Mama’s Traditional Potato Gnocchi

I picked this recipe up from our “mama”, Gabriella, at a small B&B in the mountains surrounding the Amalfi Coast (I highly recommend staying at this B&B, Nido Degli Dei, during your stay in the Amalfi Coast, BTW. Click HERE for more information). Contrary to popular belief, there are multiple types of gnocchi, including varieties with potato, ricotta, and simply flour and water. This recipe is a traditional mixture of potatoes, flour, and a pinch of salt! You can make this recipe to cook immediately, or you can freeze the gnocchi for future use. This recipe is sure to impress your friends and family! 

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

2.5 pounds potatoes

2.5 cups extra fine flour (type “00”), plus more to work with

Salt

Directions:

Wash the potatoes well. Place in a large pot with water with the skins on. This helps to keep water and excess moisture out of the potato. The water should cover the potatoes by at least one inch. Bring to a boil and allow to cook until fork tender and soft enough to mash easily (approximately 25 minutes).

Once the potatoes are done, remove them from the pot, drain, and allow to cool slightly in a strainer.

Remove the skins. While the potatoes are still warm, use a potato ricer to rice the potatoes. If there is a lot of water in the potatoes, let the riced potatoes sit on a dishtowel for a few minutes more.

Now it’s time to make the gnocchi!

Work on a dry surface, topped with flour.

To the riced potatoes, add the flour. In a kneading motion, form the mixture into a ball. Add a large sprinkle of salt to the mixture and continue kneading the dough with primarily the palms of your hands. Continue to add flour in small amounts as necessary so the mixture is not too sticky. If the dough is sticky, it means there is still too much water inside for quality gnocchi.

However, be careful not to add too much flour, as this will result in hard gnocchi.

Continue to work the dough for approximately 20 minutes or until it is no longer sticky.

Once the dough is ready, cut out 8-10 pieces, approximately 4 inches long.

Roll each piece into ropes until approximately ½ – 1 inch in diameter, depending on the size of gnocchi you would like to make. Use a knife to cut 1 inch pieces of dough.

Sprinkle a large working area or cooking sheets with flour. As you make gnocchi, ensure you work area is floured to keep the pieces from sticking together. You may add additional flour to the gnocchi while they are waiting to be cooked or frozen. Keep them separated during this time. If you stack them together, they are likely to stick together.

Gnocchi2

You may choose to add ridges or indents to your gnocchi. This is for aesthetics only. To do this, gently indent each gnocchi in the middle with your thumb, and use a fork to create ridges. There are also fancy devices out there that help you to do this, but I’m under the assumption that most of us do not have specialized gnocchi kitchen tools.

Now, you’re ready to cook your gnocchi!

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Shake away any excess flour from the gnocchi. Once the water is boiling, add the gnocchi and cook until they float to the top (approximately 3-4 minutes). Use a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi and drain well.

Gnocchi1

Toss with your favorite sauce and a small amount of reserved starchy cooking water! My favorite variation of gnocchi is Gnocchi alla Sorrentina! Another great variation? Mix with some flavorful and fresh basil pesto. HERE’s my recipe.

Voila! Enjoy 🙂

*****

*If you do not want to cook the gnocchi immediately, you can easy freeze them for future use. Arrange the uncooked gnocchi on a baking sheet, sprinkled with excess flour to prevent sticking. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the gnocchi are completely frozen (approximately 2 hours). At this point, they can be moved to a freezer bag and stored in the freezer for approximately 2 months. When you’re ready to cook them, add the gnocchi to salted boiling water until they float (approximately 4-5 minutes).

**If you want to make a batch smaller or larger than this, a general rule is to use 1 medium-sized potato per serving. For each potato, use approximately ½ cup flour. Adjust as needed.

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