How to Make Gnocchi From Scratch

Dec 11, 2012 3:01 pm

Here's the easy way to make gnocchi

Photos: Gabi Porter
Photos: Gabi Porter
Use homemade gnocchi as the base for amazing dishes like this one: gnocchi with hen of the woods mushrooms and broccoli rabe.

Valtellina: where Italy meets Switzerland. Also, birthplace of East Village bistro Paprika chef/owner Egidio Donagrandi. Making gnocchi from scratch is one of his specialties — and he insists that it's easier than you ever could have imagined.

"When my mom makes gnocchi she starts at 11:30, and by 12:10 she has six orders on the table. When you think about it, how much time does it really take? I think it would take longer to walk to Whole Foods and purchase a package of it," says Donagrandi.

The secret is the way that the potatoes are boiled (or not). Simmer the potatoes with their skins intact, if you simmer them rather than boiling, they won't absorb a lot of water. The more water you have, the more flour you need and the chewier they'll be. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 5 pounds of Idaho or Russet potatoes (makes about 10 servings) 
  • 2 pounds all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting your surface
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 whole eggs, plus one yolk
boil and grate potatoes
Boil and grate potatoes

Boil the potatoes whole in their skins for 20 minutes or until fork-tender. Allow to cool to room temperature, slip off the skins and grate coarsely with a box grater.

How to Make Gnocchi From Scratch
Add flour

Add flour all at once, knead slightly to incorporate, then add the eggs, oil and salt and knead until a dough forms. 

How to Make Gnocchi From Scratch
Gather dough

Gather dough and knead until it's no longer crumbly, comes together and stops being sticky. Stop kneading here — do not overknead. Form the dough into a ball and allow to rest under a clean, damp dishcloth for 10-15 minutes.

cut the dough
Cut into portions

Cut the dough into even portions.

roll out dough
Roll out dough

Roll the portions into long, even ropes over a lightly floured surface to keep them from sticking. 

Cut into gnocchi
Cut into gnocchi

Slice the ropes into gnocchi using a sharp knife, refreshing the flour on the kneading surface if necessary. Toss with extra flour to coat and keep them from sticking together.

Boil the gnocchi

Lightly boil the gnocchi in abundant, heavily salted water for 30-40 seconds or until they float to the top. Remove immediately to an ice bath if not using right away, or transfer directly to a hot pan of sauce. 

Finish in the pan
Finish in the pan

Finish cooking the gnocchi for about a minute in a hot pan with the sauce of your choice and serve immediately. We use butter, hen of the woods mushrooms, blanched broccoli rabe leaves and a little Parmesan cheese.

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