Homemade gnocchi…egg or no egg?
I want to make gnocchi at home. Some recipes I've read call for eggs and some are egg free. Is one way better than the other or are they just different?
I don't know if it's "better" but in my quieter days, the one pasta I made was gnocchi: flour, egg, potato, salt. I have heard that the ones minus egg are lighter, but I've never mastered them.
1 russet potato
1/2 cup flour, plus a little for rolling out the dough
1.Peel the potato and cut it into large chunks.
2.Boil the chunks of potato in water for 20 minutes.
3.Drain thoroughly and put potatoes through a food mill (or ricer).
4.Cool potatoes a little and add flour 1/4 cup at a time, mixing the dough together. Be careful not to over mix the dough.
5.Roll the dough into approximately 1/2" wide ropes.
6.Cut eat rope into 1" long pieces and roll each piece over the back of fork tines to create ridges for the sauce.
7.Bring a pot of water to boil and lower gnocchi in using a slotted spoon. Be careful not to break up the gnocchi.
8.Gnocchi are finished when they rise to the top.
9.Top with sauce and cheese.
Next time I think I would add a little salt to the dough. No need for egg however.
Ditto to the comments above. I've been making gnocchi for a few years, and the egg does help to bind them together, so starting with an egg for your first few times is a good idea. It's easy to misjudge the dough and end up with something that breaks apart and disintegrates in the water.
While some may disagree with this characterization, I see the egg as a type of "training wheels" for gnocchi making.
Used to make gnocchi for a family restaurant, hundreds of them every week. Best results were getting the potatoes as dry as possible, baked not boiled. Handling them while hot to extract the flesh and rice them, allow them to cool slightly spread out on a baking sheet to release more steam and then to incorporate the flour using 2 egg yolks for richness along with a matching volume of good Parmesan grated to the fineness of the flour. Minimal quick handling and there was never a trace of sodden weight or toughness. BTW drier potatoes work best and require less flour.
Don't know about eggs being training wheels comment because without a binder you'll just have to add more flour to keep them from falling apart in the water. I make gnocchi all the time with the basic formula of 3 egg yolks per pound of potatoes. After ricing the cooked potatoes onto a sheet pan I put them back into a warm oven to aid in continuing to allow moisture to escape. You don't want the oven hot enough for the potatoes to form a crust, you just want to get as much moisture out as possible. After the potatoes have cooled I add the egg yolks, parmigiano and flour and form the mass into a ball and allow it to rest for 20 minutes or so.
The overall formula is 60% potatoes after drying, 20% parmigiano and 20% flour along with 3 egg yolks per pound of potatoes you wont be disappointed.