The Gnocchi Experiment

Every year my good friend calls out of work on her birthday, cooks a delicious meal, and invites her closest friends over to share her creations. Last year she introduced me to queso fresco when making enchiladas, and this year she introduced me to the fun of making homemade pasta and gnocchi!  Ever since her birthday I have been constantly thinking about making them myself.

Seeing as i’ve never made them before, this was a true experiment. In doing my research, I found many videos, articles, and recipes. Too many to cite!   Then, for Christmas my Aunt gave me The New Basics Cookbook, which my mother had given to her when she bought her first house. I was flipping through the pages searching for an initial recipe to play with and stumbled across gnocchi – perfect!

In the end, though, my husband and I ended up merging techniques.  This article from Serious Eats, was an incredibly helpful source and I plan to re-read it before making these again.  In the end, I’d say that our final product was pretty good. We had a blast cooking them, and plan to make them again during one of our Wednesday night friend dinners.  That said, we also felt that there were a few important adjustments (noted below).

Ingredients:

  • Russet potatoes (2 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1.5 cups of flour (unbleached all purpose flour)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 7 sage leaves
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese

gnocchi 4

Steps and Notes:

  1. Bake the potatoes
    • We put them into our toaster oven at 400 for an hour and fifteen minutes and decided they were done once we could easily put a fork in
  2. Remove the skins (with a knife)
    • We put the removed skins into the toaster and had an appetizer of potato skins. My husband’s idea. Brilliant I must say.
  3. Grate the potatoes on the large side of a box grater
    • Most recipes call for a ricer, but I don’t have one of those, so this article was going to save the day. Then, when we skinned the potatoes, they were crumbly, so we just smashed them with a fork.
  4. Pour the egg yolk over the potatoes then add the flour in several batches, folding the mixture continuously until it makes a dough ball.
    • We added the flour in six 1/4-cup batches, and it worked great.
    • The dough will be slightly sticky
  5. Divide the dough into 8 pieces (quarters, and then half again). Then, roll each section into a 15 inch log roll.
  6. Cut each log into pieces, 1/2-inch to 1-inch in length.
    • Most recipes call for a fork press or for rolling each gnocchi on a roller. I plan to do this next time!
  7. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Then add olive oil and lay the gnocchi in in small batches.
  8. At the same time, heat the butter and sage in a pot.
  9. Once the gnocchi rise to the surface let them boil for 30 more seconds.  Then, remove them and briefly saute them in the butter sauce.
  10. Season with salt and pepper and cover with freshly grated parmesan.

gnocchi 1

Thoughts for next time:

  • Try adding salt and pepper into the raw dough. This recipe seemed to require  very flavorful sauce, as the gnocchi weren’t bringing a ton of flavor
  • Add ricotta or cottage cheese to the dough
  • Try the recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook that includes basil & garlic in the gnocchi bites
  • Experiment with different sauces: pesto and red meat sauce in particular
  • Saute the cooked gnocchi with mushrooms and a white wine sauce (Ok, now I’m getting hungry again)
  • Borrow Mom’s gnocchi roller to add those ridges

gnocchi 2

10 comments

  1. You might like my article on gnocchi. I think the ridges are important to hold more sauce for more flavor. http://goodgriefcook.com/tag/gnocchi/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Your recipe looks delicious and your tip makes perfect sense. We had some dough leftover and I will be sure to try this (as well as a red sauce) for round 2!

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  2. How interesting to see this post – as I’ve just posted my results for a gnocchi with sage failure, that ended up as a delicious bread!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You came up with such a creative solution! Quite impressive. We clearly are on the same page, because I also have a no-knead bread in the oven as we speak! Each of these are my first attempts. Do you make them often?

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      1. I make gnocchi every now and then but this was the first time I’ve used Yukon Gold potatoes (a mistake, they too are not dry enough) and acorn squash (another mistake…), so in this sense it was indeed a first time.
        As for no knead bread, I’ve tried a couple of times but didn’t find the results as good as my regular bread, until this one, that somehow worked well. 🙂
        Good luck with your bread! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I also find it so fun to experiment and learn from ‘mistakes’ which you have proven can turn into a success! Our bread seems to be coming along well. Thanks for the note!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I admit I have never made gnocchi before either, and not too sure I’d be a success. I always have trouble with anything using flour, lol! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You and I share a similar trend of staying away from flour, BUT I really think you should try making gnocchi!! It was easier than I thought it would be and now I have another excuse to play around with sauces. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks like a winning experiment! 🙂

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  5. […] yummy, healthy, and hearty meals, I’ve most often selected recipes that are quite hands-on from gnocchi to stuffed peppers to zucchini fritters.  Cooking is my refuge, and when I get home from a long […]

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