I don’t make homemade gnocchi just for anybody- so if you are lucky enough to get some, you are very special to me. Making gnocchi from scratch is a true expression of love. Just like love, gnocchi requires good ingredients, time, a bit of skill, and passion. It simply cannot, by any means, be fake, forced, or overworked. If all goes well, you will have soft, pillowy, pasta that seduces and pleases, that makes you feel like you are floating on a cloud (in this case, made of flour and potatoes) when you eat it. Take some time and show a special someone how much you care with this true labour of love.
Prep Time: 50 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours
- 2 large russet potatoes, baked (approx. 2 cups)
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash the potatoes thoroughly with water to remove any dirt and dry. Place the potatoes on a foil-lined baking tray and prick with a fork, to allow steam to escape during the baking process. Bake the potatoes for 50-60 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes, or until soft in the center.
Let the potatoes cool slightly until you are able to handle them. Remove the flesh of the potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Grate the potatoes using the rough side of a box grater into the bowl. If you are lucky enough to have a potato ricer, press the dough through the ricer instead, as this creates lighter, fluffier gnocchi. Tip: Working with warm (i.e. not cold) potatoes during this step will make the grating much easier and create fluffier gnocchi.
Add the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg to the grated potato and mix until just combined (a few small lumps at this stage are okay). Make a well in the middle of the mixture, add the egg and combine slowly, until the dough comes together into a smooth ball. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour 1/4 cup at a time. Do not overwork the dough.
Cut the dough into quarters. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough out on the counter to form a long snake-like shape that is roughly 3 centimeters thick. Using a sharp, floured knife, cut the long piece of dough into pieces roughly 2 centimeters in width.
You can boil the gnocchi as is, or you can add grooves to the gnocchi. The grooves on the gnocchi allow them to pick up more sauce when cooked. To add grooves, you can use a gnocchi roller, pressing the dough into the board using your thumb and rolling down, allowing the dough to fold over itself and into the traditional gnocchi shape. If you do not have this kitchen gadget, you can create grooves using the back of a fork. To do this, flour the fork and using your thumb, press the dough into the tines of the fork. Roll the dough down the tines, pressing slightly to imprint the grooves into the dough. Repeat for the remaining dough.
To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to season the water. Once at a rolling boil, add the gnocchi and stir to ensure they do not stick together. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the gnocchi float to the top. Once the gnocchi begin to float, continue cooking for 2 minutes and drain. Add the gnocchi to your favourite sauce or fry the gnocchi to get a crispier version.