Happy quarantine, everyone! I’m sure that you, just like 90% of all other internet users have noticed a surge in people on social media platforms sharing the trials and tribulations of cooking at home. So far, I’ve seen many gnocchi videos and I thought, what the hell, why not jump on the bandwagon.
Though I have never made gnocchi in my life (much less been a super fan) I decided to give it a shot. Inspired by TikTok and my newfound urge to eat all the carbs, I got to peeling potatoes.
Though every cooking video makes cooking look so effortless and simple, I was actually pleasantly surprised that making gnocchi truly is as easy as it looks. With a handful of ingredients you can make something pretty magnificent! Honestly, I think any dude should master this dish because let’s face it, ladies love a guy who can cook and would most definitely fall helpless for a man that makes his own gnocchi….anyways, back to the process.
With four ingredients (potatoes, flour, ricotta and egg) you can create the perfect, carby vessel for any sauce your heart could imagine. You can pretty much dress up your gnocchi in any which way. You can even pan fry them a lil bit (post boil) if you want to add a bit of texture. So far, I’ve done the following sauces:
Lamb ragù with ricotta dollop
Pesto, walnut and bacon
Caramelized onions and brown butter
Fortunately, making gnocchi is relatively hassle free. Though I have made my fair share of pasta dough for tagliatelle and ravioli, dough can sometimes be finicky and require a special eye to realize that a little extra water or another egg is missing. This isn’t a problem with gnocchi. Everything miraculously comes together minutes after kneading.
The one thing I will say is that making gnocchi will become a little more time consuming if you decide to make super tiny pasta pieces… but, I tend to like a smaller gnocco and just consider it a labour of love and all in the territory.
Initially, I used Cradle Kitchen’s gnocchi recipe for my first batch. I was surprised at how easy it was to follow and appreciated that I used three basic ingredients that everyone always has on hand: potatoes, flour and egg. Though I enjoyed how my gnocchi turned out, I was a little bit curious to see what a ricotta based gnocchi would taste like and whether that would result in a softer, less dense texture. But, because I am lactose sensitive, I decided to mix potato and ricotta for my next batch so as not to be a total lactard!
As a result, I was very happy with the half potato and half ricotta mixture and found that it was a bit softer. I also opted to make smaller lil gnocchi pieces just out of preference. I think the sauce to starch ratio balances better when you have smaller pasta, in my opinion.
Though this was very much an activity born out of #quarantineboredom, I’m happy that I had the chance to test out making gnocchi from scratch! It made me realize how simple it can be to create something that tastes awesome. Plus, it freezes quite nicely too for lazier days… keep that in mind for when quarantine ends!
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* Makes 4 servings *
4 cups flour, plus more as you work the dough
2 cups potatoes (about four medium sized potatoes)
1 cup ricotta
Peel and boil your potatoes. Once they’re tender, drain the water and mash them. A potato ricer works really great to avoid any clumps left with a traditional masher. Let potatoes cool for a half hour in the fridge.
On a clean workspace, add flour and create a well.
Add cooled potato mash, eggs and ricotta to the well and mix.
Slowly begin incorporating the flour, working the dough until everything comes together—this will take a minute or two.
Set aside and flour your workspace. Cut small sections of your gnocchi dough and roll into ½ inch logs.
Cut bite-size pieces and lay on a floured sheet pan until ready to boil.
Boil for about 3-5 minutes or until the dumplings rise to the top of the water.
Toss into a sauce and voilà!
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I can’t wait to see what other cooking challenges come from quarantine! I think bread might be on my list next. What are you gonna be whipping up?