Making gnocchi

January 3, 2009 § Leave a comment

At school, one of my favorite things to eat is potato gnocchi from Dean and Deluca. I always thought that making pasta is a complicated process, but after watching a random youtube video, I decided to try it when my sisters were at home and helping.

The recipe I used was Mario Batali’s basic potato gnocchi and only called for a couple ingredients, making it that much easier for me. Being a Chinese family that cooks most of our meals in a giant wok, we don’t own a vegetable mill or even a potato masher, but by smooshing the still hot potatoes with a fork, we shredded them as best as we could and the pasta still turned out fine, albeit with a couple small potato chunks here and there.
You can try all different kinds of sauces. The most common ones I’ve seen for gnocchi are brown butter and sage with some pecorino or just a plain marinara, but we had a jar of vodka sauce on hand as well as unused mushrooms from the crostinis I’d made the day before. I stirred in some shredded mozzarella as well and the cheese got all gooey and delicious. Garnish with a little parsley and you’re set. This was a really satisfying lunch even though not much was required to make it.


Basic Gnocchi (from Mario Batali)


3 pounds russet potatoes
2 cups all purpose flour
1 extra large egg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup canola oil




Put the potatoes in a large pot, add water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook at a low boil until the potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain.


While they are still warm, peel the potatoes, then pass them through a vegetable mill onto a clean work surface.


Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a largepot and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Set up an ice bath nearby. Make a well in the center of the potatoes and sprinkle them all over with all the flour. Break the egg in the center of the well, add the salt, and using a fork, blend the egg and salt together. Once the dough begins to come together, begin kneading it gently until it forms a ball. Knead gently for another 4 minutes or until the dough is dry to the touch.


Divide the dough into 6 balls. Roll one ball into a rope 3/4 inch in diameter and cut it into 1 inch pieces. Roll each piece down the back of a fork to create the characteristic ridges. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until they float to the surface, about 1 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the gnocchi to the ice bath. Repeat with remaining dough, replenishing the ice as necessary. [Or you can drop them directly into that pan of sauce you’ve already heated]


When all the gnocchi have been cooked and cooled in the ice bath, drain them and transfer to a bowl. Toss with the oil. The gnocchi can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

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