Here’s my story about gnocchi. The first time I made gnocchi was about five years ago. I still pronounced it ga-no-chi. Not that I had ever said it out loud, luckily. I was just starting to really get into cooking and even though I had never had gnocchi before, I really wanted to try to make it. So I did.
And, I think I did a pretty good job. It’s hard to say because I had also made a blue cheese sauce that went with it. Both dishes were out of cookbook I was working through at the time, and I quickly realized that I am not the biggest blue cheese fan. Like, at all.
So, I really didn’t eat much of the gnocchi, and I kind of just tried to push that whole experience from my mind.
I am happy to report that my love of gnocchi has been rekindled. And, I couldn’t be more happy. The truth is, gnocchi is right up my alley. I love pasta in general. And, this is the perfect blend of pasta meets tiny potato dumplings. Oh yes.
I won’t lie to you. Gnocchi is a little fussy to make. My least favorite kitchen activity is pushing a cooked potato through a ricer. Get your muscles out. This is serious. But the result are these tiny little pillows of ultimate comfort food. Just don’t make a gross sauce to go with them (like I did the first time).Homemade Gnocchi, makes 5-6 servings. My favorite resource for pasta making tips in this book.
3 large russet potatoes (or 4-5 if your potatoes are on the small side)
1 3/4 cups flour (I used all purpose)
1 tablespoon salt
generous pinch of pepper
In a large pot boil some water (enough to cover the potatoes). Add the unpeeled potatoes, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Drain and peel the potatoes carefully with a knife, removing any eyes as well. Be careful as the potatoes will be quite hot.
Cut each potato into four pieces and press through a ricer. Lay the potato out over paper towels.
Sprinkle 1 and 1/2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon salt over the surface of the potatoes. Gently mix together so that flour begins to coat all the potato pieces. Transfer to a large bowl and add an egg plus another 1/4 cup flour. Knead into a ball.
Knead for 3-4 minutes. To test the dough break off a small piece and roll it out into a long snake. The dough should not break. If it does break apart easily knead for another minute or two. If the dough doesn’t seem to be holding together well add another tablespoon of flour.
Cut the dough into eight pieces. Roll out one piece into a long snake. It should be about the width of your ring finger. Cut into one inch pieces and press the edge with a fork (the fork part is optional). Place the ready gnocchi on a baking sheet or cutting board sprinkled with flour until you have them all ready.
You don’t want to over crowd the pot. Gnocchi should float after about 2 minutes of cooking. Remove with a slotted spoon and continue to cook in batches until you have prepared them all.
In a shallow pan cook the gnocchi in a little butter with a the tomato pesto until everything is warmed through.