Easy Potato Gnocchi

I had always watched fancy cooking shows where recipes like this were made, but when I realized how easy it was to make them, how much the kids liked them, how versatile they were to use – well, I had to.

I made a batch of dough and prepared them two ways.

Caramelized Portabella and Sweet Onion and Basil Pesto – so very good.

Gnocchi

//Ingredients//

5 large potatoes, gold are my favorite

1 egg,  lightly beaten

salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup of flour (more for dusting your work surface)

1 tsp fresh nutmeg

//Optional//

1 medium onionplus 2 cloves of garlic and 8 baby bella mushrooms

pesto (fresh or store bought, Sam’s Club brand is great)

//Method//

Peel all of the potatoes. Fill a large pot with cold water. Salt the water, then cut potatoes in half and place them in the pot. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender throughout, this takes about 30 minutes.

Remove the potatoes from the water one at a time with a slotted spoon and place into a large bowl.  Work quickly with the potatoes, so that you can mash them when they are still hot. Process the potatoes through a ricer, pulse them in a food processor or mash them with the tines of a fork – no need to make things more complicated eh? The end result is that you have an even consistency and no big lumps.

Let the potato mash cool in the bowl – about ten minutes. When you are ready, drizzle the potatoes with the beaten egg and sprinkle 3/4 cup of the flour across the top. Incorporate the flour and eggs into the potatoes with the egg incorporated throughout – use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to make quick work of it. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and fold the ingredients together, until the mixture is a light crumble. Then knead the dough with your hands, very gently.

Here, you can add more flour (a sprinkle at a time) if the dough is too sticky. The dough should be still be moist, but it should be fairly easy to handle; not tacky. Cut the dough into 8 pieces. Now gently roll each 1/8th of dough into a snake-shaped log, roughly the thickness of your thumb. Use a knife to cut pieces every 3/4-inch. Dust with a bit more flour.

To shape the gnocchi hold a fork in one hand and place a gnocchi pillow against the tines of the fork, cut ends out.

Gnocchi Fork

Lightly, use your thumb and press in and down the length of the fork. The gnocchi should curl into a slight “C” shape, the back will have ridge marks from the tines of the fork. Set each gnocchi aside, dust with a bit more flour if needed, until you are ready to boil them. This step takes some practice, don’t get frustrated – sometimes I just cut them and don’t bother with the tines and ridges; they’re just as good in the shapes of little square plain pillows.

Bring a fresh pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the gnocchi about ten at a time. They will float to the top of the pot when they are ready. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon, and place them on a waiting platter.

Combine with your sauce or accompanying ingredients of choice – fresh sauteed garlic spinach, pesto, caramelized mushrooms and onions, fresh grated parmesan and a splash of cream with fresh cracked black pepper — the options are endless!

Serves ~ 8

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