Potato Gnocchi

Gnocchi di Patate

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

    as a main course

Appears in

How to Cook Italian

How to Cook Italian

By Giuliano Hazan

Published 2005

  • About

Making potato gnocchi is simple. What can cause them to be too gluey, tough, or heavy is often simply using the wrong potato or too much flour. Use a potato that is neither too waxy, such as the small red “creamers” or floury, such as Idaho baking potatoes. I find Yukon Gold potatoes work best. Stop adding flour when the potato dough is smooth and only slightly sticky.

Gnocchi can be served with many pasta sauces. The classic pairings are with pesto, Gorgonzola, and Simple Butter and Tomato Sauce. Gnocchi are best with smooth sauces, so I recommend puréeing the tomato sauce through the coarse disk of a food mill.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total time from start to finish: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • Salt

Method

  1. Scrub the potatoes and put them in a saucepan. Cover with water, place over high heat, and cover with a lid. Once the water comes to a boil, adjust the heat so that the water simmers. Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced, about 30 minutes. Try not to test them too often or they may become waterlogged.
  2. Drain the potatoes and peel as soon as possible. Sprinkle some of the flour on a counter and mash the potatoes through the medium disk of a food mill or a potato ricer onto the floured counter. Add half of the flour and work it with your hands into the potato to form a dough. Continue adding flour a little at a time until the mixture is smooth and only slightly sticky. You will probably have a little flour left over.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Take one piece and roll it to form a long snake about ¾ inch thick. Cut the snake into 1-inch dumplings. One by one, place a dumpling on the front of the tines of a dinner fork. Push your index finger in the center of the dumpling and roll it down along the tines of the fork, letting it fall on the counter at the end. The finished gnocchi will have a cavity on one side and convex ridges on the other. Collect them in a single layer (do not let them touch each other) on a clean kitchen towel. Gnocchi are best when they are cooked within a couple of hours of being made. Do not refrigerate.
  4. Fill a pot with at least 4 quarts water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and use the towel to slide half of the gnocchi into the boiling water. Once they rise to the surface, cook for 10 seconds. Scoop them up with a strainer and put them in a warm serving bowl with half of the sauce you are serving them with. Slide the remaining gnocchi in the boiling water and cook the same way. Scoop them up and add them to the serving bowl with the rest of the sauce. Serve at once.