Potato Gnocchi

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Since Amanda and I are fresh from our victory of fresh pasta, I thought I'd try my hand at potato gnocchi.

Now, we don't eat gnocchi in my family, and the only gnocchi I can ever remember eating were these tiny wretched monstrosities in a package I got at the food store. Attempting to make something from scratch when you have little idea of the goal is problematic. Still, the whole idea of trying to make potato into pasta seems like a rational idea and therefore well worth the effort.

To reduce the stress, I used just one (red) potato. I figured if it went awry, only I would know, and there would be minimal waste.

I used the method as outlined in Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, which calls for making gnocchi with only potato and flour (no eggs).

I found the process actually ridiculously simple (even if I feel unqualified to judge the end result). I simply boiled the lone potato, whole and unskinned, in water until cooked. I then peeled and mashed with a fork (not ideal because the result was lumpy, and since it was intended only for me, I was highly unmotivated to remove the lumps). I then added an arbitrary amount of flour until I felt satisfied with the dough. This was rolled out into a sausage-like roll, cut into 3/4 inch slices, and shaped with a fork. It only took a few seconds. I then dropped these into boiling water. When they floated to the surface, I waited a couple of seconds, tasted one, waited a few seconds more, and then removed them. I dumped on a bunch of sauce and cheese.

The result tasted fine. Was it "right"? I have no idea. I think the biggest danger here is blandness, so don't be stingy on salting the water while boiling the gnocchi!

Here's a related blog post if you are interested:

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