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Mar 20, 2013 10:59 AM

Gnocchi Recipe Needed

I've never tried to make gnocchi, and i'd like to. i'm fairly adept at doughs....pasta, bread, pie, dumpling wrapper, cookie. but the recipes for gnocchi seem so cautionary, and one recipe contradicts another (boil the potatoes/oh my god, boiled potatoes are the death knell of gnocchi; eggs/just yolk/no egg. anyone care to give me a recipe with tips and hints? I am willing to try potato or ricotta gnocchi. Ideally I'd like to sauce it with a tomato sauce. But not opposed to brown butter/sage or pesto.

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  1. I think part of the problem is, I've never had truly great gnocchi. am i looking for something that's supposed to be light and slightly toothsome?

    2 Replies
    1. re: eLizard

      I was never a big fan of the potato variety, but the first time I had gnocchi verdi I was hooked for life. Spinach, ricotta, nutmeg, parm, and butter makes for a tasty little morsel. I've heard of a blue cheese edition, but that's something that I'll leave to others.

    2. Here is one from Mario Batali's old TV show:

      2 lbs. russet potatoes
      1 1/3 cups flour
      1 large egg
      1 large pinch salt

      Boil the potatoes whole until done. Peel and rice them onto a clean board or counter, making a well in the center. Sprinkle the flour all over the potatoes. Put the egg and salt in the well. Beat the egg with a fork, then start drawing in the flour and potatoes. Mix into a soft dough and knead for about 4 minutes until smooth; add flour if needed.

      Roll into 3/4-inch wide ropes. Cut off small pieces.

      Cook in salted boiling water until they float, 2-3 minutes. Drain. You can chill them down in ice water for later use, or put them in your sauce right away and eat.

      Here are ATK's proportions:

      16 oz. of riced potatoes (from 2 lbs. baked)
      4 oz. flour
      1 large egg
      1 t. salt

      Yes, good gnocchi is both somewhat light and toothsome.

      Hope this helps. Like bread or pasta, you have to learn how the dough should feel and adjust the flour accordingly.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sandylc

        Here's Anne Burrel - which is likely very similar - sense she worked for him. I was looking for a video from her show and couldn't find one - I've seen it a number of times - the key is the less flour the better as the others have said. It's more of a proces and a feel. I don't think you get this one right the first time.

        On another note - Did anyone see Emma Hearst make Gnocchi on Iron chef (against Mike Symon) she can do it perfectly 5 minutes - impressive

      2. Gnocchi in our family strives for lightness, delicacy and flavor, not blandness. Use Mario as a starting point and make at least a batch or two to get the feel of the process and to build up you taste / texture memory of your starting point. Then work on refining your ingredients and start incorporating the flour by feel of the dough rather than by measure. When you an turn out a soft, silken, pliable dough, you are onthe path to delicate clouds that dissolve rather than require teeth to chew.

        So what techniques work in our kitchen based on Noni's recipe? We use about 50/50 sweet potatoe with Russet or Yukon Golds. The older and drier the potatoes the better. You can bake or boil the potatoes; keep skins intact and avoid at all costs getting the flesh waterlogged......more water requires more flour which kills the path to lightness. Peel the potatoes while still burning hot (use a towel or BBQ gloves) and use a very fine ricer immediately.....this recipe completely justifies owning a good potatoe ricer. Lightly Spread the potatoes out on a cookie sheet to cool at room temperature (and dry out by releasing steam) for maybe 10 minutes.

        While lukewarm mix in a couple beaten egg yolks both for richness and as a binder. We add in fine fresh ground pepper as well as fresh grated pecorino and parmesean that has been grated until it is a light powder texture (no lumps or chunks) and some very very finely diced parsley or basil or spinach or you can substitute a couple dollups of fresh pesto if not too wet.

        Lightly and gently incorporate those ingredients and start to add in little as possible to come together as a dough and when it is silken it will roll out into 'ropes' that will allow you to cut then form the gnocchi. This silken stage is a very brief window of time as the dough returns to being sticky pretty quickly so you have to battle that tendency by keeping utensils and unformed dough lightly dusted in flour (and covered with a cotton towel.

        Keep the formed gnocchi separate from each other on floured cookie sheets. Freeze each tray lightly while you finish using all your dough. Cook them uncrowded in batches in a simmering stock or water. Dry them coming out of the simmer in clean cotton tea towels quickly and roll them out into a heated casserole lined with a delicate tomatoe cream sauce so the actual flavor of the gnocchi comes through.

        The learning curve is really not that long to go from Mario's commodity version to something so light, delicate, flavorful and sublime that it belies its earthy roots.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ThanksVille

          thanks so much! what a thoughtful response. i love CH.

        2. Please try ricotta gnocchi. Much better. I'll look for a good recipe online. Mine is out of the Zuni cookbook. A little more complicated than necessary, but so is the mantra at Zuni.

          1 Reply
          1. Although this recipe doesn't recommend it, if you don't use an artisan ricotta (which isn't easy to find or cheap), I recommend putting the ricotta in a cheese cloth or coffee filter lined colander to "weep" out excess whey for 4-6 hours in the fridge. It allows you to use less flour, and get a better flavor.

            After you make it once, and feel confident to drop $15 on cheese, try to find an artisan ricotta if you are in an area that has such cheese, it makes a difference


            2 Replies
            1. re: hankstramm

              Yes, the ricotta needs to be well-drained. I also recommend watching the Zuni video, linked here, for pointers on the recipe.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                I drained it for a few hours and only a few drops came out but was still quite happy with the result--light and tender.