So, you’ve made your own homemade pasta and couldn’t believe how easy it was. Or you can’t be bothered to go out and buy yourself a pasta roller – what next? Potato Gnocchi. An easy alternative to pasta, which works will all the same sauces.
The key to this recipe is to keep the potatoes dry. If you try to reuse mashed potatoes or boil up your potatoes, you won’t be able to achieve a stiff consistency which holds it’s own when boiled. Consistency is everything, and mashing your potatoes with a ricer is by far the most effective way.
Herbs have been added for interest – these are entirely optional but add them if possible
These potato dumplings are great and store really well in the freezer. This recipe makes enough for 4 hungry adults, so scale up accordingly. If you want to freeze them, chill them in the fridge on a tray, then transfer to the freezer. When frozen, just drop into a bag. When reheating, you can defrost or cook from frozen – just expect them to take a little longer!
- 750g Potatoes, washed, skins on
- 300g (ish) Pasta Flour
- 2 Egg Yolks
- plenty of Salt & Pepper
- a little fresh Nutmeg, grated
- Finely chopped Parsley or Basil (optional)
- Microwave your potatoes until very well cooked
- Process the potatoes into a large bowl either by scooping out the filling with a spoon and mashing, or pushing the whole potatoes through a ricer – the skins should stay on the inside!
- Add about 3/4 of the flour, plenty of salt & pepper, nutmeg and chopped herbs and mix well with a fork or with your hands
- Add the egg yolks and continue to mix until combined. You are looking to create a stiff dough – if the mixture remains sticky continue to add a little more of the flour. If you add too much flour, the gnocchi will be very dense. Too little and they will disintegrate in the pan
- When combined, tip the mixture out onto a floured board and start to knead like bread/pasta. Continue to 5 minutes or so, adding extra flour if necessary
- Leave to rest for 5-10 minutes
- Cut the mixture into 4, and roll each quarter out into a long ‘sausage’, about as thick as your thumb
- Cut each sausage into ‘bite sized’ lengths, approx 3cm works well and will produce around 60-70 gnocchi
- Use a fork to mark one side of the gnocchi – this creates a pattern to which the sauce will stick
- Set the gnocchi to one side until ready to use
- Bring a large pan of salted water to a gentle boil
- Add the gnocchi in batches – don’t try to over-crowd the pan (I stick to batches no larger than 15)
- The gnocchi immediately sink to the bottom. After about a minute they’ll start to rise and fall. When they’re staying on the surface of the water, they are ready to remove with a slotted spoon. From dropping into the pan, this shouldn’t really take any more than 2 minutes. It’s best to try a sample batch with a couple of dumplings just to get your timings right
- If the gnocchi start to disintegrate in the pan, they’ve either got too little flour or they’ve been cooked for too long. Either way, just mark this down to experience…
- If the gnocchi have too much flour, they’ll take a little longer to cook and be more dense. Don’t worry – they’ll be fine to eat
- Once cooked, toss all of the gnocchi in your chosen sauce and serve. Alternatively, put the gnocchi/sauce mixture in the oven or under the grill with some cheese to heat through