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Gnocchi help! Must cook them hours before serving. OK?

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I'm serving gnocchi as one dish at my Passover seder on Tuesday. I made them last night, dusted them with potato starch and stored them in the fridge. However, since I have about 20 people coming and since I've read on this board that gnocchi need to be cooked in small batches, I'm going to have to cook them before people arrive. This means that they'll have to sit quite a while between cooking and serving - during the whole first ceremonial part of the seder. Will they turn icky? Hard on the outside? Mushy? If I cook them and then put them in cold sauce, then heat the whole thing (sauce with gnocchi) up before serving will that be okay? Is there a better idea?

Would appreciate any advice. Maybe I shouldn't have picked Passover-for-20-people to be the first time I've ever made gnocchi from scratch...

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  1. Seattledebs,
    My concern would be more about the fact that the gnocchi have been formed and are now sitting in the fridge (as opposed to the freezer) than about the fact that you might need to pre-cook them. Gnocchi generally need to be either cooked immediately after making them, or frozen to be cooked at a later point in time. I worry that having them sit in your fridge is making them mushy and undesireable in texture, and that this is going to be much more detrimental than pre-cooking would be. But, let me move on from that because it sounds like what's done is done.

    One of the best ways that I've found to cook gnocchi is to first boil them in small batches, and them to saute them in a frying pan (perhaps with a little fat of some sort...I'm not 100% sure what oils, etc you are and aren't allowed to use for passover...you could also use a small amount of broth) in order to get them slightly crispy/chewy. This might be especially helpful in this particular situation if the pre-preparation and refrigeration has caused some mushiness to occur. So, what you could do is boil a small batch, saute that batch while another is in the boiling water, add the original batch to a very low oven just to keep them warm while sauteeing the second batch and boiling the third, and so on. Alternatively I think your idea of cooking them all ahead of time in small batches, saucing them, and then reheating before serving could work, though I'd be conservative with how much sauce you put on them while they are in the "holding" stage before re-heating. Good luck and let us know how it turns out...I'm sure they'll be delicious and will garner you much praise, as anyone cooking for 20 people deserves a round of applause!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Laura D.

      Thanks for the tip on freezing vs refrigerating! I've just called my roommate who will put them in the freezer as soon as she's home. I like the sauteeing idea too, as well as the toss with olive oil idea below. May do that and/or hold in sauce

      Per the reply below, I'm using a very plain tomato sauce and stirring in some fresh basil and sliced fresh mozzarella.

      1. re: seattledebs

        I'm sure they'll be great. If you like gnocchi even the "bad" ones are good!

    2. what are you dressing them with? I have reheated leftover homemade gnocchi in the microwave and they tasted fine. I think you could also heat them in a low oven and serve.

      1. James Peterson says poach the gnocchi, toss with olive oil, spread on sheet pan, reheat later that day in a sauce or gratin.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Romanmk

          Thank you all for the help! The gnocchi were a success! We cooked them in small batches straight from the freezer, rolled them in olive oil, added a thin layer of sauce, covered them, and then later before serving added in the rest of the sauce, heated, with the sliced mozzarella. I'm happy to say that, despite there being vast quantities of food at the seder, the gnocchi were one of the two dishes that got completely scraped clean.