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potato gnocchi with sauce

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I don’t know about you, but I love gnocchi. The soft and pillowy potato dumpling is comfort food for me. If you haven’t tried it, you need to work on that immediately.

I’ve ordered gnocchi at restaurants for years and have tried and failed to make it home for the last five. I usually buy it fresh or frozen if I eat it at home, but I’m declaring today that my last batch of homemade gnocchi was A-MA-ZING. I was shocked that it turned out, truthfully. I combined various tips I came across on the web and they worked.

Because I love gnocchi so much, my mom gave me a potato ricer for Christmas years ago. If you have never seen one before, it looks like a giant garlic press; at least that was my first reaction to it. A ricer isn’t very common in most kitchens, so use your cheese grater, my friends have had success with that.

The below recipe is very basic one to get you started. Don’t use the small new potatoes, you need medium to large. I use an egg in my recipe, it is said that the best and lightest gnocchi doesn’t have egg in it, but beginners should use it for easier binding of the dough. Also, I guess the best gnocchi uses very little flour. I didn’t measure mine, I just went by feel of the dough. You’ll need pot holders close-by because you will be handling hot potatoes.

Potato Gnocchi

3-4 potatoes depending on size (I used yukon gold)
1 egg, whisked
flour
salt and pepper
garlic powder
any other herbs you like

Boil potatoes whole with skin on. I boiled mine for approximately 45 minutes. They are done when a fork goes through easily. While they are still hot peel them; I use a small pearing knife and skin them carefully. If you have a potato ricer press them through at this point, otherwise hold with a pot holder and grate on the large side. Create a pile of the potato pieces.

Once all the potatoes are finished create a well in the center of the potatoes. (You could do this in a large bowl, but I prefer a clean counter top.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper and any herbs you like. Pour a little amount of the whisked egg into the center along with 2 tablespoons of flour. Start mixing with your hands to combine everything. (You could use a fork, but I prefer my hands.)

Continue to incoporate and knead everything together. Add more flour as you go. I added a total of 4-5 tablespoons. What you want at the end looks like a smooth dough ball. If your dough is sticky, add more flour and continue kneading to incorporate thourouly.

Once your dough round feels smooth, cut into quarters. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and roll each quarter out into a long thin snake-like tube.

Cut into small pieces. Set aside and do the same with remaining three-quarters.

You cook gnocchi in boiling water and when it floats to the top it is ready. Serve immediately with your favorite sauce. I love pesto sauce with gnocchi as well as the quick sauce I made below.

One of my closest friends and fellow food blogger also makes gnocchi. While we use different methods, they both taste good. You can check her recipe out at http://www.foodymommy.blogspot.com/.

Quick Sauce for Gnocchi

leftover cooked unseasoned ground meat (I used turkey)
1 small can of tomato paste
3-5 tbsps cream
salt and pepper
garlic powder
dried oregano, basil, parsley

Whenever I cook ground meat, I always set some aside before I season it
for another meal.

Reheat ground meat in sauce pan and add tomato paste. Slowly add 1 tablespoon of cream at at time, stirring after each addition. Use more or less cream if you want; the thickness is up to you. Add the seasonings of your liking as well. Stir everything together, taste it, then add over the cooked gnocchi.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Friday, September 3, 2010 8:02 pm

    Mmmm…That sauce looks quite yummy! I will also be trying your method of gnocchi. Yummy!

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