Pillowy soft little potato dumplings, that is how I would describe gnocchi.
We harvested all our potatoes about a month ago. We really do not have a “cool dry place” to store them, especially with the heat we’ve experienced this summer. So, before they go bad, what better a way to use them than gnocchi – especially since I can freeze raw gnocchi and enjoy them in the fall? This is also a great family and friends activity when it comes time to shape them. If you do it by yourself it is a labor of love, but as a group, shaping them is done before you know it. You’ll be that much closer to eating.
You may remember that last year I posted a recipe for gnudi, a ricotta and spinach-based ravioli, but without the pasta part, in other words, little balls of filling. This time I am offering the recipe for its cousin, gnocchi, a classic potato and flour “dumpling.”
The general rule of thumb for a gnocchi recipe is 1-pound potatoes, 1 cup flour and 1 egg, plus a big pinch of salt. What I like about these proportions is that they are easy to remember and infinitely scalable.
How to enjoy gnocchi? Try them with a simple tomato sauce, browned butter with sage, pesto, or any sauce you like.
Arliano Update (Aggiornamento Arliano):
All our insulation has been mounted on the house and the contractors have circled it two or three times with stucco. The next step will be painting, which is where we will really see a transformation. The plumbers and electricians will return this coming week to complete the bulk of the work. Finally, momentum!
Our sweet Italian and bell peppers are the star of the summer and are ripening beautifully. The zucchini are surprising me by continuing to produce, albeit less and less… still, I’ll take them! Otherwise, I am patiently waiting for the two types of cabbage and the beets to have a growth spurt. Maybe now that the weather is starting to cool, they will kick in?
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Potato Gnocchi, Pillowy Soft
- 1-pound (16 ounces) potatoes, scrubbed clean, peels on
- 1 cup (125 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 large pinch of salt
- Boil potatoes whole, until you can easily pierce a knife through them (anywhere from 12 – 30 minutes. The time depends on how large the potatoes are and their age). Start checking at the 12-minute mark
- Drain, and let the potatoes cool enough to handle to peel them. If you have a potato ricer, rice the potatoes into a large bowl. If you do not have a potato ricer, mash them finely with a fork and let cool. Add the beaten egg to the potatoes and mix with a fork
- Make a well with the flour on your countertop and add the potato mixture into the well. Slowly work the flour into the potato mixture until a dough forms. Once this mixture comes together, knead it for a couple of minutes. TIP: Keep an extra 2 tablespoons of flour nearby incase the dough is overly sticky. Resist the urge to add more flour or the dough will become too tough
- Break off a chunk of the dough and gently roll it on a floured countertop to form a log of about 1/2 -inch (1 cm) thick. Cut about 3/4 -inch (1.5 cm) length pieces from the log. Repeat this until you have used all the dough. With one piece at a time, hold a fork at a 45-degree angle, and use the tines of the fork to roll (while gently pressing) each piece of gnocchi from the top of the tines to the bottom of the tines to give each piece the classic gnocchi shape (see photo). The shape is not just for looks… the grooves made by the fork will help catch and hold your sauce. TIP: Flour your fork in between each gnocchi to prevent sticking
- Place the rolled gnocchi on a floured clean and dry dish cloth. (If you plan to freeze any for future enjoyment, now is the time to do so. In a single layer on a sheet pan, freeze the gnocchi for an hour, then place them in a freezer bag. These will last for about two months in the freezer. To cook them, follow the instructions, below)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (1 tablespoon of kosher slat or two teaspoons sea salt for every 4 quarts of water). Working in batches, boil the gnocchi for approximately 2 minutes. They will be done when they float to the top of the water, and then let them boil for another 30 seconds. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon or kitchen spider and repeat with the next batch
- In a saucepan, place the boiled gnocchi with your desired sauce (e.g., tomato, pesto, brown butter sage) and heat through for a couple of minutes