Gnocchi, though actually a little dumpling, is used like pasta and originates from Northern Italy. Commonly made with mashed potatoes and flour, these fluffy little pillows can be paired with a variety of sauces. Traditionally served with butter or olive oil and fresh sage, we served ours with a tomato sauce. Try pairing your homemade Potato Gnocchi with Project CHEF Tuscan-Style Tomato Sauce.
Yield: 4 – 6 servings
Preparation Time: Cook potatoes: about 30 minutes
Make gnocchi: about 25 minutes
Cook gnocchi: about 2 minutes
- 1 ½ pounds (650g) Russet potatoes (about 2 large potatoes)
- 1 to 1 ½ cups (250mL~300mL) all purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten
- 1 ½ tsp (7mL) salt
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Large pot, with lid
- Food mill, ricer or potato masher
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Large bowl
- 1 large rimmed baking sheet, dusted with flour
- Small sharp knife
- Slotted spoon
1. Place the potatoes (do not peel) in a large pot and cover with cold water. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft and tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 – 35 minutes. The knife should easily slide in and out of the potato.
2. When the potatoes are cooked, let cool until they can be handled but are still warm. Peel the potatoes and mash them using a food mill, ricer or potato masher. Place in a large bowl.
3. Make a well in the centre of the potatoes and sprinkle all over with 1 cup (250mL) of the flour. Add the egg yolk and salt to the well and using a fork, mix together until blended.
4. Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface. Knead briefly, adding only enough flour so that the gnocchi will hold its shape when cooked but not so much that they become heavy. The dough should be just a little sticky
5. Clean your work surface and wash and dry your hands. Prepare a baking sheet by dusting with flour. Dust your hands with flour.
6. Cut the dough into 8 pieces and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Roll one piece of dough into a long rope, about 2 cm wide. Cut the rope into 3 cm long pieces.
7. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.
8. To shape the gnocchi, hold a fork in one hand with the tines pointed down. With the thumb of the other hand, roll each piece of dough over the back of the fork, pressing lightly to make ridges on one side and a dent from your finger on the other. Place the gnocchi on to the prepared pan without touching each other. Flour your thumb and dip the fork in flour when necessary. (The gnocchi-shaping may also be done using a wooden gnocchi board using the same technique. You may also just cut the dough into little pillows.
9. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
10. To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 2 Tbsp (30mL) of salt.
11. Before cooking the gnocchi, have the sauce heated and ready to serve. Ladle a thin layer of the hot sauce into a warm serving bowl.
12. Turn the heat under the boiling water down so that the water boils gently. Carefully drop the gnocchi into the water. Cook for 30 seconds after the gnocchi rises to the surface (about 2 minutes total). Skim the gnocchi from the pot with a slotted spoon, draining the pieces well by tapping the spoon on a paper towel or clean tea towel. Transfer to the serving bowl.
13. Toss the gnocchi with the sauce then ladle more sauce on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve right away.
- Gnocchi can also be frozen. Place the baking pans of uncooked gnocchi in the freezer for one hour, or until firm. Put the gnocchi in a Ziplock bag and freeze up to one month. Do not thaw before placing in the boiling water. Frozen gnocchi will take a little longer to cook.
- Gnocchi is also nice with a pinch of fresh herbs and butter or olive oil.
STEP-BY-STEP – POTATO GNOCCHI!
Cook the potatoes. The recipe says to boil, however, here we have baked the potatoes in the oven at 375 F until soft and tender when pierced with a knife. Either method will work. If you are choosing to bake the potatoes, do not add oil as you want them to be dry. Once cooked, peel and mash potatoes while still warm.
Cook the gnocchi. Gently boil water. Carefully drop gnocchi into water. Cook for about 30 seconds after gnocchi rises to the surface (total of about 2 minutes). Skim gnocchi from the pot, drain with a paper towel & transfer to the serving bowl.
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