All Simple Vegetable Recipes

Potato Gnocchi


Gnocchi shares with souffles and pates an unfair reputation for being tricky and difficult to get right. In fact, making potato gnocchi is child's play, a bit like making pastry but less likely to go wrong. Like pastry, best results come from working with cold ingredients.

The ratio of potato to flour, eggs and butter or oil makes less difference if you use a waxy potato but do experiment. You may find you prefer more potato and less flour, or oil rather than butter in the mixture.

Gnocchi is very versatile. Traditionally it is served from a hot buttered dish with diners helping themselves to a grating of fresh Parmesan, but it can be varied by adding herbs, other vegetables or scraps of ham to the mixture. It is delicious fried up with bacon for breakfast.

Basic Mixture, serves 6-8:

  • 2 lbs (900 g) floury-variety potatoes

  • 10 oz (275 g) plain flour

  • 1 egg

  • 1 dsp olive oil

  • salt, pepper, pinch of nutmeg

  1. Boil the potatoes in their skins in well-salted water.

  2. Cool and skin. Dry mash, season and pile the potatoes on to a floured board.

  3. Make a well and add a small amount of the sifted flour, the egg and sprinkle on the olive oil.

  4. Quickly work the mixture to incorporate the flour, adding more as you do so.

  5. You will end up with a soft, light yet firm dough that is easy to mould.

  6. Leave it to rest for 20 minutes, while you put on a large pan of water to boil and butter a gratin dish ready to go into a warm oven.

  7. Divide the mixture in half and roll each half into a long thin sausage. Chop into 1-in (2.5-cm) pieces.

  8. Carefully roll each gnocchi round the prongs of a fork to make a slight curl.

  9. Poach the dumplings in small batches; they are done when they pop up to the surface and this takes about 5 minutes.

  10. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and keep warm in the gratin dish while you complete the cooking.

More about Potatoes Recipes

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