Homemade gnocchi with imprints

How to Cook Homemade Potato Gnocchi

What is potato gnocchi, exactly?

It’s a potato dumpling made similarly to pasta, and served even more similarly to pasta. This is a very simple recipe for homemade gnocchi, but it’s always going to be a more time consuming project than making your own fresh pasta. This recipe here though – a perfect recipe for cooking your own homemade potato gnocchi.

A field of homemade potato gnocchi
Image courtesy of Mindmatrix via Flickr

Ingredients for Making Gnocchi

Like a homemade pasta, you need flour, salt, and egg. And, as gnocchi is a potato dumpling, you’ll also need a couple pounds of potatoes.

How to Prepare Homemade Gnocchi

First things first, you’re going to need to prepare your potatoes.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and pierce two pounds of potatoes with a fork in several areas. You can place the pierced potatoes directly on the center rack of your oven. Cook for between forty five minutes and an hour (or however long it takes until you can pierce them with a knife, cleanly.)

Once cooked, cut your potatoes in half and remove the potato from the skins and mash it all up in a large bowl. You don’t want to puree it – it’s not really too important to use any special tools. Just mash them up until the potato is fairly smooth.

Once mashed, gather the potato into a neat mound and sprinkle lightly with salt. Now let it cool for about ten minutes.

While you’re waiting you can put a large pot of water on to boil and beat one large egg in a small bowl.

Now, once the potato mound has cooled, you can pour the beaten egg over it with a cup of flour.

Gently fold the potato over the egg and potato until it has mixed neatly with the mixture. You can knead the dough, but it’s important not to overdo it. Overkneaded dough results in tough lumpy gnocchi.

Once the dough is prepared and looking somewhat like actual dough, you can pat it down flat and separate into four equal parts. This is to make the next steps manageable.

With one of your four pieces, you should roll it out into a tube. This is fairly difficult the first times, but gently roll it over a lightly floured surface with lightly floured hands, from the middle, moving outwards. You want to continue doing this until you end up with about a two foot tube roughly a half inch wide.

Cut it into half inch to three quarter inch pieces.

Homemade gnocchi with imprints
Crease each individual piece with the back of a fork if you care if it actually "looks like gnocchi."

Once the pieces have been cut, place them gently into the boiling water. They are finished when they float to the top. As you remove them from the water, be sure to place them gently on a lightly floured surface (such as a baking sheet.)

Repeat this process as you go with each of the three remaining pieces of dough.

Tips for Making Your Own Gnocchi

Gnocchi keeps fairly well for up to two days. Just toss it gently with olive oil and refrigerate.

To keep homemade potato gnocchi stored for longer periods, freeze it laid flat on a baking sheet before transferring it to an airtight container. This allows it to last three months or longer. Just cook in boiling water until it floats, and it’s good as new.

Like any other pasta, use your own homemade alfredo sauce or tomato sauce for optimal deliciousness.

If this seems a little too time consuming, just stick with making your own pasta.

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