First things first: it’s pronounced “nyokee”, not “gnokee”! Now we can start! So potato gnocchi are actually quite easy to make and needs very few ingredients, but you can still impress your guess with it, and how great is that! And with this recipe, it’s like the gnocchis melt on your tongue … amazing ….
This recipe should be enough for 2 portions, or more, if it’s just for the first course as it’s often served in Italy. And they take around one hour and a half included the boiling time of the potatoes and the resting time of the gnocchis.
100 g flour
500 g potatoes*
1 pinch of salt
*For the choice of potatoes, the more floury and older they are, the better it is. I used some old amandine potatoes and it worked very fine.
Boil the potatoes with their skin on. Once they are well cooked and you can tell they are soft when you put a fork in them, you can take the out and peel the skin off.
Now, let’s squeeze, grate or mash! Just use whatever kitchen equipment you have to obtain a mash of potatoes. I used a normal kitchen grater. Try to be as fast as possible, because the faster you’ll be, the hotter the potatoes will be and that’s better for the ingredients to incorporate together later.
Now, just spread out the mashed potatoes on a table in a volcano form more or less, and then add the flour, a half beaten egg and a good pinch of salt.
Work with it until you obtain an even dough, but not too much or it will get too elastic. It’s easier to do it on a table than in a bowl, cause then you can work the dough more easily. Once you have your dough, cut it in 4 so it will be easier to roll it out.
So roll the 4 pieces unto long sausages and start cutting it them small pieces of about 2 cm.
Tip: you can also make gnocchini with the same dough, which are mini-gnocchis that are round and small as chikpeas. Just cut them in smaller pieces and roll them on the table so they get a nice round shape.
For this next step the Italians have their own little gnocchi boards to shape them, but if you don’t have it you can use a fork, or don’t do it at all as it’s only for decorative use. But if you do have it, flour the board, and then roll the dumpling in the board while pressing your thumb in it. And if you use a fork, just slightly press the dumpling with the fork.
Once you’ve shaped them, spread them out on a floured table or board. Then let them rest for 20-30 minutes. This is a very important step for the gnocchis because they have to cool down and also dry a little bit on the surface and get a small crust so they’ll keep their shape while they boil. But, if they rest for longer they may develop to much of crust, so attention to the time.
This is the perfect time for you to prepare the sauce by the way, because once they’re boiled they are ready!
Boil them in a big casserole so they’re not all on top of each other. And with salt of course. You can stir it a little bit during the boiling, but not too much, if not they will loose their shape… and who would want that after so much work! They only need to boil for around 3 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when they float up to the surface. At last, avoid to drain them in a strainer, you rather use a slotted spoon, again for the sake of their shape. Then you can put them directly in the pan with the sauce you’ve already prepared during the 20-30 minutes of rest.
Gnocchi are a fresh product, so you either need to eat them right away, or you can freeze them. If you’d put them in the fridge they would only risk to darken and get hard, so don’t keep them in the fridge. To freeze them you need to spread them out on a floured tray so they don’t stick to each other. Once they are completely frozen down, you can put them in plastic bags to save place in your freezer. And when you need them again just boil them as explained earlier, maybe a little bit longer, but again, you’ll know they’re ready when they float.
So now that you have the gnocchis, what sauce can you use?
A simple tomato sauce with parmesan; alla bolognese; with gorgonzola! yum yum yum…; a simple butter sauce; a cream sauce; or alla sorentina…