There's gnothing better than gnocchi. Is it pasta? Is it potato? Either way, it's 100% delicious.
Hi friends! It's been awhile, but glad to be back! Life got in the way a bit, and that's totally not a valid excuse but I'm back and cooking up a storm of posts! This week, I was inspired by a friend to make gnocchi! Soft delicate little pillows of potato fortified with flour and an egg, and I'm so glad I did. It's super easy, and pairs so well with a variety of sauces. My favorite is just sauteed in browned butter with snow peas, pancetta, and thinly sliced yellow necked squash. So simple and so delicious.
Here's what you need for the gnocchi:
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2.5 cups flour
- 2 large eggs
That's it. Seriously. Start by scrubbing the potatoes down, just to get the extra dirt off of them, and putting them in a medium stock pot with just enough water to cover them completely. Don't peel the potatoes! Boiling them with the skin on protects the flesh from water, which is gnocchi's enemy. Partially cover and boil for about 35 minutes or until they're fork tender. Strain, and let cool until they're cool enough to handle.
Once the potatoes have cooled, peel them! I just used my hands, but you can definitely use a pairing knife or those fancy potato peeling gloves. After the potatoes have peeled and cooled a bit more, use a potato ricer, or a cheese grater (the side with the medium holes) to grate the potatoes! If they're still feeling a little wet, just pat them down with a paper towel.
After you've made sure the potatoes have expelled their extra water, mound them on your counter like you would flour while making pasta, with a little well in the center. Then add the flour on top of that, maintaining the well in the center. Crack the egg into the center, and beat with a fork slowly incorporating the flour and potato and forming a shaggy dough. Careful not to over knead the dough, you don't want to the gluten in the potato to over activate, the key to good gnocchi (yes, failed pun there, I know.)
The dough should be a nice, smooth consistency. Using the bench scraper (or a very sharp knife) cut about an inch and a half off of the dough and roll between your palms on the counter forming a rope. Using the bench scraper again, cut the rope in one inch increments. From here, you can crimp with a fork but I prefer just leaving them alone. They're more rustic, easier, and just prettier. Throw them into a pot of boiling water and cook until the float to the top, about 3-4 minutes. That's it! So easy.
From there, toss the gnocchi in your favorite marinara sauce, alfredo sauce, or just butter. My favorite is with brown butter- melt two tablespoons of butter in a medium frying pan on medium high heat until the butter turns a golden brown and nutty- then set aside. In the same pan, add the pancetta and render out the fat. Add frozen peas, and thinly sliced yellow neck squash. Once the squash has gotten crispy on the edges, and the pancetta is browned, add the cooked gnocchi. Toss, and drizzle with brown butter. Garnish with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, salt & pepper.
Aside from pasta being one of my comfort foods, gnocchi has quickly jumped the ranks. Just like it's cousin pasta, it's so versatile and delicious enough to eat on it's own. This recipe makes enough to feed at least 6, so the next time you want to have lunch for a week or throw a dinner party give gnocchi a try!