My favorite type of pasta is, hands down, gnocchi and I’ve been wanting to try making a homemade batch for some time now. Technically a dumpling, the word gnocchi may derive from the Italian word nocchio, meaning a knot in wood, or from nocca (meaning knuckle).
It can be made from all kinds of ingredients from beets to pumpkins to cheese, or my personal favorite: potatoes. One of the best meals I’ve ever eaten was in Florence, Italy, when I had a baked gnocchi dish with gorgonzola cheese. The soft dumplings melted in your mouth!
Here’s what I came up with tonight with some help from Food Nouveau:
3 medium russett Potatoes; cleaned and peeled
1 Egg Yolk
1 c. Flour
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
First, bring a pot of water to boil and place in your potatoes until the potatoes feel tender. Be sure not to poke holes in them! Don’t be impatient — you’ll need some soft potatoes! Remove from the water when ready.
Next, gently peel away the skin of the potatoes and discard.
In a medium dish, you can either use a potato ricer, food mill, or a good old fork to mash up your potatoes. You want to make sure to get out all of the lumps in your potatoes. This is where having tender potatoes is extremely important.
Once you’re satisfied with the consistency of your mashed potatoes, let them rest until they reach room temperature so as not to cook the egg in the next process.
Take the egg yolk and the olive oil and fold it into the mashed potatoes mixture.
In a small bowl, mix the salt and the flour together to sprinkle on top of the dough. You are looking to have a fairly crumbly dough.
Spread some flour onto your counter space and knead the dough for about 1 minute. Try not to overknead (my usual mistake) because it can cause your gnocchi to have a rubbery texture after cooked.
After kneading, your dough should feel soft and smooth. Mine was a little too flaky, so I just sprinkled a teensy bit of water on top.
Now roll out your dough and cut the dough into small pillow like pieces with either a knife or a pastry cutter.
After this, you can either leave your gnocchi plain, looking like miniature pillows, or indent them using a gnocchi board or a fork. I like being fancy so I decided to indent mine.
You can tell I was starting to get the hang of it after my first couple of tries.
Once finished, you can cook them right away by either boiling or sautéeing them in a pan or freeze them for a later meal!
In my final product, I decided to boil mine. They cook very quickly (~2 minutes) so keep an eye on them! Once they float to the top, they’re ready!
To Freeze Fresh Gnocchi: Place your gnocchi on a plate/pan in the freezer until they are solid. Then transfer them to a freezer lock bag. They will last up to 2 months!
Aside from the potato mashing process — which would’ve been easier if my potatoes were cooked for just a little bit longer, I found this recipe to be fairly straight forward and fun! Plus, the gnocchi pasta was absolutely delicious!! They tasted just like the restaurants!
Plus, I have some leftover gnocchi in the freezer for some more pasta recipes!
I decided to pan sear some of my leftover gnocchi. It turned out delicious! They are crispy on the outside with a tender inside.
Place 1/4 Tbsp. of butter in a frying pan on medium/high heat. Then spread out the defrosted fresh gnocchi in the pan to gently toss so they are coated in butter.
Cook the gnocchi for approximately two minutes per side, or until a golden brown crust forms, then flip with a spatula to cook the other side.
I steamed some peas and threw them in with some vodka sauce. Topped the whole dish with some shaved parmesan! It was quick and easy! I highly recommend it!