Well made gnocchi are a delight to eat and are delicious little pillow dumplings served with a good homemade tomato sauce.
Gnocchi are easy to make but success depends on choosing the right potatoes. They should be old potatoes that are dry and so, when cooked, will need less flour which in turn makes the gnocchi light and fluffy and a pleasure to eat. I have found that red desireé potatoes give a good result but the key is that the potatoes are old.
Here is a link to my oven roasted tomato sauce to serve on the gnocchi.
- 1kg old potatoes or Red Desireé potatoes (they need to be floury and not wet in texture)
- 300 g plain flour
- 1 medium egg
- pinch of salt
- extra flour
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Homemade or other good tomato sauce to serve with the gnocchi
- Put cold water in a large pot and put the washed potatoes into a steamer basket over the water
- Bring to boil and cook on a medium heat for 30-40 minutes from when the water begins to boil
- Check with a skewer and when the potatoes are fully cooked through, remove them from the water and peel them immediately. The potatoes need to be processed while they are still hot so work quickly
- Put the flour onto a wooden board
- Using a potato ricer, process the potatoes onto the flour on the board and just begin to incorporate the flour and riced potatoes a lttle
- Make a slight well in the mixture and crack the egg into it
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt into the egg
- Bring the mixture together taking care not to overwotk the mixture but handle it lightly until it all comes into a ball. This will ensure the gnoccho are light
- Flour the board lightly
- Cut off a piece of the dough and cover the rest with a tea towel to keep it from drying it out
- Roll the dough into a long sausage, cleaning the knife every now and then
- With a sharp knife cut off little pillows of dough and place them, well separated, onto a large lightly floured cloth
- Using a small sieve sprinkle the gnocchi with flour
- Continue in this way until all the gnocchi are made
- At this point you can choose to cook them as they are or if you wish you may, as the Italians traditionally do, roll them gently with you thumb over a lightly floured fork to make indentations in the gnocchi for the sauce to cling to. Have a try and choose the shape that suits you best.
- I have chosen to cook them as they are
- Place a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of simmering water onto one of the burners of your stove
- Put a good spoonful of tomato sauce into the bottom of the bowl
- On another burner, bring a large pan of water with a tablespoon of salt to the boil
- Put some of the gnocchi carefully onto a plate
- When the water is boiling carefully push the gnocchi into the water in a cascade rather than a batch which may stick together
- When they rise to the surface remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon, draining them well of water
- Place them onto the sauce in the second pan
- Spoon over some more of the tomato sauce and gently stir it through using a wooden spoon
- Sprinkle over a little of the grated Parmesan cheese and cover the bowl with a lid to keep the gnocchi warm
- Continue in this way until all the gnocchi are cooked
- Serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese as an entreé to your meal or just on its own with a mixed leaf green salad
Storing Pre-Cooked Gnocchi
In general gnocchi need to be cooked as soon as they are made or at least within a short time of making. However gnocchi can also be frozen to use later. Just take the pre-cooked gnocchi and place them well spaced on a baking paper lined tray. Put the tray in a plastic bag and place it into your freezer. When they are fully frozen just put them into freezer bags laid flat in the freezer. When you need them you can take them from you freezer and put them straight into boiling water to cook as usual.
Growing your own ingredients: