- 50 minutes
- For 4 people
- 0.4 € / person
How to make Italian gnocchi or gnocchi .
A type of Italian pasta that is mainly made with potatoes and some basic ingredients that we will always have at home: a little flour, egg yolk and salt .
Starting from the basic recipe, it also admits a wide variety of ingredients such as ricotta cheese, spinach, pumpkin, banana, cassava, etc …
When tasting them, they are usually accompanied by the sauce that we like the most. The most frequent are tomato sauces, and those made with some type of cheese.
When we talk about Italian cuisine, everyone thinks of fresh Italian pasta , risotto or pizza , but gnocchi are also a traditional dish in the transalpine country.
Today we will find gnocchi already prepared in stores and supermarkets, ready to cook. But it is preferable to make them ourselves because, as it is always said, ” there is no color “.
They are made simply, with basic ingredients and special utensils are not necessary either.
A great advantage of this recipe is that it is perfect to make with children. The youngest of the house will have a great time making the dough for the gnocchi , and we will also start them in the world of cooking.
Before starting with the gnocchi. The potatoes
- When we go to buy the potatoes it is preferable that we choose them of a similar size, because then they will be cooked in the same way, all being at the same point.
- At home, the first step will be to wash the potatoes well, to remove any dirt or dirt they may bring.
- We cook them without peeling in abundant boiling water, for 20-25 minutes, depending on the hardness of the potatoes and their size.
- They are cooked with their skin to prevent them from absorbing water during cooking.
- After time, we prick the potatoes with a fork or similar to check if they are already done. We will know when when you puncture them, the utensil enters and leaves easily (the same as we do when we bake a cake).
- We remove from the casserole and let them rest 10-15 minutes, to be able to handle them without risk of burning.
- As soon as we can get our hands on them, peel them and put them to cool another 10 more minutes.
- It is important that the meat of the potato is warm, which will make it easier for us to handle the dough.
Preparation of dough and kneading of potato gnocchi or gnocchi
- With a mash or fork, mash the potatoes to make them a homogeneous puree, it is important that there are no lumps.
- We flour the table or the counter where we go to work with the ingredients.
- We also put a little flour in our hands so that the potato dough does not stick to us.
- With the mash we make a volcano and in the hole we add the salt, a little ground nutmeg (to the taste of each one, but don’t go overboard) and the beaten yolks of two eggs.
- We are mixing with the fingers little by little, incorporating flour in small amounts.
- We continue mixing and kneading with our hands adding the flour we need.
- Depending on the humidity of the potatoes, we may need more flour to achieve the final texture.
- We must get a homogeneous mass, without lumps or hard parts, that is flexible, soft and we do not find it difficult to knead it. Nor will it stick to our fingers. We make a ball and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- We separate a little dough and with the help of our hands we spread it out making a cylinder, which we will cut into portions (which will be the gnocchi) of 2 cm. of size.
- We repeat the process with more portions of dough, until completely finished.
Potato gnocchi or gnocchi shape
- The gnocchi can be left plain as is or give them their typical striped mark.
- There is a special wooden utensil for this, although if we do not have it we can do something similar with the help of a fork.
- We take a gnocchi, press against the part of the fork’s teeth and rotate it, leaving a hole inside and some grooves or stripes on the outside.
- If you like them rounder, it will be enough to roll each gnocchi and then give it the final shape.
- After all the process is finished we are going to give you the simple finishing touch.
Cooking gnocchi or potato gnocchi
- In a saucepan with boiling water and salt (in the usual proportions for pasta: 10 g. Of salt per liter) we are pouring gnocchi in small amounts. For example 10 in 10, so they have enough space and do not stick together.
- At first they will go to the bottom of the pot. After a while, we will check that they rise and begin to float on the surface.
- That is the ideal cooking point. Remove with a slotted spoon and repeat with the rest of the gnocchi.
And they will be ready to add the sauce that we like the most.
You can see all the step by step photos of this recipe for potato gnocchi in this album.
Tips for some fluffy gnocchi
- As soon as you finish making them, you must boil them immediately. When the gnocchi dough rests it moistens and asks for more flour, so that when they are cooked they would be hard as a stone.
- If many have come out you can freeze them before cooking. They are first placed on a tray in the freezer, and after 50-60 minutes they will be cold enough not to stick together.
- We will then transfer them to a bag or lunch box and back to the freezer. If you want to do it in a more professional way you can also bleach them. We boiled them in a saucepan for a minute, strained them and cooled them in a bowl with cold water.
- Strain them and add a splash of extra virgin olive oil. The rest would be the same as if you freeze them as is, but you will get a better result.
- When we want to cook them they do not need defrosting. We put them to cook directly in the boiling water as if they were freshly made.
- If you want to give your touch, instead of potato you can prepare a puree with another vegetable (those of pumpkin or beets are very famous).
- It is important that you use it warm when you put it together with the flour. If the puree is cold, you may have lumps. If you dare with this option, the amount of flour it carries is 30% of the weight of the puree, that is, if you make 700 g. of puree you will need approximately 210 g. of wheat flour.
Origin and history of gnocchi
- Its origin dates back to the 19th century (1880), when an historical event occurred in Italy that led to its creation. The feudal lords were the owners of the mills where the peasants ground the wheat, which they then used to make pasta.
- At that time the “signori” decided to increase the price of use of the mills, causing the flour to considerably increase its price.
- Faced with this perspective, the farmers successfully replaced the flour with the mashed potatoes, and the “Gnocchis” emerged , a name that in Italian means “buns” or “pellets” . They began to prepare in the Northwest of Italy and from there they later spread to the rest of the country.
- Another country where they are very popular is Argentina , where they arrived thanks to Italian emigrants and it is traditional to eat them on the 29th of each month .
- That day the Argentines put a ticket under the plate to attract luck and prosperity. In Uruguay and Paraguay its consumption is also very widespread.