Super Easy Homemade Gnocchi ~ this light pasta dumpling recipe is made with fluffy baked potato in the dough and is the only homemade pasta I’ve found that is actually easy to make!
One of my most devastating failures in the kitchen this past year involved a batch of homemade gnocchi.
I think it was sometime last fall or winter. It’s taken me a long time to get over the sight of those slimy globs of dough that were supposed to be fluffy little pillows of fresh pasta. Happily it seems I was able to put all that behind me and carry on…these classic homemade gnocchi are fantastic
There are lots of different types of gnocchi dough, some enriched with spinach, ricotta, or even the ill-fated butternut squash. These are made with fluffy baked potato scooped out of its skin and blended with flour into a sublime nutmeg scented dough.
I love nutmeg, and I look for any excuse to use it. Gnocchi is pretty much a blank slate, so whatever you season it with really shines.. I’m going to be a purist today—my gnocchi are going to swim in a Fresh Tomato Sauce loaded with basil.
This turned out to be an easy and satisfying project. Depending on your mood you can be an Italian grandmother carrying on a thousand year old tradition, or a kindergartner at the play-dough table. Either way it’s cool.
The dough gets kneaded for just a few minutes, long enough to be enjoyable, but not so long that it’s a drag. Then the fun begins, you roll out slim snakes of dough, and chop them into inch long bits.
Lay them out on a baking tray, sprinkle them with flour, and you can either cook them right away, or freeze them.
If you’re going to freeze them, put them in the freezer right on the tray for about 30 minutes until they’re hard, and then pack them in heavy zip lock baggies. When you want to cook them, all you have to do is pop them straight into boiling water directly from the freezer.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste
- 2 russet potatoes (mine weighed about 1 1/2 lbs)
- 1 egg yolk
- Set oven to 400F
- Whisk the flour, nutmeg, salt, and pepper together and set aside.
- Wash and prick the potato skins. Bake for about an hour, or until they are fully cooked and soft when you insert a fork.
- Let them cool for a couple of minutes, then cut them in half lengthwise.
- Using a fork, scoop out the potato into a bowl, you want the potato to be fluffy, without large lumps. (You can do this ahead of time if you want to)
- Add the egg yolk to the potatoes, working in with the fork until combined. Keep the fluffy texture going.
- Add the flour to the potato and egg, working with your hands to combine it together into a dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it for 3 or 4 minutes, until smooth.
- Break off about a fifth of the dough and gently roll it out into a long rope, about 3/4 inch thick.
- Cut the rope into 1 inch bits, and place on a baking sheet. Dust with flour.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough. Now you are ready to cook, or freeze the gnocchi.
- To freeze, set the tray right in the freezer and let set for 30 minutes, then pop the gnocchi into freezer bags. They can be cooked from frozen in the same way as fresh; don't defrost.
- To cook, boil a large pot of salted water and cook the gnocchi in batches for just 2 minutes. They will rise to the surface when they are done.
- Serve hot with your favorite sauce, or just add butter and cheese.
- This recipe uses 2 russet potatoes. Mine weighed 1 1/2 lbs, so I used 1 cup of flour. If yours weigh more like 2 lbs, use 1 1/4 cups of flour.
- I’m really happy with these, they turned out light and delicious, and I love the option of freezing them in portion sizes. Compared to lots of other recipes out there, this one is very easy and straightforward, it’s going to be the base for further experimentation this winter. Hope you try it!