Another recipe that is a super classic in Italy: potato gnocchi (dumplings). This time I used a dressing of bolognese sauce but I also love them with a sauce made of mascarpone cheese and blue cheese, half of each and simply melted together.
Gnocchi are healthy and tasty, they are very easy to make and when freshly made they are 100 times better than store bought! There is only one trick: pick the right potatoes!
In Italy you should buy potatoes with white flesh, or simply the ones that say “per gnocchi”, these potatoes are also called “farinose”, that means floury. In the US the best potatoes I used are Idaho potatoes, but you can try with any kind of floury potato. In Germany I buy the potatoes that say “mehlig kochende Kartoffeln”, and again “mehlig” means floury.
The right potato allow you to use very little flour, and little flour makes your gnocchi softer, tastier and lighter to digest.
The following recipe is for 4 people
- 800 gr floury potatoes
- 250 gr flour (more if needed)
- 1 heaped teaspoon salt
- Bolognese sauce or your favorit sauce
- grated parmesan to top
The potatoes should be more or less the same size so they will cook in the same time. Wash the potatoes, transfer to a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil (Picture 1). Boil the potatoes until you can easily poke them with a fork, it will take between 30 and 45 minutes. Boil the potatoes in unsalted water, salt tends to break up the potatoes and you want them to stay in one piece so they won’t soak water.
Drain the potatoes and mash thinly.
Sift the flour in a large bowl, add the salt and make a well. Transfer the mashed potatoes inside the well when they are still warm (Picture 2).
Knead the dough until you can form a smooth ball, and cutting it in half it looks porous but there are no holes or tears (Picture 3).
Divide the dough, and one piece at a time roll it on a floured surface and form a cilinder, it should be about 2/3 inch (1.5 cm) thick. Now cut your cilinder in pieces about 5/6 inch (2 cm) long.
Lay your gnocchi on a well floured surface while you work the rest of the dough. It’s best to use a cutting board to lay your gnocchi, so it will be easier to drop them in the water for cooking.
Start warming your chosen sauce.
Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Drop the gnocchi in the boiling water. When the gnocchi are ready they float, they cook in few minutes (2-4 minutes). Drain them with a skimmer and transfer to the pan with the sauce.
Mix well, add the grated parmesan and serve.
And here is another version we made just last night, topped with cheese sauce made of heavy cream, mascarpone cheese and brie cheese, and a pinch of nutmeg, everything melted together just until bubbly.