Grandma Mabel's Gnocchi as served at Panhead's Pizzeria in Daytona Beach, Florida, as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, season 36.
Recipe courtesy of Panheads Pizzeria

Grandma Mabel's Gnocchi

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 8 hr 55 min (includes cooling and freezing times)
  • Active: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 10 servings



Butter Bacon Onion Sauce:



  1. For the gnocchi: Place the potatoes in a large stockpot, then fill with enough water to cover the potatoes three-quarters of the way. Set on the stove to boil until tender, about 45 minutes. Peel the potatoes and place through a ricer while still hot, then cool in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  2. Place the eggs in a mixing bowl and add the salt. Whisk with a fork, then add the potatoes and blend with a rubber spatula until mixed. Add the flour and dump the dough on a nice rolling table, then knead the dough just until it is all mixed and there are no lumps, making sure the dough can hold shapes. Pinch off a piece about the size of a fist, then roll it out into a nice long snake that is the diameter of a quarter. Cut on the bias making about 1-inch cuts, and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan dusted with flour. Freeze for at least 6 hours and up to 8 hours.
  3. For the butter bacon onions: Cook the bacon in a sauté pan over medium heat until cooked and all the fat is rendered down. Transfer the bacon to a plate and cook the onions in the rendered bacon fat over medium heat until nice and caramelized. Add the bacon back to the pan along with the butter. Stir until the butter is melted and blended. (This can be made ahead of time, then cooled and used as needed.)
  4. To finish, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add about 25 frozen gnocchi and cook until they float to the top, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat up 5 ounces butter bacon onion sauce. Strain the gnocchi and add to the sauce. Cook until the gnocchi are coated all over, about 1 minute, then garnish with the Parmesan and chiffonade of basil.

Cook’s Note

Gnocchi is a very tricky dough. The key is to control the moisture of the potatoes. Gnocchi dough is soft and delicate, and the trick is to make just enough gluten when kneading to hold everything together—but not too much, or your gnocchi will turn into rocks. If the dough does not feel right, there may be too much moisture in the potatoes from the season when they are picked—we call these "bad gnocchi potatoes"; you may have to adjust the flour to help the dough out.