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To be honest, friends, I have had “Make Homemade Gnocchi” on my to-try list for a couple of years. But I haven’t tried it. Because, well, they intimidate the heck out of me. But my man (and my kiddos, incidentally) love yummy italian food, so I finally took the plunge and made a big ol’ batch of pillowy, potato goodness. We ate some of it and froze the rest. And oh my goodness. Seriously goodness. Paired with a little jar of homemade pesto, this would make a seriously yummy Guy Gift!
A word of caution- you should know before you start that this is not a low maintenance endeavor. It’s messy. And these little gems are finicky. Oh, and there is a fair amount of hot potato handling involved.
I used the “How to Make Gnocchi like an Italian Grandma” directions at 101 cookbooks. What a fantastic resource!
*This recipe makes four batches of gnocchi for gifting. Or three gift batches and dinner. 🙂
4 pounds of russet potatoes
1/2 cups beaten eggs
2 cups flour, separated
Cut the potatoes in half and boil in salted water for 40-50 minutes (I did 40).
Take out one half of a potato at a time and peel with a paring knife. They’re HOT- get your ninja fingers ready. Continue one potato at a time until they’re all peeled.
Shred the still-hot potatoes with a potato ricer (if you don’t have a potato ricer, you can shred them with a fork… but don’t mash them).
Spread out on a cookie sheet and let cool for 15 minutes or so.
Beat the egg. Drizzle half of a cup of the egg and sprinkle a cup and a half of the flour on the riced potatoes.
Use a pastry cutter to cut in egg and flour.
Using a metal spatula, scrape underneath and fold, scrape underneath and fold until the mixture is a crumble.
Knead dough with more flour (lightly, 101 cookbooks said “gently, with a feather touch.” I don’t know exactly what that means… but you should know that she says that). I ended up using the other half a cup of flour here.
Cut your flattened dough mound into sixteen equal-ish shares- in half lengthwise, in half widthwise and then everything in half again so you have sixteen parts.
Pick up one of the dough pieces with floured hands and role out like a snake until it’s about the diameter of your thumb.
Sprinkle more flour on your snake-dough-piece. Then cut every 3/4″ or so until you have a whole line of little potato pillows.
Press each potato pillow onto the top of a fork. If your gnocchi is too sticky to handle, add a little flour.
Your gnocchi is ready to cook or freeze! To freeze, line up your gnocchi pieces on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and put in the freezer.
Also, here are the cooking directions (in case you’re going the three-batches-and-dinner route)- Place about twenty gnocchi pieces in a pot of salted, boiling water. They pop back up when they’re done. Fish them out with a slotted spoon and serve on a platter with a swirl of pesto (or your favorite sauce).
Wrap up and give away! I made up little printable tags for the gnocchi (you can download them here). There’s also a pesto label and cooking directions, you know, just to be thorough.