summer/ Vegetarian

How To Make Gnocchi From Scratch At Home

How To Make Gnocchi From Scratch At Home

I don’t know about you, but for the longest time I’ve been living with the idea that gnocchi are the type of food you don’t make at home from scratch. Well, excuse me for living under a rock!

And if you were to ask me, these are my top 3 pasta types I love the most: Tagliatelle, Gnocchi, Pappardelle. Of course the list can be reaaally long, but these are the types of pasta you can easily make at home without any machine involved. But make sure you work out your hand muscles first 🙂

Many Italian regions claim to be the origin of gnocchi and probably there are just as many recipes too, however don’t let this diversity fool you: the ingredients and the way you cook them are the key to a tasty recipe.

How To Make Gnocchi From Scratch At Home

But we are not here to decide who should own the rights to gnocchi, or who made them better.

The POTATOES

One of the epic debates from the gnocchi makers is the endless question of how to cook the potatoes: should they be BOILED or should they be BAKED? 🤔

Also, if you boil them, should you boil them with skin on or off? Another debate is should you simply bake them in the oven, or go the extra mile and bake them on bed of salt.

As you can see, there are many different ways to prepare the recipe, however, the most important thing is for the potatoes to retain as little water as possible.

So here’s how I did it: I chose to boil them with the skin ON, because the skin helps them not to absorb the excess of water, and made sure to only keep them boiling until become fork tender. It is very important not to over boil them, as they will retain too much water and become soggy.

Another trick to achieve the dream gnocchi is to handle the potatoes and incorporate them into the dough while they’re still warm. The reason behind this: the colder the potatoes, the chewier the gnocchi will be, and this is a NO NO based on nonna’s directions.

The FLOUR

All the Italian recipes call for 00 type with a mix of semolina flour, but trust me on this, any all purpose flour will work fine as well.

The EGG

Now comes the last part of the recipe: EGGS. And as any Italian pasta recipe, everyone has it’s own way of doing it. Piemonte says NO to eggs, while Veneto agrees to them.

I once learned that when recreating certain recipes, more in particular the traditional ones, like pizza, or even these gnocchi, the more you’ll struggle to make them identical to the original one, the more you’ll fail. I don’t live in Italy, I don’t have access to the same ingredients as the original recipe, I don’t have the same soil in my country to cultivate the exact tomatoes which make that delicious tomato sauce, therefore I won’t be able to reproduce the same gnocchi piemontese or Neapolitan Pizza in the region I live.

Plus you need to take into account the values, the traditions and customs you grew up with, as you’re grandma won’t make the same, exact gnocchi, as another Italian nona does. It’s simple as that.

In conclusion, I used one egg yolk to be a good binder between my potatoes and the flour 🙂

How To Make Gnocchi From Scratch At Home

How to work the gnocchi dough

Once you have the potatoes, flour and egg yolk incorporated, work the dough as little as possible to keep its airy consistency. Divide it now into thicker stripes, and then roll these stripes into thin sausage shapes, cutting them now into small squares, of about 1 cm width.

How To Make Gnocchi From Scratch At Home

How To Make Gnocchi From Scratch At Home

How To Make Gnocchi From Scratch At Home

How to shape the gnocchi

Now comes the coolest part (well at least for me): shaping up the gnocchi on the wooden board. The part which somehow I find to be very therapeutic for me, and I like how cooking, and precisely making the meal from scratch, transports me into a light meditative state of mind.

How To Make Gnocchi From Scratch At Home

How To Make Gnocchi From Scratch At Home

Here’s how to shape the gnocchi.

Hold the board (if you don’t have the wooden board, a fork works fine as well and the steps are identical) in one hand, and with the other press down with your thumb the small gnocchi square, until it slightly curls towards the end of the board. This step takes a little bit of practice, you’ll probably ruin a few gnocchi, but you can reshape them and start over.

Gnocchi making means patience, as this is not a recipe to rush it through, because it can go terribly wrong. The end result should be airy and delicate, made from the simplest ingredients out there: potatoes, flour and egg.

I’ll leave you now with the recipe.

Drop me a comment if you try out the recipe and let me know your thoughts.

Love,

Cori

How To Make Gnocchi From Scratch At Home

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By Cori Costache Serves: 4
Prep Time: 1 hr Cooking Time: 20 mins for potatoes and extra 2 mins for gnocchi

Gnocchi making means patience, as this is not a recipe to rush it through, because it can go terribly wrong. The end result should be airy and delicate, made from the simplest ingredients out there: potatoes, flour and egg. 

Ingredients

  • 500g white potatoes
  • 150-170g flour (depends on how watery your potatoes are, then you'll need to increase the amount of flour)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • salt & pepper freshly grated

Instructions

1

Wash the potatoes. Boil them with the skin on for about 20 mins, try them on with the fork for doneness.

2

Remove the potatoes from the boiling water and let them cool for a few moments, until they are easy to handle.

3

Peel them off and with a push them through a ricer. I used the grater with the thin cutting parts. The rest of the potatoes that doesn't go through the grater, you can smash them with the fork, making sure you don't have any lumps.

4

Combine the potatoes, egg yolk and flour and form an airy and slightly worked dough. Don't overwork the dough, mix the ingredients until they bind together.

5

Divide it now into thicker stripes, and then roll these stripes into thin sausage shapes, cutting them now into small squares, of about 1 cm width (as shown in the photographs below).

6

Shape the gnocchi with a wooden board or a fork. Hold the board in one hand, and with the other press down with your thumb the small gnocchi square, until it slightly curls towards the end of the board.

7

Bring one big pot with salted water to a boil.

8

Add the gnocchi in batches and cook them until they start to pop up at the surface(around 2 minutes). Leave them for another 10 seconds and remove them for the water.

9

Serve them with your favourite sauce.

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