This all changed when my friend convinced me to make gnocchi. It was the best gnocchi I have ever tasted, homemade gnocchi is completely different from the crappy stuff you get at at the shops. It’s delicious and fluffy and you will grow to love gnocchi just like I have. The secret is to not use too much flour!
To top it all off it’s really easy to make, you don’t need any special equipment and it freezes really well so you can make a big batch and store it up.
Give this a go – you won’t regret it I promise!
150 gramsplain flour
a handfulcoarse salt [optional]
When you make gnocchi the more flour you use the denser (and harder) your gnocchi will be, however the dough can be quite wet and so it’s tempting to keep more adding flour. So it’s really important to keep your potatoes as dry as possible.
There are two ways of preparing the potatoes:
Preheat oven at 220°C(430°F), put a handful of coarse salt on a baking tray and place the potato on top with the skin on. Cook the potato for 40-60 minutes until the it’s cooked through. The salt will absorb any extra liquid from the potato and keep it nice and dry.
When the potato is cooked remove from the oven and let it cool until it’s cold enough to handle. Then scoop out the fluffy potato and discard the skin.
The steaming method (this is the fast way and works quite well)
Peel and dice the potato and steam for 10-15 minutes until cooked through.
When the potato is cooked remove the steamer from the saucepan and let it cool with the lid off, this will give the potato a chance to dry out. When it’s cool enough to handle it’s ready to go.
- In a mixing bowl mash the potato until smooth, add the egg yolks, salt and nutmeg and mix to combine.
- Add flour to the mash potato gradually until the dough is firm enough to handle – you may not need all of the flour or you might need a bit more. The dough should be very soft and a bit sticky (and warm!)
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, gently knead the dough just enough to make sure the flour and potato is properly combined. This is not bread! You want to handle this dough as little as possible. The dough will be sticky but if you just keep the outside well floured then it’s workable.
- Break the dough into 4 even sized pieces
- Roll each piece out like a sausage about 2 centimetres in diameter and cut into 2 centimetre cubes. If you are freezing the gnocchi transfer them onto a floured plate and freeze uncovered until they are hard enough to not stick to each other then store in freezer bags. The gnocchi will freeze to the plate if you don’t use enough flour, or if you leave it in the freezer overnight…if this happens let them defrost for 10 minutes and you should be able to get them off the plate.
- To cook them drop them into salted boiling water until they float to the top and remove with a slotted spoon. Same cooking methods for frozen or fresh, except the fresh gnocchi will only take about 1 minute to cook!
- Toss cooked gnocchi through your sauce of choice and feast!
One thing I have learned is don’t leave your gnocchi lying around without lots of flour. The dough gets wetter the longer it sits, once I left the finished gnocchi on a clean part of the counter for 10 minutes while preparing the sauce and they were stuck to the counter when I was ready to go.