For people who have never tried, making gnocchi seems like the most difficult task in the kitchen. It’s actually quite simple, and making these wonderful pillows of pasta was something I did on Sundays with my mom and my Grandma Suzanne. I’ve passed down this tradition to my own boys, who love peeling the potatoes, working the vegetable grinder, and rolling the gnocchi.
Proper gnocchi calls for proper potatoes. Use Russets or Idaho potatoes. Both are starchy, granular in texture, drier than others, and hold less water. Other potatoes, like yukon gold or new potatoes, absorb too much flour and end up turning into little lumps.
Ingredients for 6 people
2 lb Russet potatoes
1 small egg, beaten
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1 pinch of sea salt
3 cups all purpose flour
Preheat the oven at 400°F.
Wash the potatoes under running water to remove any dirt and bake in one layer on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 40 minutes or until soft. While the potatoes are still warm but cool enough to handle, peel the skins off. Use a paper towel to hold the potato, if necessary.
Push the potatoes through the potato ricer, or a vegetable grinder, onto your cutting board (or counter top) and shape into a well. Transfer the potato mixture to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Sprinkle the counter top with flour, add the potato, and add a beaten egg into the center of the potato well. If you want, add parmesan cheese.
Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes and shape your gnocchi dough into a ball. Let sit for 30 minutes (in the meantime, prepare the sauce of your choice). Cut the dough into 4 even sections. Take one section at a time and roll into logs, about 12 in. long and 1 in. thick. Cut the log into 1/2 inches pieces and flick each piece off a fork (see video for help).
Drop the gnocchi into a big pot of salted boiling water. Once they float to the surface, they’re ready. Do not overcrowd the pot. Drain the gnocchi with a spider or in a colander and serve them hot with the warm gorgonzola sauce or a tomato sauce.
Adeline’s Tip: You can make the gnocchi in advance and freeze them in a Ziploc bag. When you’re ready to eat them, just drop the frozen gnocchi into the boiling pot of salted water.
About Adeline: Adeline Borra is a private French chef and culinary instructor at Cook’s Warehouse. Born in Montpellier, France and raised in the wine region of Burgundy, she’s trained in high-profile kitchens across France and Spain. After spending three years in Torino, Italy, she and her family moved to Atlanta in 2006. Learn more, visit macuisinebyadeline.com.