I tried gnocchi for the first time a couple of weekends ago. It was at a restaurant and they weren’t the light pillows of deliciousness that I expected. They were dense and a bit chewy. Thinking I could do better, I was determined to give gnocchi making a go. Pronounced nyo-key and translates to lumps, but may have come from the words nocchio or nocca which mean knot (in wood) or knuckle. Commercial gnocchi look more like fat grubs than knuckles. Gnocchi isn’t familiar to me so I’m not sure if it’s considered a pasta or a dumpling and a quick search online suggests that it might be both.
I did a little research and found Cook Almost Anything’s Ultimate Gnocchi article an amazing guide for new gnocchi makers to work with. Apparently, too much flour leads to heavy gnocchi and with the fear of creating chewy bullets, I overcompensated. I made my dough with less flour than suggested. My gnocchi wasn’t so soft it disintegrated in water, but they were really, really light and soft. Is there such thing as gnocchi that is too light?
I used 4 medium potatoes a little salt and 100 grams of sifted flour. Nothing else and in hindsight, I could have done with a little more flour for a slightly denser texture. Next time, I’m going to go for 4 medium potatoes and 120 grams or just a touch over 1 cup of flour.
I don’t have a ricer, so I used a spoon spoon and a sieve. The dough was really nice and smooth and wasn’t difficult to form at all.
I fried some bacon, chopped up a leek and sweated them, added the leeks to the bacon, then added cream to the lot to go with the gnocchi.
cloudy pillows of deliciousness! glad yours went better than the restaurant version – looks good
You were very patient using a strainer, I remember when I didn’t have a potato ricer how long it took to make them… good on you! What kind of potatoes did you use? In NZ I find Agria (old) the best for gnocchi, although some floury Maori blue potatoes are good too.
Yeah, the spoon/strainer combo was very tiring. Think of it as a good work out!
I used old potatoes and they were just the “white washed” type we buy at the supermarket. I don’t know why they don’t tell us what kind they are. I guess they figure it doesn’t matter?
Maori blue would be very cool! I wonder if kumara gnocchi is a possibility too?
Great post. I’ve tried making gnocchi once before but they didn’t turn out as I’d hoped. That recipe didn’t involve a sieve so will definitely be trying again now – thanks for the tips! Great winter dish too with potato, leeks and bacon – sounds delicious!
Make sure you read the link I posted for more tips. The sieve is hard work so get a ricer if you can.
you should try ricotta gnocci – so quick easy light and delicious !! donna hay has a good recipe …
I’ve actually never used ricotta. I see lots of blogs mentioning this wonderful thing but it’s on my list of ingredients to play with.
for flavor you could use sweet potato or pumpkin or butternut squash. i think the lighter the better, mainly so you can eat more. 🙂 you final version looks fantastic.
I love sweet potato (we call it kumara here) but I’m not a fan of pumpkin. Sweet potato would be a great one to experiment with. What sauces go well with sweet potato?
lol. Lighter so you can eat more? I love your logic. ☺