April 25, 2023
In Italy, kneading is a tradition, and this recipe will definitely win your heart. Like any traditional recipe there are many versions and lots of regional variations.
The one we are going to prepare today is the classic Potato Gnocchi recipe inherited from my grandmother, who every Sunday, or at every special event, gathers us around a laid table.
Preparation involves the whole family. There are those who mash the potatoes, those who shape the gnocchi and those who peek out from under the table to steal one! The act of cooking always carries with it a sense of play, a chance to get together, a declaration of love.
Like any simple recipe, this one also has a few secrets that will make this dish incredible.
The secret to a perfect result is to choose old potatoes that are floury and rich in starch. This will give you a dough that is not watery and needs little flour. Remember that the less flour you add to the gnocchi, the softer they will be. In fact, the thing you'll like most about gnocchi is their texture. Avoid young potatoes because they are very watery, requiring you to use more flour, and the gnocchi will become hard.
Remember that for this recipe we will use the quantity preferred by us Italians, that is, "a occhio." The quantities given can be variable. You can add a little more flour or an extra potato depending on how the dough looks to you during preparation.
Ingredients for 4 people:
• 2.2 lbs of potatoes
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 egg
- First, boil the potatoes (with skins on) in plenty of cold water for about 20 to 25 minutes. To know if they are ready, pierce a potato with the tip of a fork. Only when it sinks inside can you drain them.
- Remove the skin before mashing them and let them cool.
- Take a bowl and a potato masher, make a dry puree and let it cool for at least 10 minutes, until it feels cool to the touch; cool puree absorbs less flour.
- Then add the salt, beaten egg and flour.
- You need to knead very little and quickly—just long enough to assemble all the ingredients. Overworking the dough ruins the texture making it rubbery.
- After forming a ball you can proceed with making our gnocchi.
Wondering how to give the typical shape to the gnocchi?
- Let's start right away by dusting the work surface with flour, detaching a small piece from the dough and making a one-inch thick strand. In case it sticks to your hands, flour only your hands; do not add flour to the dough.
- Once made, make a cut every 2cm so that you get small cylinders.
- To get ridged gnocchi, make use of a lightly floured fork (or a gnocchi board like the one nonna uses). Slide your gnocchi on the inside by pressing lightly with your index finger; once the back is ridged, gently slide it off. As you make your gnocchi, line a tray with baking paper and a little flour; this way you can easily cook them by pouring them directly into the pan without moving them one by one.
Proceed in this way until you run out of ingredients and your gnocchi will be ready. Be sure not to cook the gnocchi immediately in boiling water otherwise this may cause all the gnocchi to stick together. Let them rest in the air for about 20 to 40 minutes.
PS: While you're here, why not give a try to our delicious vino?
Explore more recipes.
Words and Photographs by Gianina Rose