For some reason the thought of making pasta always scares me. Probably because I have never done it. Until now. Well, at least I’ve made one type of pasta (which will probably turn out to be the easiest one).
Making gnocchi seemed like it would be a daunting task as it takes quite a bit of your time, which is why it took me several months to get around to making it. But in reality it just takes quite a bit of your oven’s time, and like he has anything else to do anyway. I guess if you’re used to throwing something in the microwave gnocchi would still fall under time consuming, but I had the dough formed, rolled, cut and grooved in probably under 30 minutes – my husband didn’t even realize I was in the kitchen making something.
I’m guessing you would typically use a baking potato to make gnocchi, but I had randomly picked up some small red potatoes at Trader Joes the other day so that’s what I used. I may be biased but I think they worked rather well.
Another deterrent for me making gnocchi was the fact that almost every recipe I see uses an egg. After having successfully made it with only 3 ingredients, none of which are eggs, I am somewhat baffled as to why you would need an egg to make this at all.
And to top it all off my sister and brother-in-law bought me a potato ricer for my birthday! What the hell is a potato ricer?? That’s what I said the first time I heard the word. Is it for potatoes? Is it for rice? I guess most people consider them unnecessary kitchen gadgets, but I think it’s kind of nifty. Basically it’s a great big garlic press that squeezes tiny little strips of potato out. Mine even manages to remove the skin for you (it’s magic). You can probably mash up a potato with a fork or masher or food processor, but I’m thinking consistency plays an important role in the gnocchi.
So being that I had the potatoes and a potato ricer, and even some left over marinara in the fridge, I no longer had any excuse to not make gnocchi. I even found a recipe that didn’t use eggs.
Gnocchi, from In Jennie’s Kitchen
- 1 & 1/2 lbs of potatoes
- 3/4 C organic, unbleached flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
What you do
Heat the oven up to 400. Stab the potatoes a few times with a fork and place them on the middle rack or in a pan. I put mine in a pan and put foil over them halfway through the baking period as I wasn’t sure if they would dry out (I don’t bake a lot of potatoes). Bake for about an hour or until the potatoes are soft enough to pierce, or accidentally smash.
Once they are cool enough to touch, grab a bowl and your potato ricer and, well, rice them.
Add the flour and salt and mix with a spoon until it’s mostly homogenized. Then use your hands and shape it into a ball of dough.
Now divide your dough. I only divided it into 3 portions but more would have made it easier to roll out into ropes. Place the pieces on a floured surface and use your hands to roll them out (like you used to do with playdoh).
Gently cut the ropes into pieces; mine were about 3/4 – 1 inch long. This is where you put the little grooves in the gnocchi. They have wooden paddles specially designed for this, but I don’t have one. I took Jennie’s suggestion and used my pastry cutter. I rolled mine with the cutter on a cutting board but placing it in your hand and doing it that way may work just a tad better.
When you’re ready to eat, get a pot of salted water boiling and boil the gnocchi for 2 – 3 minutes; they float when they’re ready. Use a slotted spoon and transfer them to a plate or dish. And word to the wise, don’t place them on a paper towel (they stick).
Top with whatever sauce and accompaniments you desire and tuck in! We were a little low on veggies so we got frozen peas and black olives.
They were soooo yummy!!! This recipe supposedly serves 4 but Gary and I gobbled it all up without a second thought. Definitely worth making!