March 20, 2011


Although gnocchi has been eaten in Italy since Roman times, gnocchi has only been relatively recently made with potato due to the introduction of the potato to Europe from the Americas in the 16th century. Prior to the potato, gnocchi was made with semolina or wheat flour. I was first introduced to true Italian gnocchi while in the Cinque Terre region of Italy where it was eaten most commonly with basil pesto. Now I like to make my own gnocchi because, though labor intensive, it is simple to prepare and very satisfying. Both arugula pesto and roasted cherry tomatoes make lovely sauces for the gnocchi.

I eat gnocchi with a variety of toppings including pesto, marinara and garlic butter. One batch will serve 2 easily with enough to freeze for a later meal.

1 ½ lbs russet potatoes

1 egg

1 ¼ c flour plus more for dusting

1 tsp salt

olive oil

1. Boil potatoes in water under tender, 30-45 minutes. Once tender, remove from water and peel. Pass potatoes through a potato ricer, food mill or grater and place in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add egg, flour and salt to mixing bowl and gently combine into dough. Knead dough gently until dry to touch and elastic, 4-5 minutes. Form into a ball and place under a damp towel in a mixing bowl. Allow dough to rest for no more than 30 minutes.

3. Using flour for dusting as needed, roll the dough into fist size balls and keep balls under a damp towel. Roll ball into a long dowel with a ¾-1 inch diameter. Cut the dowel into 1-inch segments. Using a flour-dipped fork, roll each segment under the fork until an oblong dumpling or gnocchi is formed. Place gnocchi on a clean cookie sheet. Repeat process with rest of dough.

4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Working in batches, drop gnocchi into boiling water and cook until the gnocchi float, 1-2 minutes. Drain cooked gnocchi and toss with olive oil under ready to eat.

5. To freeze gnocchi: place uncooked gnocchi on a cookie sheet or similar flat pan in the freezer. Once frozen, place gnocchi in a freezer bag and return to freezer. Gnocchi may be frozen for up to 3 months. Cook frozen gnocchi as you would fresh.

Makes about 4 dozen gnocchi


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