Thursday, March 21, 2013

40 Meatless Meals: Potato Gnocchi

The secret to keeping these dumplings light and fluffy is keeping the potatoes dry (by roasting instead of boiling, and spreading them out to cool) and handling them as little as possible (think pie crust).

If you wish to freeze the gnocchi, let dry on baking sheets 1–4 hours at room temperature, then transfer sheets to freezer for 45 minutes before placing the frozen gnocchi in a ziploc or other container. Boil as normal, straight from the freezer.

(Source: Cook's Illustrated Sept/Oct 2011)

Serves two to three as a main dish.
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ c plus 1 T all-purpose flour (4 oz by weight)
  • 4 tsp salt
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 450º. Prick potatoes all over and microwave about 10 minutes until slightly softened at ends, flipping halfway through. Place potatoes directly on the oven rack and back until skewer glides easily through, 18-20 minutes.

Peel potatoes while still hot, holding with an oven mitt or towel. Process through a ricer or food mill (do not mash) and spread out onto a cookie sheet to cool for 5 minutes.

Transfer 3 cups (1 lb) warm potatoes to a mixing bowl. Using fork, stir in egg gently until just combined. Sprinkle in flour and 1 tsp salt; gently combine with fork until no pockets of dry flour remain. Press mixture into a ball and knead gently on a lightly floured surface until smooth but slightly sticky, about 1 minute.

Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment and dust liberally with flour. Cut dough into eighths. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a half-inch rope and slice into ¾" pieces. Holding fork with tines facing down in one hand, press each piece against tines with the thumb of your other hand to create ridges. Transfer formed gnocchi to sheets.

To cook (from fresh or frozen), bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pot. Add remaining 3 tsps salt. Using the parchment paper, lower the gnocchi into the water one sheet at a time and cook until firm, about 90 seconds (gnocchi will float after about 60 secs). Repeat with remaining sheet of gnocchi. Serve with sauce below, or the pesto or sauce of your choice.


  • 3 T butter
  • 3 T flour
  • ¾ cup vegetable stock, or a combination of stock and white wine
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 2 oz Swiss cheese, shredded
  • salt and white pepper
Cook butter in a medium saucepan until well browned. Whisk in flour until combined. Whisk in the stock and cream and cook until thickened. Add sage and cheese and stir until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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