Gnocchi

Yield:
12 servings of gnocchi
Level:
Easy
Ingredients
Directions

Boil the whole potatoes until they are soft (about 45 minutes). While still warm, peel and pass through vegetable mill onto clean pasta board.

Set 6 quarts of water to boil in a large spaghetti pot. Set up ice bath with 6 cups ice and 6 cups water near boiling water.

Make well in center of potatoes and sprinkle all over with flour, using all the flour. Place egg and salt in center of well and using a fork, stir into flour and potatoes, just like making normal pasta. Once egg is mixed in, bring dough together, kneading gently until a ball is formed. Knead gently another 4 minutes until ball is dry to touch.

Roll baseball-sized ball of dough into 3/4-inch diameter dowels and cut dowels into 1-inch long pieces. Flick pieces off of fork or concave side of cheese grater until dowel is finished. Drop these pieces into boiling water and cook until they float (about 1 minute). Meanwhile, continue with remaining dough, forming dowels, cutting into 1-inch pieces and flicking off of fork. As gnocchi float to top of boiling water, remove them to ice bath. Continue until all have been cooled off. Let sit several minutes in bath and drain from ice and water. Toss with 1/2 cup canola oil and store covered in refrigerator up to 48 hours until ready to serve.


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    This represents only the 2nd time I've made gnocchi. The first time they were so awful I swore I'd never attempt to make them again but I had some potatoes that I had no use for and needed an accompaniment for Chicken Paprika. These were oh so easy and turned out fantastic; light, fluffy little pillows. I would make these again.
    Can these be frozen by themselves or with a sauce?
    we often make and then freeze UNCOOKED flat on a cook sheet and when frozen place in a zip lock bag. Take out of freezer when needed and cook
    What a easy recipe to make and absolutely delicious. Thank you Mario.
    This is an easy and tasty recipe from one of my favorite television chefs. I've eaten some bad gnocchi (I'm part Italian and these were not like that. You must follow the proportions exactly. Read the entire recipe through, and follow the directions. Enjoy!
    I have never been impressed with Mario and after trying this recipe and putting it in the trash I have to say that this is one of the worst recipes I have ever worked with . I think I will be refering to Mario from now on as Mark O'donel . I learned to cook from my Italian grandmothern who actualy came from Italy and in all my years of cooking I have never been directed to make a huge mees to toss out . By Mark
    gnocchi are sometimes touchy to make. Air moister, potato consistancy and flour to potato ratio all effect it. There is a consistancy you need to be familiar with when makng thers 
    A very easy recipe to make and a delicious one as well. also fun for my child to help with. I gave it a 5 star rating. I plan on using it in a creamy soup I had recently and got the recipe for and I cant wait to try it again.
    Easy And tasty! I used them as dumplings in chicken soup. They hold up better than dumplings, much firmer.
    I have never made Gnocchi before, but love it when I order it at restaurants. This was the easiest and most delicious recipe. I would definitely make this again. We made it with a Alfredo sauce, but would be great with any sauce.
    This was my first time making gnocchi and ever eating gnocchi. The dough was fabulously easy to work with. I tossed it with a garlic chicken stock sauce and chopped zucchini. Yum!
    Made a batch earlier today and stuck them in the freezer until dinner. Just cooked off a couple and added some butter and parmesan to test them. Like little creamy potato pillows. Going to cook them up, brown them in butter and bake them off with some meat sauce and mozzarella later. Just remember that not all potatoes cook in the same time. Test them after about 30 minutes and you might need to take them out one at a time and leave others in longer.
    Never Had It before, Thought It was awesome :)
    Agree more salt is needed which I added along with a nice shaving of nutmeg (1/8 tsp over the potatoes. I had more to feed so I used almost 4 lbs of potatoes, but only 1 1/2 C flour and 1/2 a beaten egg. I didn't do a 'well' as I really did not want to risk "overworking" the dough. Instead, I put potatoes through food mill in a mound on pastry board. I made sure they cooled (barely warm, then drizzled the 1/2 beaten egg over it. Let the potatoes cool- this is key! Steam is water and you'll have mush or heavy marbles if you don't! Then, in 3 or 4 separate "dustings", I added flour and folded the mixture together with pastry cutter, scooping from bottom to top. Dough was light, slightly moist (but i used a bit more flour on making the "ropes" to cut.. In the end, (I did a trial run they were awesome. I will use a bit more flour next time for the amount I made (just to be safe, but these were light and delicious!
    This recipe was fun to make. Weighed the potatoes and measured the flour as suggested. No problem. I was disappointed in the lack of salt in the recipe though. Next time I would use more salt and salt the water as some other recipes have suggested. I used a food mill and cooked the potatoes as suggested. The potatoes were large so 45 min. worked. I served the gnocchi with a meat sauce. I gave the recipe three stars because of the lack of salt. Could have been tastier.
    Using a food mill is an absolute must! Don't fret if it does not take all of the flour...the dough comes together nicely...
     
     Simply Perftect!
    We followed the recipe to a T, although scaled down a bit to prevent an excess of gnocchi. Huge mistake, and yes I'm blaming my wife. It was terrific. As a pleasant side effect, I'm completely addicted to the potato ricer. Kids tired of the same old veggies? Rice them! Cat thumbing his nose at the tuna? Rice it? Boss wants a new spin on the monthly report? The ricer may be the answer.*
     
     Definitely a great Saturday night recipe with friends, and a very versatile base for any number of creative sauces to bring the gnocchi to life.
     
     *Future employment not guaranteed.
     
     
    I had my grandmother-in-law's gnocchi in Italy a couple of years ago and have been meaning to try to make them for my husband ever since. I watched Mario make them on TV and he inspired me finally make them. They actually came out great even though I didn't follow the recipe exactly. First of all I didn't have russet potatoes, I just had a bag of Idaho potatoes that were getting kinda old. I peeled them first and cut them in quarters to shorten the cooking time down to about 15 mins. When they were tender I put them in a colander to cool and actually let them sit there for hours because something came up and I had to run some errands. That step was a bit of a lifesaver because it helped dry out the potatoes that were probably too moist otherwise. Also, I cooked them in batches. The first batch was too mushy so I kneaded more flour into the remaining dough and the rest were perfect. Anyway, I served them with a meat sauce my husband loved them. They tasted almost exactly like his Nonna's :)
    Tip:
     Use idaho potatoes
    Here are the things my Italian grandmother taught me about gnocchi:
      As little moisture as possible in the potatoes lets you use less flour, which keeps them light.
      To reduce the moisture, use old potatoes. Store them in a cool, dark place. Be sure to keep the eyes knocked off. When they get a little wrinkly they're ready.
      Bake, don't boil. Rice while hot, moving ricer over a sheet pan to form a thin layer (allows steam to escape and allow to cool. (If you mash, you are compacting the starch making a dense product. Only use COOL potatoes so they absorb less flour and don't make the flour gummy.
      Don't overmix or overhandle.
      Be flexible with your flour and egg ratios. Get a "feel" for the dough and adjust as needed.
      They are delicious and worth a few tries to master. Once you do, it'll be a go-to dish. Make plenty when you make them and freeze (raw in a single layer on a sheet pan them transfer to a ziploc bag. Cook just like fresh!
    Peeled and quartered 3 medium Yukon Golds and boiled. Put through food mill / sieve. Took more flour and water than I thought to get the right consistency. First "rope" must have been too big as my gnocchi were jumbos! Beautiful color with the Yukon Golds. Made before and got the right fork impression, but not this time. Saw how in Sardinia they are flattened against a hash marked surface. Wish there was more info on how to roll them off the fork. Delicious!
    Some people may be having trouble because they are not cooking the potatos properly. All potatoes are different sizes and types and cooking times will vary. Always start with cold water when boiling potatoes. Leave the skins on for best results and boil until a fork can just penatrate the potato. A little hard is better than overcooking. Use an oven mitt and peel the potatoes right away while still hot and put them through a ricer. Lay them out on a sheet pan to cool. Then follow the recipe keeping in mind that each person will need a slightly different amount of flour. Don't use too much or you'll be making lead balls.
    I wanted to recreate the Olive Garden's Chicken and Gnocchi soup for my daughters who really like it. We don't live close enough to go there very often and I wanted to treat them. I knew my home made cream of chicken soup would do well as a base with a few additions, but the gnocchi was my problem area. I make my own pasta, but my recipe for gnocchi just didn't taste as good as I'd have liked, and it was heavy and doughy, so I searched Foodnetwork.com and found Mario's recipe. Having cooked many of his recipes with great success, I was confident his would be best. And it was!! The gnocchi were light, airy, delicious and easy to make. I did bake the potatoes instead of boiling, hoping for a drier consistency, and they worked very well into the dough. My other recipe called for boiled and I think that's one of the reasons the grocchi were doughy- the wet potatoes took too much flour to form properly. And in case anyone is wondering, I didn't use a potato ricer - I just mashed with my hand masher. The recipe made more than I needed, so I froze the extra (after cooking and cooling down) and look forward to having them in a butter garlic sauce sometime in the future. They are that good! Those people who complained about the finished product messed up somewhere, I'm sure. Gracia, Mario!
    The only difference I did to the recipe was first I baked the potatoes (it is very important to get the moisture correct and that should be 'just the right amount' of moisture) and I added a teaspoon of double acting baking powder (this will add a bit of lightness to the pillows, cheating sure but it works).
     
     I see comments below such as "followed the recipe to a T", "very experienced in the kitchen", and then a ridiculous comparison of recipes ratios. First, an experienced cook does not make pasta (or bread for that matter) by following a recipe 'to the T'. It is all about the moisture. If you boil the potatoes, let them set out and the steam evaporate until they are completely dry to the touch, not like Travis did and peel them and then let them cool. Baking them in the oven does the same thing, but takes longer. I just like the flavor the baked potato gives the gnocchi vs boiling. Following E's suggestion to add more flour is a valid suggestion, but it only changes the recipe taste. You will still have the same problem if your moisture is not correct.
     
     Finally, comments were made below about being careful with the dough, and that is very correct. Overworking the dough can make it tough. Also, while you don't want to over handle the dough (making it warm), it should not break down and putting it in the refrigerator will not keep it from breaking up during cooking if the moisture is not kept in check.
    Great!! Perfect Gnocchi.
     Make sure you use the right potatoes. I also baked the potatoes with thier skin for 15 min before peeling. It helps to dry them out.
     Thank you Mario
    A friend referred me to this when her gnocchi adventure concluded with less than ideal results. This is definitely not how I typically make gnocchi. I like to bake the potatoes so it takes less flour to get the dough firm enough to form. It?s suppose to be a potato dumpling so adding too much flour makes it? well, a boiled ball of dough.
     That being said I gave this recipe a try and I?m kind of a fan. The trick is to be very delicate with the dough. I didn?t do the well method, just peeled and mashed my potatoes, let them cool from hot to warm, and stirred in my egg. Then I mixed in 1 ? cups of the flour and poured it onto a table generously dusted with flour. At this point it was still a sticky mess but I just went with it, sprinkled some flour on top and gently worked it. If you stirred the egg and flour up well enough in the bowl, the dough is already evenly incorporated so you do not need to actually ?kneed? it. Just work the outside with flour so it doesn?t stick and start to roll it out into a snake. Every time it feels like it?s starting to get moist, dust it before it starts to stick. What you end up with is a thicker doughy layer of potato and flour on the outside that holds the gnocchi?s shape but when you bite into it, it?s soft and smooth. Hope this helps.
     
    It took a lot more flour, but I think I used more potatoes than called for. I also used some yukon gold potatoes with russet potatoes. Next time I'd add more salt and some parm cheese to my flour mix.
     
     
    Super easy, fast and tasty!!!
    Very good and very easy. I loved it! Mary, Elk Grove, CA
    I wish I had read the negative reviews of this recipe before I decided to make it last night. It was my first attempt at making gnocchi, and I had high hopes. Unfortunately, the dough was sticky--I had to keep putting my balls of dough in the refrigerator to firm them up. They also seemed too big--I've read other recipes that have you cut off 1/2" gnocchi, not 1". I boiled them, put them in the ice bath and then refrigerated them for a couple of hours until I was just about to use them. To reheat, I sauteed them in butter...disaster. They were all mealy in consistency and began to fall apart in the pan. When I tossed them in homemade pesto, they fell apart even more. The final product were thick, uncooked in the center, mushy "pillows" that made me wish I had picked a different recipe.
    I had the same experience as reviewer Gabriel - this recipe was a *complete* disaster.
     
     As far as I can tell, the problem with this recipe is the ratio of potatoes (3 lbs) to flour (2 cups) is wrong. After throwing out the sticky mess that was supposed to be the gnocchi dough, I consulted a few other cookbooks. Here's what I found:
     
     Michele Scicolone, "1,000 Italian Receipes"
     Recipe: Fresh Gnocchi, pg. 189.
     1 1/2 lbs potatoes, 2 cups flour
     
     Irma Rombauer, et al., "The All New Joy of Cooking"
     Recipe: Potato Gnocchi, pg. 312
     2 lbs potatoes, 1 1/3 cups flour
     
     Larousee Gastronomique
     Recipe: Potato Gnnochi, pg. 564
     3 medium potatoes, 1 cup flour
     
     Cooks Illustrated Online (March 1995 magazine edition)
     Recipe: Potato Gnocchi
     2 lbs potatoes, 1 1/4 cups flour
     
     In all of these recipes there is more flour per pound of potato than in Mario's recipe. While I haven't tried these other recipes yet, it seems clear that Mario's ration is off.
     
     I'll also note that Mario calls for cooking the potatoes for up to 45 minutes, where as other recipes call for cooking the potatoes for approx. 20 minutes. The longer cooking time in Mario's recipe may allow for more water to be absorbed by the potatoes, which would make forming a dough more difficult (this is especially true of the potatoes split open, which a few of mine did by the time 45 minutes elapsed). Interestingly, both the Joy of Cooking and Cooks Illustrated call for roasting the potatoes in the oven, eliminating any worries about water absorption. Also, Scicolone makes a point of recommending that the kneading of the dough should be gentle (Mario makes this point as well) and that the dough should never be kneaded in a mixer or food processor.
     
     My recommendation: avoid this recipe at all costs.
    I'm not sure where we went wrong. I don't want to use the word expert but I am very experienced in the kitchen and this is the first recipe I've ever made that didn't work at all.
     
     I followed the recipe to the "T" and everything looked like it was working well but as I needed the dough it kept on needing more flour to keep it from becoming a sticky mess. With over 3 cups of flour in the mix it was still very wet.
     
     I attempted to turn it into the logs with minimal success and the gnocchi shape didn't hold at all as I put it into the boiling water.
     
     I ended up with balls of glue that wouldn't firm up no matter how long they boiled. As I said earlier, I'm not sure where I went wrong but I'll certainly look for a new recipe for gnocchi if I decide to try this again--or maybe stick to homemade pasta as it seems like far less trouble. (or even beef wellington for that matter)
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