Perfect Gnocchi (Just like in Italy)

When I was living in Rome in college I ate gnocchi from my favorite family restaurant practically everyday. When I returned home I tried to recreate it, but it just seemed to turn into a pile of mush. It took me a few tries over the years, but I finally found the perfect gnocchi recipe in an old issue of Food & Wine magazine, and it even works with this gluten-free flour! Here’s the recipe to use and some tips from my very own test kitchen.

You’ll want to have a ricer and a good amount of time on hand.

Ingredients:*

  • 2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Step One: Get the right potato. Yukon Golds are really good for making gnocchi. They have a waxy consistency which helps them mold into a dough when mixed with flour. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 1 hour.

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Step Two: Cut the potatoes and let cool for a few minutes until you won’t burn your hands touching them. Scoop out the insides with a spoon and put them into a ricer.
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The result should look exactly like… you guessed it, rice!3

Step Three: Let the potatoes cool to room temperature. Measure out two cups of potato and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the 1/2 cup of flour or gluten-free flour; stir until a stiff dough forms. Knead the dough gently until smooth but slightly sticky.

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Step Four: Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. On a floured surface, cut the dough into 4 pieces, rolling each into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch pieces. Roll each piece against the tines of a fork to make ridges; transfer to the baking sheet. Reserve gnocchi you don’t plan on eating that night off to the side.

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Step Five: Boil a pot of water and salt generously. Make sure you bring it to a full, rolling boil and gently place gnocchi, one by one in the pot being careful not to crowd them. Using a large slotted spoon, remove each gnocchi to a plate as it makes its way to the top. Do not wait until all the gnocchi are done or some will be over cooked. 8

Step Six: Put 4 tablespoons of butter into a pan, over medium-high heat. Let the butter cook until it foams and then resides slightly, turning brown. Gently place gnocchi into the pan of butter being careful to avoid bringing water into the pan as much as possible. Move pan around to cook gnocchi on both sides. 9
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Step Seven: Move gnocchi to a plate and top with grated parmesan or pecorino cheese, and a little bit of fresh or dried sage. Buon appetito!11

Now for the freezing instructions. To freeze your extra gnocchi place a layer of parchment paper in Tupperware. Place the gnocchi in rows, being careful not to overcrowd them. Add additional rows of parchment paper as needed layering on top of the last row. Freeze until you are ready to use.

Very important: When you want to cook your frozen gnocchi start from Step Five. Do not defrost the gnocchi before you put it in the boiling water. Make sure that you only put enough gnocchi in at a time so that the water continues to boil and does not drop in temperature too much.

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Bonus recipe idea!!

Make breakfast gnocchi…pretty much the best breakfast ever. Cook your gnocchi as above and top with crumbled bacon and a poached egg.

*Double the recipe to have enough to freeze