Create a delicious dish that the whole family will love
Some things are just better when they're made from scratch, not to mention making something with your own two hands provides such satisfaction. When you cook from scratch, you will know exactly what ingredients went into your meals, and it gives you flexibility to adjust your recipe for any dietary or taste preferences.
I started making gnocchi about a year and a half ago. It’s a great Sunday afternoon activity as it’s a bit of work, but so worth it. Sure, you can find gnocchi on a store shelf in a sealed plastic package, but it’s gummy and just doesn’t satisfy the itch for the real thing.
When you make gnocchi from scratch, you can roll them in bulk and freeze them so you enjoy some fresh ones for dinner on the day you make them. Then, the next time you want some, just pull the bag out of the freezer and toss them by handfuls into a pot of boiling water.
Gnocchi soaks up sauce well, be it pesto, Alfredo—or my mom even says she makes them into a mac and cheese. Um, yum!
- 4 to 4½ cups potato, riced
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (keep more on hand)
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour (make sure you get high-quality flour)
- Scrub and pierce the potatoes a few times with a fork. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for at least 45 mins, checking to see if they are done by piercing again with a fork.
- Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, rice them. If you’re using a ricer, there’s no need to peel as the peel remains behind (like magic); but if you’re mashing with a fork or masher, remove the peel. Try not to over-mash them as they will get gummy, but aim for no lumps or else you’ll feel them in the gnocchi and they won’t blend.
- Place the riced potatoes in a large bowl, then add the flour, salt and olive oil.
- Using your hands, squeeze everything together until it makes a ball. If it’s too dry, it might need a bit more olive oil; if it’s too sticky, give it a bit more flour.
- Keep the dough covered with either a clean tea towel or plastic wrap while you form the dumplings.
- You’ll need about 1 to 2 tsp of the dough, rolled into a ball in your hands, and then roll it into an oblong shape. The classic gnocchi pattern can be achieved by rolling it down the backside of a fork, or by buying a special board for them (they’re inexpensive and save time and effort). You don’t have to do this step, but the ridges will help capture whatever sauce the gnocchi go into. Plus, they'll look prettier.
- Place the gnocchi on a flat surface and keep them covered in the fridge as you go.
Because you’re making such a big batch, it’s a great idea to freeze some of them while you’re going through all this effort. To do so, place them, separated, on a lined baking sheet flat for at least a few hours in the freezer, and then toss into an air-tight container or baggie.
- To cook, place a pot with heavily salted water on the stove and bring to a boil, then toss in the gnocchi in batches. They're done after about a minute of them floating to the top (the whole process takes about 5 minutes). For the frozen gnocchi, it may take slightly longer to cook.
- Toss in your favourite sauce—like the pesto we featured last month in the From Scratch column—and top with herbs or cheese. You can even try making a gnocchi pizza!
Makes about 60 gnocchi (depending on the size you make them)