|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2g||3%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate 36g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||15%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Gnocchi (pronounced NYO-kee) are fluffy, Italian-style dumplings made of potatoes and flour. While they originated in Northern Italy, where potatoes grow well in the cooler climate, varieties of gnocchi are found in almost every region of the country. The word gnocchi is believed to derive from the Italian word nocca which translates as "knuckles," and if you look at these little dumplings, it's not surprising.
Every area of Italy has its own version of the dish. With their little nooks and crannies, they absorb sauces well. Gnocchi can be served simply, with melted butter and grated Parmesan cheese, or in a more complex preparation such as tomato sauce, basil, and mozzarella. It also happens to be delicious with sage and winter squash. It's a dumpling you can eat all year round.
The key to making good gnocchi is to use dry, mealy potatoes such as russets. Because the goal is to keep the potatoes as dry as possible, it's better to steam rather than boil them. If you choose to boil the potatoes, wait to peel and cut them until after they're cooked.
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 handful kosher salt, for cooking water
Gather the ingredients.
In a large soup pot of water fitted with a steamer insert or basket, bring the water to boil. Cover and steam the potatoes for 30 to 40 minutes or until they can be pierced with a knife.
Pass the cooked potatoes through a food mill or potato ricer. This method is preferable to mashing them by hand as it achieves a smooth, uniform texture. Avoid putting the potatoes in a food processor as this will make them too gummy.
Turn out the cooked potato mixture onto a lightly floured surface, and add about half of the flour.
Knead until you have a sticky mass.
Add more flour, a little at a time, and continue to knead until the dough is smooth. (You won't necessarily use all of the flour.)
Cut the dough into smaller sections. Roll each piece into a long cylinder about 1/2-inch in diameter.
Cut each cylinder into individual pieces about 3/4-inch in length.
Fill a large pot with water and generously salt the water with a good handful of kosher salt. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, shape the gnocchi by pressing each piece between your thumb and the tines of a fork, using a slight rolling motion. One side of the gnocchi should have the imprint of the fork and the other side a small indentation from your thumb.
When the water comes to a boil, drop the gnocchi into the water.
In about 2 minutes, the gnocchi will float to the surface of the water. Let them cook about fifteen seconds more.
Skim the gnocchi out with a slotted spoon and drain well. Serve immediately tossed in butter and Parmesan cheese, or with any of your favorite pasta or gnocchi sauces. Enjoy.
- You can boil the potatoes for gnocchi if you don't have a steamer basket or colander. But if you do, boil the potatoes whole, and leave the peels on so that they don't absorb a lot of water. Too much water will make the gnocchi gummy, rather than fluffy. Once the potatoes are cooked, let them cool just long enough so you can handle them, and then peel and proceed with the recipe by mashing the potatoes.
How to Store and Freeze Gnocchi
Fresh gnocchi is really best as soon as you make it, but it will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Keep it covered with a little bit of olive oil or sauce so they don't stick together. You can reheat them in small pot with some sauce or olive oil.
If you would like to freeze this gnocchi before you make it, place the dough on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. Freeze, and then transfer to zip-close freezer bags. Boil as directed in the recipe, allowing for an extra minute or two of cooking time.