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Gnocchi

Gnocchi

I grew up with the luxury of having homemade gnocchi as often as I wanted. Both my grandmother and mother made them, and we had countless Italian markets in our town that made them fresh.  But as an adult I found I rarely made them… until my daughters discovered how delicious and satisfying they were.  Now, I make them almost weekly, and the girls enjoy them as an afternoon snack with a simple sauce of butter and basil, or as a main course with vodka sauce.  I have worked on perfecting the light and fluffy gnocchi for months.  And now, I believe I have it down.

Traditionally, gnocchi are made with russet potatoes.  I have incorporated Yukon Gold into my recipe, as they add a delicious buttery flavor to the dough.  And to lighten the texture, I add just a bit of mascarpone cheese.

Watch the video for a demonstration of how easy these treasures are to make, but know that since I made the video, I have tweaked that recipe a bit and added parmesan cheese to the list of ingredients.

The recipe for my gnocchi is below.  I hope your family enjoys every bite!

Gnocchi

Makes 8 dozen

  • 6 Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 Large russet potato
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 2 Extra large eggs
  • ¾ Cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 ¼  Cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Mascarpone cheese

To Make the Gnocchi

Bake the potatoes until tender, remove from oven, let cool slightly and then remove the potato from the skins and place them on a large cookie sheet to cool completely.

Try your best to keep the potatoes fluffy…do not press down on them.  The fluffier the potato, the lighter the gnocchi will be.

In a small bowl beat the eggs.

Transfer the potatoes to your work surface that has been lightly floured (about ¼ cup spread out) and make a well in the center.

Put the eggs and salt in the well, along with two cups of the flour and begin to mix.

Once the mixture starts to come together, quickly add one more cup of the flour, the mascarpone cheese and grated cheese and mix together.  This whole process should take no longer than 5-6 minutes.

Separate the dough into six or seven balls.

Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll the dough on the work surface (be sure it is dusted with flour to prevent sticking) until it becomes a long rod.

Using a knife cut the dough into half inch pieces, and role your thumb on each piece to make a slight indentation.  Let the pasta dry slightly on the flour dusted work surface while you boil the water.

To Cook the Gnocchi

Bring six quarts of water to a rolling boil and add two teaspoons of salt.

Add the gnocchi, and cook for 2-3 minutes.  When the gnocchi float to the top, they are just about done.  Leave them there for 30 seconds more so they puff up a bit.

Drain the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place them directly into the sauce of your choice (Do not drain the gnocchi into a colander or they will fall apart).

Finish with a little parmesan cheese.

The Elegant Occasion Note:  If you are freezing the pasta, place the gnocchi on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and freeze for a few hours.  Once the pasta is frozen, transfer the gnocchi to freezer bags and freeze for up to 30 days. The pasta can be put into the boiling water directly from the freezer.

The Elegant Occasion Note:  For planning purposes, the average person would eat 8 gnocchi as an appetizer and 16 as a main course, as these are very filling.

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