By Lisa C.
Gnocchi are delicious little Italian potato dumplings that make for a very elegant and impressive meal or side dish. They are on the menu at pretty much any Italian restaurant, but Gnocchi are surprisingly simple to make at home. They do require some time and effort, but it is well worth it for some authentic Italian dining right from your own kitchen.
I tried this Gnocchi recipe with both white and whole wheat flour. It worked great both ways, but I will say that the white version tasted much more authentic. Personally, I happen to love the flavor of whole wheat things (plus, all of the added health benefits), so I loved both versions, but there was definitely a big difference between the two. Try it out and see which one you like best!
Anyway, here is what you will need to make your own Gnocchi:
- • About 2 lbs. russet potatoes
- • 1.5-2 cups flour
- • ¼ tsp. salt
- • 1 egg
Start by washing and baking your potatoes at 350°F until they can be easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Once they are baked, let them cool until they are easy enough to handle and peel off the skins (after they are cooked, the skins should come right off).
Next, you need to mash your potatoes. It is really important that they be light and fluffy with no lumps – the best way to do this is with a ricer or potato mill. I don’t have one, so I put them through a cheese grater. You could probably also just mash them by hand – just make sure there are no lumps.
See how light and fluffy they look? Now, mix in the egg and salt.
Now, you will start to add your flour. You want to keep adding it, little by little, until the dough comes together in a ball that doesn’t stick too much to your hands – you should need about 1.5-2 cups, but use more or less than that if you need to. Remember: the more flour you add, the heavier your gnocchi will be – so you want to add as little as possible.
Your dough should look something like this.
Now, on a floured surface, take a ball of dough about the size of your fist and roll it into a log. With a sharp knife, cut the log into little “pillows.” Aren’t they cute? Once you have all of your pillows cut, drop them into boiling water in batches – if you put too many in at once, they will stick together.
The gnocchi are finished cooking about one minute after they float. This is a pretty fast process – they should only take 3-5 minutes to cook. When they are done, drain them and put them in a bowl.
Now, you can top them with whatever sauce you want. I went with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese (yum!), but the sky’s the limit – try pesto, butter and sage, olive oil and garlic, or whatever you like.