• 'Specifically, there are a few areas that need special attention, and once you’ve mastered these, I can assure you that you’ll feel a lot more confident in expanding your pasta making repertoire.'

Turns out, making gnocchi is actually pretty easy

Everyone can make gnocchi with this super easy recipe.

what you’ll need

  • 3 medium russet potatoes (to equal two cups mashed potato)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup flour, plus more if needed
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Pasta making can seem so intimidating when you’re starting out. For a while, I was too scared to even contemplate the thought, and flinched whenever contestants on cooking shows attempted to make their own in a limited time, only to end up with a tough dough, along with a myriad of other complications.

However, the good news is that gnocchi is a great place to start as it’s relatively easy to make. While technically speaking, gnocchi isn’t really pasta, the principles of gnocchi making also apply to pasta making. Specifically, there are a few areas that need special attention, and once you’ve mastered these, I can assure you that you’ll feel a lot more confident in expanding your pasta making repertoire.

The great thing about making gnocchi is that it requires so little ingredients that you’re bound to have in your fridge and pantry. What’s more, gnocchi can be frozen in batches and cooked instantly, posing as the perfect speedy meal during the week. This recipe is a keeper.

1.

Place potatoes in a large pot. Fill with water and 1 tablespoon salt. Make sure the potatoes are covered by two –three inches.

2.

Bring to a boil and then reduce to a medium-high heat, cook until potatoes are soft and can be pierced with a fork.

3.

Peel and half potatoes. Put each half in a ricer, and push potato through. Repeat with the rest of the potatoes. If you don’t have a ricer, thoroughly mashing the potatoes with a fork works just as well.

4.

Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and cool for 1 hour.

5.

Dump half of your flour onto your work surface, and once the potatoes are cool, pile on top of the flour.

6.

Form a well into your potatoes and pour your egg into it. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of flour. Slowly incorporate all the ingredients using your hands.

7.

Once all the ingredients are incorporated, gently knead dough like you would with pasta until smooth. Make sure not to over knead. At this point you can incorporate the rest of the flour if you need it. If the dough is still too stick to handle or roll out, more flour is needed.

8.

Divide the dough into four quarters. Using your hands, roll each quarter into a rope, until it’s around 3/4” in diameter. Use flour as needed.

9.

Using a sharp knife, cut into gnocchi, they should be about 3/4″ inch apart.

10.

To get the classic ridges on the gnocchi, roll each piece down the tines of a floured fork.

11.

Place gnocchi on a lightly floured baking tray and chill until needed.

12.

To cook the gnocchi: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season liberally with salt. Add gnocchi and cook until they float to the surface before scooping out.

13.

Serve with sauce – be it pesto, or a slow cooked and heavenly meat ragu.

GNOCCHI MAKING TIPS AND TRICKS

Choose the right potato: Among the many gnocchi recipes that I have come across, I noticed the repeated and stressed importance of using floury potatoes (such as russet), as they hold their shape best when boiled.

Do not add too much flour or over mix the dough: Too much flour and over mixing are recipe for tough gnocchi. If necessary, add little bits of flour at a time, but don’t go overboard. It’s also important to knead until the flour is just incorporated and not to overwork the mixture.

The signature ridges are worth your time: When I first made gnocchi, I quickly tired of rolling each individual gnocchi on the back of a floured fork. Turns out, the ridges help the sauce cling to your gnocchi.

The key is salt: Kitchen goddess Nigella Lawson was right when she said that “your pasta water should be as salty as the Mediterranean ocean.” This oddly romantic phrase has stuck with me throughout the years, and it’s probably one of the most important pieces of advice I’ve heard. Why? Simply because salty water makes pasta and gnocchi taste better! Being the foundations of the dish, bland pasta is highly undesirable, so don’t be afraid to add lots of salt.

Gnocchi recipe adapted from The Art of Doing Stuff and Cooking for Keepers. Image credit: Oggi Pane Salame Domani.  

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