Monday, September 3, 2012


In my limited experience, gnocchi is typically served in fancy Italian restaurants with a creamy sauce.  Many people think that because of this, gnocchi is expensive and difficult to make.  That couldn't be farther from the truth.  Gnocchi is made from just three ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen:  potatoes, flour, and eggs.  This recipe, which made enough for 6 or 8 servings, cost under 5 dollars to make.

The first step in making gnocchi is to peel potatoes.  The number of potatoes depends on how much gnocchi you want to make.

Next, cut the potatoes into chunks and boil them, as if you were making mashed potatoes. The smaller you cut the potatoes, the faster they will cook. 

Then, mash the potatoes.  I went old school and used a fork, but a potato masher or ricer would work well too. 

Once the potatoes are sufficiently mashed, the next step is to form a dough.  To do so, mix the mashed potatoes with flour and egg.  Again, this recipe is easily adaptable to large quantities, so the amount of flour and number of eggs depends on how many mouths you want to feed. 

I mixed up my dough on the counter using my hands.  This seemed to be the easiest method. As you can see, two potatoes makes a lot of dough.  Once the dough is formed, roll it out into long skinny rods.   The gnocchi expands a little while cooking, so make the rods slightly smaller than your intended gnocchi thickness. 

Cut the rod into sections that are a little less than an inch long.  Then, to get the special gnocchi shape, gently press a fork into the dough forming ridges. 

The gnocchi are now ready to be cooked.  Start a pot of water boiling on the stove and prepare an ice bath for the gnocchi. 

In small batches, toss the gnocchi into the boiling water.  They cook remarkably fast, in just a few minutes.  Once they float to the surface they are cooked.  Place them into the ice bath to prevent further cooking.

Repeat this process until the dough has all become gnocchi. Two potatoes create a lot of pasta. The gnocchi do freeze well, so feel free to make extra for later.  

Does the simplicity of this recipe surprise you?  Will you still spend $20 at a restaurant for a plate of potatoes and flour?  I don't think I will...

Here I served the gnocchi in a homemade pesto sauce--recipe coming soon!

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