Tips to Perfecting Gnocchi
Bake DON’T boil your potatoes.
- Boiling is faster than baking but boiling will increase moisture content of your potatoes which we want to avoid for gnocchi. Baking is easy because you can do it unattended while you work on creating your gnocchi sauce.
- Related TIP #1: Poke the potatoes all the way through and around before baking to help with cooking and prevent steaming.
- Related TIP #2: Slice the potatoes immediately after baking to release any steam.
The more starch and less moisture, the better the potato.
- Go for Russet, Yukon Gold, or Idaho.
- This recipe calls for 5 Idaho potatoes. Yukon Gold are similar in size but Russet tends to be much larger so using 3-4 is a better call. After the potato was baked and riced, the final weight was 14 ounces.
A potato ricer is a great investment and will be your best friend when making gnocchi.
- I tried multiple methods of finely grating the potatoes without a ricer and nothing worked as well as the ricer. If you don’t have one in your kitchen, invest in one. It’ll help keep the gnocchi fluffy. Mashing your potatoes only makes for a dense gnocchi.
Work the flour and the dough with gentleness.
- You are not making bread. If you knead it too much or with a lot of force, you will risk developing too much gluten which will lead to a chewy gnocchi. Watching videos of Italian pros making it on Youtube will give you a good idea of how to handle the dough as the best way to master this tip is visual learning. When you slice your dough, you should be able to see little air pockets rather than a dense dough.
Roll the dough from the center to the ends.
- This just helps you to avoid overworking the dough by pulling from the center and rolling out to the ends.
Add flour just until you have a cohesive though.
- Some recipes will call for a quarter cup of flour per pound of raw potatoes, half a cup, and others a whole cup. The best way that works for me is slowly adding just until the dough is no longer sticky.
- RELATED TIP: This recipe uses 00 flour which is lighter than all purpose flour. Always incorporate flour gradually as it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Sift your flour. Drizzle your egg. Spread the riced potato.
- Spread the riced potato across a flat surface rather than stacking it in a bowl to let steam escape. Drizzle the egg evenly across to help even mixing. Sift the flour to prevent clumps and help mixing without over-kneading.
*Recipe made 70 pieces of gnocchi.
For the sauce, I added extra virgin olive oil, butter, browned spiced ground beef, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chopped basil, garlic, lemon pepper, and salt. I then topped it off with lots of freshly grated parmesan.
- 5 Idaho potatoes
- 5 ounces 00 or all purpose flour, about 1 1/2 cup
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Clean potatoes and prepare them by poking with a fork all the way through and all around. Place on a rack over a baking tray and bake at 375°F for 75 minutes or just until very tender like a baked potato.
- Immediately slice every potato in half to release the steam. Use a large spoon to scoop the potato out of the skin and add it to a ricer.
- Rice the hot potatoes onto the surface you will work the dough on. Make sure to rice the potatoes along the surface without crowding it to allow steam to release.
- Whisk one egg and drizzle it across the riced potatoes. Sprinkle the salt and pepper across the potatoes as well.
- Then, slowly add the flour. Start with adding 1 cup of flour and with floured hands, slowly incorporate all the ingredients together without kneading too much to keep the gnocchi fluffy. If you find it sticking to your hands too much, add a spoon or two of flour at a time until the dough comes together. Once a dough forms, it is ready.
- Flour a knife and slice the dough into four long sections. Stretch the dough from the center to the outside until half an inch thick. Cut the dough into individual gnocchi about 3/4 of an inch in length. Repeat with all the dough, making sure to flour the knife and gnocchi as you go along.
- Now, create the gnocchi shape. You can either roll it onto a fork or press the fork on top for a three stripe design. Another simple way to shape gnocchi is just press each one in the center to form a dimple.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Drop the gnocchi in and do not disturb them with a utensil. Only tilt the pot side to side to prevent sticking. In 1-2 minutes, the gnocchi will float to the top and thats when they are ready. Set on a plate and allow them to dry.
- In a pan, add olive oil or butter or a combination of both just to cover the surface. Add the gnocchi without crowding and cook on each side until golden brown.
- Serve with your favorite gnocchi sauce!