Gnocchi is one of hubby’s favorite dishes. I’ve made it often from store-bought package, always thinking it would be difficult to make in my small galley. It turns out that it is incredibly easy with only three ingredients. I’ll actually be able to make this when we are at sea without fresh provisions as potatoes are one of the staples that keep for a very long time in a bag in a dark, cool cabinet (and we have quite a few of these onboard) and flour is one of our staples. For the sauce, I’ll have to resort to canned tomato sauce and mushrooms or a jar of Alfredo sauce, unless we are near shore where fresh ingredients are available. But while we’re tied to land, I’ll indulge in using real cream and fresh herbs and veggies.
I made this twice before perfecting the final product. I found the keys are to mash the potato pieces to a nice consistency, but don’t mash to the point where they become gummy or the gnocchi will be dense instead of fluffy. A few little potato lumps are fine and aren’t noticeable when cooked. Then, only knead the dough enough to thoroughly mix the ingredients. Don’t over-knead or the dough becomes tough and the result isn’t quite so light.
If you don’t eat all of the gnocchi in one sitting, gently toss the cooled left-overs with a bit of flour and store in an air-tight container. Reheat with sauce, stirring gently. They are good for 4 days in the fridge.
(I imagine you could make this with left-over mashed potatoes, but I preferred to make them with fresh potatoes. Potato pancakes can be made for breakfast the next day from the remaining mashed potatoes.) – whew! that was a whole lot of ‘potatoes’ –
You can use any sauce you like. I figure that if I am taking the time to make homemade gnocchi, I’m giving the same effort in a homemade sauce! I made two that were hits. One is a very thick, cheesy white sauce and the other is a tomato sauce chock-full of mushrooms. Make the sauce first so that it can simmer and be ready when the gnocchi is cooked.
- 1 large russet potato
- 2 cups flour
- 1 egg
- Additional flour for rolling out
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Peel potato and cut into 2 inch pieces.
- Drop into pot of boiling, salted water.
- Boil for 10 minutes or until fully cooked.
- Drain and cool, then mash with a fork until there are no big lumps. (Don’t over-mash!)
- Put 2 cups of flour in a large bowl, add one cup of mashed potatoes and crack egg into center.
- Mix with hands until fully combined into a dough ball. (Don’t over-knead!)
- Break off a tennis ball size of dough and roll on a floured surface until you have a long rope, approximately 1/2 inch in width. Continue to roll out dough into ropes until you have used all of it.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add olive oil and salt.
- Hold rope of gnocchi over the pot of boiling water and using kitchen shears, cut off 1 inch pieces of dough into the water, working quickly.
- Boil gnocchi for 30 seconds after all pieces have floated to the surface.
- Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon to a colander in the sink. (Do not dump the pot of gnocchi and water into the colander; those little potato pillows don’t take kindly to being handled harshly!).
- After well-drained, sprinkle a bit of olive oil over the pile and place on plates.
- Top with choice of sauce.
Spinach Parmesan Sauce Ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons butter (I use salted; you can use unsalted if you like)
- 2 cloves of finely diced garlic (more if you really like garlic!)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 2 cups of finely chopped spinach (1/4 cup reserved for garnish)
- 1 cup of Parmesan cheese
Spinach Parmesan Sauce Directions:
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.
- Add garlic and saute until just fragrant.
- Slowly sprinkle the flour into the butter, whisking as you add.
- Cook for 30 seconds, continually stirring.
- Slowly add the milk, whisking as you add.
- Cook for 3 minutes, continually stirring.
- Fold in the spinach.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.
- Fold in parmesan cheese.
- If the mixture is thicker than you like, add a splash of milk and mix, adding until it is the consistency that you like.
- Serve over hot gnocchi and garnish with chopped spinach.
- Serve with salad and garlic bread.
Tomato Mushroom Sauce Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onions
- 2 cloves diced garlic
- 1 jar of pasta sauce
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Optional: Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Note: If you like it spicy, add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes!
Tomato Mushroom Sauce Ingredients:
- Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until just fragrant.
- Add the mushrooms, cooking until starting to wilt.
- Add jar of pasta sauce and thyme and bring to a slow boil.
- Reduce to low and slowly whisk in heavy cream until thoroughly mixed.
- Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Serve over hot gnocchi and garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme and shredded parmesan cheese.
If you prefer a marinara sauce, eliminate the cream and add 1 can of drained, diced tomatoes.
All recipes serve 4 as a main course and 6 as a side dish.
Made for hubby (who is my most willing “guinea pig” and then for a group of writers at our To Live and Write in Alameda “Write in the Woods” Retreat in July 2018. They all said “yummmmm” and survived the meal, so I’m guessing it was decent! 😉