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Feb 8, 2008 07:59 PM


I have had gnocchi many times before. Always thougt okay what is the big deal? and then last night I had the real deal: a light and heavenly gnocchi! What is the secret to this mysterious item? I had alwasys thought of this as a pasta version of a dense meatball. For the first time last night I had a light and delicate gnocchi. Does anyone have any hints? I am inspired to ry to make this.

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  1. Here is Lidia Bastianich's recipe:

    Have never had the courage to try and make them, but have watched her make gnocchi on her cooking show. Most all that I have read and seen about making gnocchi advises using a "light hand" in the mixing process. Potatoes need to be thoroughly dry! Think baked baking potatoes should be ideal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lisbet

      I'm just comparing the Bastianich recipe to Batali's, and hers has nearly double the flour and eggs of his recipe. It's my understanding that, in addition to a light hand, the lesser the amount of flour, the more tender the gnocchi. I also recall reading, although I've never tried it, that the lightest gnocchi are made without any egg at all, but that the dough is very difficult to work with and requires a great deal of practice.

    2. I've had mixed success making gnocchi. Sometimes it works and they are lovely little pillows; sometimes it doesn't and they are just leaden. I've used potatoes and I've used roasted squash, which I actually prefer. Either way, the "light hand" is essential. You have to handle it as little as possible. I don't know if it has to do with gluten or what have you with the kneading; but whatever is the reason, over-handling and over-mixing is what results in the leaden little blobs.

      The other thing I've noticed ... one of my recipes calls for some Parmigiano Reggiano to be added to the mixture. Whenever I've used this recipe they come out heavier than when I just use potato/squash, flour, eggs, salt/pepper/nutmeg. So I'd say go with the Lidia recipe.

      1. Be sure to "test" the gnocchi by cutting off a little piece from the dough and cooking it. It will tell you a lot about what the dough needs without cooking the whole batch. If the dough starts to break apart while boiling, add some more flour. Also, try some cake flour in the recipe too.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Mr_J

          Wonder about he addition of corn starch or corn flour. Like tge inclusion of it in shortbread cookies makes for a more tender cookie. Could it work if you added a little to the flour content in gnocchi?

            1. re: Emme

              Hi Emme, I don't need gluten free anything but thanks for including for link for those who do. I guess I didn't word that correctly. If you put some corn starch in the mix when making shortbread cookies, the cookies are more tender, the way I like them. Just wondered if it'd do the same thing when doing gnocchi is all.

              1. re: Emme

                I CAN NOT WAIT to try these Gnocchi. Since I have been gluten free I have a deep seeded need for gnocchi, this may be my answer. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

          1. The meyer lemon gnocchi recipe from Food and Wine always turns out wonderfully and I have begun using their proportions, but also the technique of ricing the potatoes onto a baking sheet when making any gnocchi. Also ricotta gnocchi are light as air!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bigley9

              Is there a ricotta recipe you could recommend?

            2. Coincidentally, I had gnocchi al pesto at a new restaurant in my town last night. The texture of the gnocchi was just fine, but the taste was a bit sweet for my palate. The chef must have used a rather sweet type of potato.

              As to the secret of making your own delightful gnocchi, I haven't a clue. I attempted to make them once, and once was more than enough! I'm afraid I'll just have to settle for store-bought and/or restaurant gnocchi.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                I took a gnocchi class and the lady teacher showed me all the how to's of doing it. Even had the complete recipe printed out for me to take home. I now have a kitchen digital scale where I can measure it all correctly and I was very grateful for her efforts and ability. I will say they were light and wonderful. She was kind and sweet as could be also. Honestly a fun & very WEIRD experience.


                The thing that "weirded out" the whole experience for me [easily] was the appearance of her teaching area. Mold growing all around the sink, visible black mold, where I was to retrieve the water from, food bits all over the stove top, with splats of dried sauce or "blech". She served me the gnocchi finished product in a chipped bowl with her leftover tomato sauce [that she took out of the fridge in a plastic like margarine container] gawd only knows when that was made or the conditions of the kitchen that day when I wasn't there. Good news is I didn't get food poisoning and I did learn that day anyway, how to make it. Since that day though, I've not attempted it again, the memory is still too current.