchi alla Romana from Ilva of Lucullian Delights

Gnocchi in Sage Garlic Butter from Meeta of What's for Lunch, Honey

Potato Gnocchi

Showing 4 of 59 Comments

  • Silvana

    Take potato in any strainer,press with a cup,it come out,the same.

  • Maria Enza

    OMG!! I am an gnocchi fanatic. I was spoiled as child where cooks from famous resturants (like Mamma Leone) prepared gnocchi for my dad. I never attempted to make it beleiving it would never match their goodness. Well I was WRONG!!! This recipe was amazing. They came light puffy and just like Mamma Leone’s; if not better because it was made from my hands (and your guidance). Perfect. Many thanks.

  • Naomi

    I have tried a few recipes for gnocchi but this one is really helpful. The end result was little pillows of goodness!! Was perfect!!

  • Frances

    You can also push the baked potatoes through a mesh seive or grate them with a cheese grater if you don’t have a potato ricer. With the seive, just leave the skin on the cut potato so when you push it through, only the skin remains (no need to scoop it out first!).

  • Matty

    I literally just made this recipe, it is delicious! I did not use a potato ricer, the fork tinges worked just wonderful. I found that I had to add a tiny bit of water though at the end or the dough was crumbly. I love how the dough was warm when rolling it out!

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