Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 3 - Homemade Gnocchi

So after I put that pierogi dough away (or threw it away--which is what really happened), I remembered that I still had mashed potatoes in the refrigerator. My goal was to make pierogies for dinner and then have extra for the freezer. And that will happen. Today. Or tomorrow. Or this week. If it kills me. But with the darned dough that always turns out but is such a pain to work with. ;)

But I needed a quick, easy dinner because DH and I lingered around like lazy people in bed all day watching tv (dh) and reading (me). This is partly because my living room had been taken over by teenage boys, and while I love them, they are kind of loud and rowdy, and I was in a quiet type of mood.

But I digress.

Food. Teenage boys get hungry fast. And while my son is on board with the whole vegetarian for a year thing--he often eats that way anyway--I wasn't sure how the others would fare. So I needed something quick and filling. And I had those mashed potatoes in the fridge. So some quick thinking came up with the gnocchi.

And as I pulled out my favorite recipe for gnocchi, I realized that the gnocchi recipe is almost exactly the same recipe as my pierogi dough recipe. Which explains A LOT. That dough is great for little potato pillows...but it doesn't roll out well--it is just too sticky.

So here is the basic gnocchi recipe. Which is really, really easy. You should try it.

Homemade Gnocchi
8 servings

  • 3 cups cold mashed potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour (you can use a little more if it is too sticky, but it probably won't mashed potatoes are always almost solid when they are cold and a 1:1 ratio of potatoes to flour works well for me)
  1. In a large pot, bring a potful (Ü) of water to a boil. In a medium bowl, combine potatoes, eggs, and salt. Mix well. Add flour and mix until dough begins to form into a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured countertop. Knead lightly until smooth.
  2. Divide dough in half, and divide each half into 6 equal portions (I find this easier to do in 2 batches). Roll each portion into a 1/2-inch thick rope. Line each rope up next to each other (leave about 1/2 an inch in between each rope).
  3. Using a pizza cutter, cut each log into 3/4-inch pieces, forming little pillow shaped dumplings.
  4. Carefully drop gnocchi into boiling water. Once gnocci rise to the surface, cook 2 minutes. Drain and serve with your favorite marinara sauce.
Pampered Chef has some extra sauce ideas that I will share, well, because they are quite yummy. We used pasta sauce that I canned last summer for last night's gnocchi, though. And those boys pretty much ate it all. And the one who doesn't like tomatoes gobbled his up with butter, salt, and pepper. Success!

Homemade Gnocchi Cooking Away on the Stove

Gnocchi with Walnut Pesto
  • 1/2 recipe homemade gnocchi
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  1. Place walnuts in a microwave safe dish. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring after each 30-second interval. Cool completely. Chop walnuts and basil together. Combine basil mixture, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Add pesto to cooked gnocchi; mix gently. Spoon onto serving plates. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over gnocchi.
Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter
  • 1/2 recipe homemade gnocchi
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp snipped fresh sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh Romano cheese
  • Black pepper
  • Additional sage leaves
  1. Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sage and cook 1 minute or until butter just begins to brown. Add cooked gnocchi. Cook without stirring 4-5 minutes or until gnocchi are golden brown on one side.
  2. Remove from skillet; spoon onto plates. Top with grated cheese, black pepper and garnish with additional sage.

Gnocchi with Homemade Pasta Sauce

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