While I was scanning some recipe sites the other day I happened upon a recipe for Gnocchi. At the time it wasn’t what I was focused on, so without much thought I moved on to something else. Later while I was having some coffee with my mother the Gnocchi recipe popped into my head. I looked at my mother and proclaimed, “I am making Gnocchi today”. Her reply was something akin to, “ok, Dear”.
Having known me for close to 50 years my mother is used to my flighty and sometimes fickle food folly. It might have just been a passing fancy, but the notion of Gnocchi stuck with me.
This was the same day in which I had prepared the No-Knead Artisan Bread. I’m sure that the excitement of the bread success made me feel courageous toward trying another new creation.
Gnocchi is not new to me in the store bought form, but I have never made it from scratch. As I circled back around to find the Gnocchi recipe I had passed by previously it was more about the sauce than the light, pillow dumplings. So, after spending some time looking both online and in numerous cookbooks, I found a very straightforward Gnocchi recipe in The Joy of Cooking.
I was still brimming with excitement as I set out on the process of making homemade Gnocchi. There were two main concerns for me at the onset: 1) Would it turn out; 2) Would the family like it.
Although it was a bit time consuming and somewhat tedious to rice the baked potatoes and make the Gnocchi, shaping each individual dumpling it was not hard. No concern there.
The true test came when I was ready to serve the Gnocchi for dinner. I prepared a garlic cream sauce for the Gnocchi. Because The Hubs wasn’t going to be joining us for dinner it was a meatless meal. Unless you count Daughter Number Three who was entrenched in the middle of a meaty Chemistry homework assignment. She was so caught up in her work that when I called her to dinner she asked if she could eat later, so I allowed her to continue her schoolwork.
Daughter Number Four joined me for a dinner of Gnocchi with Garlic Cream Sauce, Green Beans, and No-Knead Artisan Bread. When she took her first bite of Gnocchi she looked at me and smiled. “It’s good. What’s it supposed to be”, she asked. I explained Gnocchi. “Oh, then it’s really good!”
The Gnocchi recipe made quite a bit, and as there were only 2 of us who ate dinner that night I had refrigerated the rest. On the following night Daughter Number Four asked if we could have Yogi for dinner again. I just looked at her. “What we had last night. Loki?” Ah, Gnocchi. With that, I obliged by boiling the rest of the Gnocchi. I had a touch of the garlic cream sauce I had made the night before but not enough for all of the dumplings. I decided to bake about half of the Gnocchi, toss ¼ in the sauce and serve the other fourth plain.
Since all four of us were going to be eating dinner it was to be the true test of the Gnocchi. Daughter Number Three did not like it, any of the ways it was prepared and served. Daughter Number Four liked it best with the cream sauce, second best baked. The Hubs agreed with D4, but also said he liked the crispness and flavor that baking gave to it.
My first attempt at making Gnocchi was a complete success. The fact that D3 did not like it is not an indicator that it wasn’t good. She is an extremely picky eater. Daughters 1 and 2 were both disappointed that they weren’t home to eat it. They love the little pillowy yumness that is Gnocchi.
What are your experiences with Gnocchi? I want to hear how you cook and serve it: Boiled, Baked, Sauced, or in Soup? There are so many wonderful ways.
- 2 pounds all-purpose potatoes (Yukon Gold work well)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Scrub potatoes. Prick each potato with a fork on all sides. Bake potatoes directly on an oven rack about 1 hour, until a fork goes in easily.
- While the potatoes are still hot, s;lit them lengthwise and scoop out the pulp. Push it through a potato ricer or force through a sieve with the back of a spoon. There should be about 2 2/3 packed cups of potato.
- Combine the potatoes in a bowl with the flour, salt, and nutmeg. Sitr vigorously, then turn out onto a work surface and kned until smootha and blended.
- Roll about 2 tablespoons of the dough into a ¾-inch-thick cylinder. Cut into ¾-inch pieces. Roll each piece against the tines of a form while pressing a small dent on the opposite side with your finger.
- Continue cutting ropes into ¾-inch pieces and forming into shapes. Place on a floured baking sheet.
- In a large pot, bring 4-6 quarts of salted water to a simmer. Drop one-third to half of the Gnocchi into the pot and simmer, uncovered, until they float. Cook an additional minute and remove with a slotted spoon into a low-rimmed bowl or dish.
- Drizzle cooked Gnocchi with melted butter or olive oil.
- Repeat with remaining uncooked Gnocchi.
- Serve warm with butter or oil and grated Parmesan cheese or a sauce.