I wrote this post well in advance because of my traveling schedule but I feel like I have to add an edit for Sir Alan Rickman. I have seen him in many roles, but being the Harry Potter fanatic I am he will forever be Snape to me. No actor could have portrayed this tortured character better or with more dignity. While he may have lost his battle with cancer, we will remember him…always. Rest in peace.
**I have no good transition for this so…..lets get cooking**
It may come as no surprise to you but I am Italian, therefore I love Italian food. For Christmas every year I make meatballs and gnocchi…among other things. While I am not yet ready to share my meatball recipe (partly because Im still working on it, and partly because then you can make it and wont need me lol) I think I will share my gnocchi recipe. This picture is the first time making them solo and a VERY long time ago…pretty sure I was in high school.
For those of you that dont know what gnocchi is, its potato or ricotta cheese based pasta. Its very similar to dumplings but a little more solid and much smaller. You can buy them in the store but its not the same AT ALL as making it yourself. Be warned, while the ingredients are simple it can take a little time. I may have gotten sick in the helicopter that morning but that wasnt going to stop me from making gnocchi for fathers day!
A few notes—there are a few different ways to make gnocchi but this is the one I prefer and my family has used for literally generations (but Im probably the first to write it up). Potato gnocchi is the way I go, ricotta is another option but I have no idea how to make that because I never have. For best results you will need a ricer. What the heck is a ricer you ask? Its like a garlic mincer for potatoes. You can get one on Amazon here, some people may tell you its not necessary but trust me, you need it for gnocchi. The one in the link is the exact one I use, but again, there are a few different version this one works the best in my opinion though.
Lets get down to business, because making gnocchi is serious business 🙂
Servings: 16 Prep Time: 2 hours Cook Time: 10 minutes Difficulty: Easy
- 3 pounds russet potatoes
- 3 large eggs
- 10 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (dont buy the cheap stuff, quality is important)
- 3 cup all-purpose flour plus more
- 1 tbsp kosher salt plus more
- 1 tsp nutmeg (optional)
Place potatoes in a large pot. Add water to cover by 1″; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, 25–30 minutes. Drain; set aside and let cool slightly. Peel potatoes. Pass through ricer onto a clean work surface. I have a very large wood board I use but almost any clean large flat surface will work.
Bring all the potatoes together in a little volcano shape and make a dent in the middle. Add eggs, Parmesan cheese, flour, salt, and nutmeg (optional) to potatoes. Using your hands, gently mix to form a soft but not sticky dough loaf. You will need to add more flour as it will start out very sticky.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper; dust with flour. Cut a small slice (like a slice of bread) from the loaf and roll dough into a long rope about 1 inch thick. Cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces. For each small gnocchi either lightly press with the tongs of a fork or flip with finger (rolling is slightly more complicated but gets the gnocchi to cook better). Place on prepared baking sheet.
If you are cooking the gnocchi right away, bring a pot of water with a little salt to boil. Once the water is boiling add the gnocchi and reduce heat to medium-high. When the gnocchi is cooked it will start to float to the top of the pot, about 5 minutes depending on how many you have. Once the gnocchi is cooked, drain and serve with your sauce of choice. I prefer any red sauce (bolognese, marinara, vodka, etc) but there are tons of recipes out there with variations on this. Ive even made mac and cheese once!
Notes: You can make these up to a month before hand and freeze (although if you ask my dad frozen isnt as good). If you freeze the gnocchi, place the baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours (until the gnocchi are rock solid) then transfer to a plastic baggie or tupperware. When you are ready to boil the gnocchi DO NOT defrost them AT ALL. If you do you will just get mashed potatoes and nobody wants that. Add the gnocchi in small batches to the boiling water. Let the water get hot again and add more. Keep in mind you are adding basically ice to the water so each time you add gnocchi the temperature will drop. Its very important to get the water back to close to boiling before adding more for best results.
You can also cut this recipe in half if you dont want to make as many, but if your going to go to all the trouble you might as well make a lot and freeze some of it.
These are my leftover gnocchi with bolognese. It itsnt the prettiest but OM-Delicious!
CHIME IN!!! Have you made gnocchi before? Have you heard of gnocchi before? Any family recipes you make that you dont have written down anywhere?