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Homemade Gnocchi

 

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(pardon the steam in my picture!)

I have had homemade gnocchi on my ever-growing list of things to try for quite some time now, and finally got the necessary nudge after I saw them on Joelen’s blog last week. A quick confession – I have never actually eaten non-homemade gnocchi. A spoiled little Italian girl, you may say? Well, I suppose you would be right. Many Sunday dinners at my Grandma’s have left me partial to homemade pastas of all variety. Last spring I began my homemade pasta journey with ravioli and have now added gnocchi to my list of accomplishments. I’m earning my green, white, and red stripes :)

I was somewhat nervous to tackle gnocchi because I know it has the possibility of coming out too dense and tough. I followed this recipe to a “T” and I think they came out just perfect. They were plump and soft and slightly firm to the bite – perfect homemade gnocchi! I made these yesterday and froze them as directed in the recipe, then cooked them today and had no problems whatsoever. I would definitely recommend this recipe, as I didn’t need to make any modifications.

Potato Gnocchi

(Source: Michael Chiarello)

Ingredients:
Kosher salt
1 pound russet potatoes
3 to 4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon gray salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting board and dough

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Spread a layer of kosher salt on a baking sheet and arrange the potatoes on top (see Cook’s Note). Bake until a bit overcooked, about 45 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle, cut in half, and scoop out the flesh. Reserve the potato skins, if desired, for another use.

Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or grate them on the large holes of a box grater. You should have about 2 cups. Make a mound of potatoes on the counter with a well in the middle, add 3 of the egg yolks, the cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix in the potatoes and mix well with hands. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour over the potatoes and, using your knuckles, press it into the potatoes. Fold the mass over on itself and press down again. Sprinkle on more flour, little by little, folding and pressing the dough until it just holds together, (try not to knead it.) Work any dough clinging to your fingers back into the dough. If the mixture is too dry, add another egg yolk or a little water. The dough should give under slight pressure. It will feel firm but yielding. To test if the dough is the correct consistency, take a piece and roll it with your hands on a well-floured board into a rope 1/2-inch in diameter. If the dough holds together, it is ready. If not, add more flour, fold and press the dough several more times, and test again.

Keeping your work surface and the dough lightly floured, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut into 1/2-inch-long pieces. Lightly flour the gnocchi as you cut them. You can cook these as is or form them into the classic gnocchi shape with a gnocchi board, ridged butter paddle, or the tines of a large fork turned upside down. Rest the bottom edge of the gnocchi board on the work surface, then tilt it at about a 45 degree angle. Take each piece and squish it lightly with your thumb against the board while simultaneously pushing it away from you. It will roll away and around your thumb, taking on a cupped shape — with ridges on the outer curve from the board and a smooth surface on the inner curve where your thumb was. (Shaping them takes some time and dexterity. You might make a batch just for practice.) The indentation holds the sauce and helps gnocchi cook faster.

As you shape the gnocchi, dust them lightly with flour and scatter them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or waxed paper. Set gnocchi filled cookie sheet in front of a fan on low for 1/2 hour (turning gnocchi after 15 minutes). If you will not cook the gnocchi until the next day or later, freeze them. Alternatively, you can poach them now, drain and toss with a little olive oil, let cool, then refrigerate several hours or overnight. To reheat, dip in hot water for 10 to 15 seconds, then toss with browned butter until hot.

When ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Drop in the gnocchi and cook for about 90 seconds from the time they rise to the surface. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a skimmer, shake off the excess water, and serve as desired.

Cook’s Note: Baking potatoes on a layer of salt allows heat to circulate 360 degrees. Scrape the salt into a jar and reuse it again and again. If you do not have time to shape the gnocchi, you can freeze the dough, defrost it in the refrigerator, and then shape it. To freeze shaped gnocchi, line baking sheets with waxed paper and dust with flour. Spread the gnocchi on the prepared sheets and freeze until hard. Remove to individual-portion-size freezer bags. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. To cook, drop the frozen gnocchi into boiling salted water. Cook for about 2 minutes after they rise to the surface.

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30 Responses to “Homemade Gnocchi”

  1. bakingblonde on January 20, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    OMG that looks so delish! I have never made my own gnocchi but you may have inspired me once again Chelley!

    Reply

  2. kayte on January 20, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    wow. just wow. this looks incredible. i have had gnocchi once and it was prepackaged and not so good. i need to try this!

    Reply

  3. Michelle on January 20, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Thanks bakingblonde, it was a little time consuming (rolling each one on the fork!) but it was definitely worth it. Give it a shot and let me know how they turn out!

    Reply

  4. Michelle on January 20, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Kayte, definitely give it a shot! They were so good!

    Reply

  5. slush on January 20, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    They look amazing! I have never had homemade but maybe Ill give them a whirl!

    Reply

  6. Michelle on January 20, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks Laurie! Definitely give them a shot :)

    Reply

  7. jackie on January 20, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    I have never had Gnocchi, but now I want to try them.

    Reply

  8. Michelle on January 20, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Jackie – I hope you give them a try!

    Reply

  9. Barbara on January 21, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Homemade gnocchi is a real treat. My husband bought me a wonderful Williams Sonoma potato ricer for Christmas to make the task easier. He likes gnocchi a lot!

    Reply

  10. Michelle on January 21, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Barbara – what a great gift!! I am thinking of making a large batch and freezing them.

    Reply

  11. MrsPresley on January 21, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    i definitely want to try my hand at homemade gnocchi! thanks for sharing this recipe :)

    Reply

  12. Michelle on January 21, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    MrsPresley – it is definitely worth it! And you’re welcome :)

    Reply

  13. Gretchen Noelle on January 21, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Gnocchi is one thing on my 2008 to do list. Thanks for the great sounding recipe. Now to find a delicious sauce to smother it with!

    Reply

  14. Michelle on January 21, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Gretchen – you are welcome! I love (and have always eaten) my gnocchi with a classic tomato sauce, but I know that a simple butter and parmesan is also popular, as is browned butter and sage. Enjoy! :)

    Reply

  15. Amber on January 22, 2008 at 11:41 am

    These sound amazing! I have never had gnocci before but I might just have to give it a try. These look perfect!

    Reply

  16. Michelle on January 22, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Thank you Amber! They were a little work but definitely worth it!

    Reply

  17. Ashley on January 23, 2008 at 1:17 am

    Mmm gnocchi!! One of my favourite things to eat, especially pan fried. These look great! You did such a good job with the shaping. I have yet to make potato gnocchi but I did make some really delicious lemon ricotta gnocchi!

    Reply

  18. bevsedgehills on January 23, 2008 at 4:55 am

    wow very cool! I have never made gnocchi before, maybe I will try it. I tired shop brought ones before and it was not very nice, this looks lovely!

    Reply

  19. Michelle on January 23, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Ashley – your gnocchi are beautiful! I have never had them pan fried, I will have to try that with my next batch!

    Reply

  20. Michelle on January 23, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Bev – thank you, I’m so happy that they have inspired you to try gnocchi!

    Reply

  21. Rhiannon on January 23, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    This looks great! I keep having some serious issues attempting to make gnocchi – I’ll have to give this a go!

    Reply

  22. Michelle on January 23, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks Rhiannon! I hope you have better luck with this recipe – if you try it let me know how they turn out! :)

    Reply

  23. katy on January 24, 2008 at 10:10 am

    gorgeous! and i know, such a pain to photograph through steam!

    Reply

  24. Michelle on January 24, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Thank you Katy! I had to take a picture before we dug in, but they were still so hot!

    Reply

  25. Karina on January 30, 2008 at 9:29 am

    I just found your blog, and I thought it was funny that you and I made gnocchi from the same recipe within days of each other (mine are here). I loved the recipe too (although I need to keep working on my mom to get her recipe, which I remember being slightly better).

    Reply

  26. Michelle on January 30, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Hi Karina! Your gnocchi look perfect! I’d love to see your mom’s recipe when you get it!

    Thanks for checking out my blog :)

    Reply

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