January 24, 2011

Making Gnocchi

Have you ever made gnocchi?

All you need are some leftover mashed potatoes, an egg, some flour, and a few minutes.

Using a food processor helps, but it's not necessary. The ingredients can also be mixed by hand.

Look how easy this is...Put mashed potatoes, an egg, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a food processor.Process until smooth.

Add some very finely chopped onion or garlic, or some fresh chopped (or dried) herbs and process again.Add flour, a little at a time, processing after each addition, until mixture forms a ball in the food processor.Remove dough to a floured surface.Knead a bit more flour into dough until dough is less sticky and easy to handle. Pinch off little pieces of dough, roll into small balls, and push your thumb down into the middle of each ball to make an indentation. (The indentation makes a nice little cup to catch a bit of butter or sauce later.)

You might prefer to roll dough into long snakes, cut into pieces, and then press each piece with a fork to make little indentations... but I find my way easier.
Once gnocchi (gnocchis?) are made, they can be cooked or frozen to use later. To freeze, place gnocchi on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or freezer paper and freeze individually first. Then put frozen pieces in a freezer bag.

When ready to make, cook in boiling water for just a few minutes. Gnocchi is ready when all pieces are floating in the boiling water.

Serve with your favorite pasta sauce, pesto, or just toss with butter and parmesan cheese.

I cooked up this little dish of gnocchi with butter and cheese as a snack, just to show you how good it is. See how nice I am? I'm very giving like that...GNOCCHI

1 cup mashed potatoes
1 egg
salt and pepper
optional: very finely minced onion or garlic, fresh chopped or dried herbs
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (possibly a bit more or a bit less)
another 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour for kneading

Put mashed potatoes, egg, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in food processor and process until smooth. (Although the mashed potatoes were probably already nicely seasoned, you will be adding flour, which will dilute the seasoning of the potatoes.) Add minced onion, garlic, or herbs, if using, and process again. Add flour, about a half cup at a time, processing in between each addition. A bit more, or a bit less flour might be used, depending on how wet the mashed potatoes were. Gnocchi dough is ready to be kneaded when it forms a ball in the food processor. (Dough will still be slightly sticky.) Knead dough on floured surface until less sticky and easy to handle. Pinch small pieces off dough, roll into balls about 1/2 inch in diameter, and use thumb to make indentation in middle of each ball. Place indented dough balls on cookie sheet to freeze (put into freezer bag once frozen) or cook in boiling water for just a few minutes. Gnocchi is cooked when all dough balls are floating in the boiling water. Toss cooked gnocchi with butter and shredded parmesan cheese or serve with pesto or pasta sauce.


MARARIA said...

Delicious !
thanks por the steps. I love gnocchi, they´d be nice with some pesto salsa!


homegrown countrygirl said...

Hi Mararia!!!

sheila @ Elements said...

hi there, After you freeze the the little pieces of dough, do you drop them in water frozen or let them thaw out first?

I'd like to try your recipe because I tried a different gnocchi recipe from a book I have and my little dough balls ended up totally dissolving in the water.

They also floated to the top as soon as I dropped them.

I can't figure where I went wrong. Maybe I'll have more luck with your recipe?

homegrown countrygirl said...

Sheila, thank you for your comments! When cooking frozen gnocchi I don't thaw them first. I just throw the frozen gnocchi right into a pot of boiling water.