If you are passionate about food and have a sense of adventure, I am sure you have a “recipes I want to try” list. If you are passionate about food, have a sense of humor and you are a food blogger then that list must be a mile long, at least, and it keeps growing with every new blog you follow and every cook book you add to your collection.
If you were to read my list , you’d find that Gnocchi has been there for quite sometime. I wanted to give it a go so many times but somehow I never got around to it. That is why I was super excited when this month’s daring cooks challenge was announced. The challenge was to make potato gnocchi from scratch!
Gnocchi if you have never tried it before are Italian dumplings made of potatoes, flour and occasionally eggs. You can think of them as potatoes meet pasta to yield light and fluffy pillows that are simply irresistable .
I have to say that making gnocchi turned out to be much easier than what I thought it would be. It was actually fun to make. The kids really enjoyed helping out with it.(you can see little fingers in a couple of pictures to prove it) We had a few good laughs at the shapes of the first batch of gnocchi. The second and third looked much better as the kids and I worked on our gnocchi rolling skills 🙂
I divided my gnocchi in half. Topped one half in tomato sauce and the other in brown butter and sage. I only have pictures of the tomato one because the kids were too hungry to try the “new serrated pasta” ! I was planning on making gnocchi again with a mushroom, herb and cream sauce but as usual the month ended in the blink of an eye 🙂
Blog checking lines: Todd, who is The Daring Kitchen’s AWESOME webmaster and an amazing cook, is our September Daring Cooks’ host! Todd challenged us to make light and fluffy potato Gnocchi and encouraged us to flavor the lil pillows of goodness and go wild with a sauce to top them with!
1½ pounds (700 grams) starchy potatoes (Russet or Idaho work well)
Salt and Pepper
½ to 1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour, plus more as needed
1 large egg (optional)
Heat the oven to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6 and bake potatoes until tender, about an hour.
You can also boil the potatoes with their skins on. When potatoes are cooked split the potatoes open to allow steam to escape. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out their flesh.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Pass the potatoes through a ricer or food mill. If you do not have a ricer or mill you can use a masher but try not to “work” the potatoes too much as this will cause the gnocchi to be tougher
On a well-floured board place the potatoes and form a well in the potatoes.
Put ¼ cup (60 ml) (35 gm) (1¼ oz) flour and the egg (if using) in the potatoes. Gently knead the potato, adding the additional flour if needed, just until the dough comes together.
Pinch off a small piece of the dough and try cooking it in the boiling water to see if it holds together. If it does not add a little more flour and try again.
Divide the dough in half and then divide each half into 4 parts. That should give you 8 parts
Roll each part of the dough into a rope, then cut the rope into pieces.
Score each piece with a fork or gnocchi board. You can also just push your finger into it to form a little bowl. This is done to help the gnocchi hold onto the sauce a little better.
This video shows you how to roll gnocchi on a fork and on a gnocchi board
Put the pieces onto a parchment lined baking sheet until ready to cook.
Add the gnocchi to the boiling water in small batches. When they are cooked through they will rise to the surface. After they rise to the surface let them cook another 60 seconds and remove them with a slotted spoon.
- Finish with any sauce you like.
500 ml tomato purée (5 medium tomatoes pulsed with 1 cup of water until smooth)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt to taste
Place the extra virgin olive oil in a pot
Add the onions and garlic. Sauté it for a couple of minutes
Add the tomato purée, salt and herbs
Cover it and cook for 15 to 20 minutes on a low flame, or until thickened.
Brown Butter, Sage, and Parmesan Sauce:
1 recipe potato gnocchi
4 tablespoons (60 ml) (55 gm) (2 oz) butter
Handful of fresh sage leaves
Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Place butter and sage into skillet over medium heat.
- Cook until the butter starts to brown and the sage is sizzling.
- Toss with gnocchi and plenty of Parmesan cheese.
In addition to the challenge recipe I had the help of my Italian food gurus. John, Manu and Greg. They are all talented bloggers and they right beautifully detailed tutorials. If you are looking for inspiration I highly recommend visiting their blogs
check out John’s homemade gnocchi in gorgonzola sauce
Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips: You can keep the uncooked gnocchi on the counter for up to two hours. If you need to store your gnocchi longer they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Place them uncooked or cooked in a container in layers separated by parchment paper so they do not stick together. They can also be easily frozen. Place them on a cookie sheet to freeze. After they are frozen place them in a freezer safe container for up to six weeks. When cooking frozen gnocchi, cook in small batches. If the batch is too large the water temperature will go down and they will fall apart before they cook.