Guest Recipe: Gnocchi

Today’s post comes to us from a local mom and scientist extrodinaire. Her take on simplistic italian food is simply refreshing!

I’ve been missing my extended family recently, my rather large Italian family that is, and since the weather has been rather gray and gloomy as well, I was in the mood for comfort food.  To me there is almost no better comfort food than homemade gnocchi.  So I dug out the family recipe and set to work. We make potato Gnocchi in my family and for this you will need just 3 ingredients, Potatoes, flour and eggs.  There is much debate in my family over which kind of potato works best, but I find Russets a good choice.

Ingredients:

4 Russet Potatoes

1 egg

2 Cups Flour

First step is to boil your potatoes with the skins on.  I wanted to make a bunch to freeze and store for later, so I cooked 8.  Once your potatoes are well cooked drain the water and leave them in the pot with the lid on to keep them warm.  Take 4 hot potatoes, peel them (yes you will burn your fingers) and pass them through a potato ricer one at a time into a large bowl.  My younger son Will had a great time helping me squeeze the ricer, he just happens to think he is the world’s strongest three year old.  In an effort to save myself from unnecessary burns I cheated a bit and put the potatoes with skins still on into the ricer and it worked fine, just remember to remove the skins before putting the next potato into the ricer.

Ricing Potatoes

Once your 4 potatoes have been through the ricer, add one egg and 2 cups of flour to the bowl and begin mixing.  A wooden spoon works really well, to a point, after which it’s best to just use your hands.  This can get tiring, so I recommend enlisting help from any other able bodied individuals in your house.

Helping Mixing

Continue mixing until you have dough that is rather soft, but that you can touch without it sticking to you, feel free to add more flour if you feel the dough is a bit too sticky to handle.  Next, take a golf sized ball of dough and roll it out on a well floured surface into a long snake that is about an inch thick.

Gnocchi Snake

Now using the back of a butter knife gently slice off about an inch of dough, rolling it gently around the knife as you go so that you end up with a curled noodle that looks something like this.

Uncooked Gnocchi

As a kid, we would make gnocchi with my mom and it took me years to master ‘the gnocchi roll’.  My husband, who still can’t do it, insists it is some kind of birthright, I think it just takes practice, but if you are having trouble and your gnocchi look a bit mangled after slicing off the inch of dough you can use a fork to place a slight imprint on your gnocchi, they will taste just as delicious.  Place your finished gnocchi on a very well floured cookie sheet and repeat until you have run out of dough and then repeat the whole process again with the other 4 potatoes.  To freeze it is best to place the cookie sheet in your freezer and then once the gnocchi are well frozen you can toss them into a more freezer friendly container.

Tray of Gnocchi

Too cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil, gently drop gnocchi into the water being careful not to crowd the pot.  Once the gnocchi float they are done.  Simply remove, drain and serve with your favorite marinara sauce.

Cooked!

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