Monday, June 3, 2019

Potato Gnocchi




Potato Gnocchi are soft and delicate dumplings made from a mixture of cooked potatoes, flour, egg, and seasonings.  They have always been among my husband's favorite pasta, but, truthfully I  don't make them that often.  I usually make ricotta gnocchi--see my recipe for them on this link--as they are equally delicious and slightly easier to prepare.  

However, since my husband was celebrating a milestone birthday this past weekend, I wanted to treat him to his absolute favorite.  We had a busy Saturday of attending our grandson's lacrosse tournament games, so I began the process early in the day.



Potato Gnocchi Recipe:

This will make about 150 gnocchi depending on the size of your potatoes and the size you make the gnocchi. I froze half to use for later.

Ingredients:

3 lb. russet potatoes (about 6 medium), scrubbed
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, more for kneading and rolling if needed
2  large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper -- optional
1/4 cup parmesan cheese -- optional


Preparation:

Potato gnocchi is simple to make, just a little time-consuming in that there are multiple steps to do to prepare them.  When I make them I try to make a double batch so I can freeze half of them for another time.  The important part of the process is choosing the right potato. An older, more starchy potato is best.  A russet or Idaho brand is great.  Many recipes say to boil the potatoes first, but I found baking them is better. The less moisture the cooked potato retains, the less flour is needed in the preparation and the lighter and better tasting the gnocchi will be.   I bake them in a hot oven until fork tender. Then I place them on a metal sheet and cut slashes in them so any steam can escape. I then allow them to cool and peel them. My husband usually will rice the whole potatoes for me as it takes a little hand power--see the photo in the collage above.  You could also use a food mill. The important step is to make the cooked potato light and fluffy. Then add the beaten egg,  the flour, and the seasonings. Lightly mix with your hands until the dough comes together.  Do not over mix.  I place the dough on a floured surface and lightly fold over and over--do not use pressure as you would when making bread.  You want to make the dough smooth but not hard.  I break off a handful portion and cover the rest of the dough with a towel while I work.  Roll a handful of dough into a one-inch thick ribbon shape and cut about one-inch pieces.  I roll those pieces on a gnocchi paddle so that they get grooves which helps to hold the sauce. You can use a fork to lightly press grooves into the dough or leave them smooth. I lay the gnocchi on trays covered with lightly floured parchment paper.



I worked fast, and my gnocchi are not perfect in size or shape, but perfection is not that important as they will still taste delicious! With 6 medium russet potatoes I made 150 gnocchi, so I divided them and froze one tray.  After the gnocchis were frozen I placed them in a freezer bag for future use.  

Hint: If you cook frozen gnocchi it is best to use two pots of boiling water to cook them, adding half to each pot, so they won't cool the water and break apart with longer cooking time.

We had to now attend our grandson's game, so I covered the other tray with plastic and placed them in the refrigerator until we returned home.



When we returned I boiled 6 quarts of water and added two tablespoons of salt. When the water returned to a full boil I began adding the gnocchi dumplings one by one until about half of the gnocchi from the tray was in the pot to avoid overcrowding.



As you can see, as the gnocchi cook they begin to rise up to the top of the water.  It takes about 3 to 4 minutes depending on the size of your gnocchi.  When they rise to the top you can begin to scoop them out to a bowl, using a strainer or a slotted spoon.  As I remove the cooked gnocchi I keep adding more from the tray until they are all cooked. 


I then gently mix in my cooked sauce over the gnocchi.  I added a heated tomato sauce that I previously made, that had fresh basil, roasted garlic, and some ground dried Calabrian red pepper added to it, which is my husband's favorite way to eat them.  Gnocchi is also good served with a meaty tomato sauce, a creamy tomato sauce, or a butter and sage type sauce. Each sauce adds an entirely different taste experience to them, which makes them very versatile.



I serve the prepared gnocchi with grated parmesan cheese on top--delicious!  



My husband really enjoyed them, and we were happy our grandson played well in his lacrosse games making great passes from the defense which resulted in goals for his team, a happy day for all!


The next day we celebrated with the entire family at a local Italian restaurant. To be gifted with a new decade of life is a blessing! In Italian, we cheer a birthday with the saying "Cent'anni!" which means "may you live for 100 years," which is what I wish for my husband.


This sign hanging in the restaurant caught my eye, and  I could not agree more.  Family means so much to us and we feel blessed to be able to enjoy these special occasions together.



This collage shows what else has been happening in Colorado this week.  We have had more than the normal snowpack and rain this winter and spring. For the first time in nineteen years, there are no areas of drought in our state. Sadly, though, there are concerns about flooding in certain areas of the state when warmer temperatures bring snowmelt. We are hoping for the best and hoping all the moisture we received will cut down on forest fires this summer. 
Happily, the local deer are now giving birth to their fawns.  This lucky Mother had triplets!  It is always a joy to see new life.


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31 comments:

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Happy Birthday to your handsome hubby! And you have to love a man that can cook. (mine can too!) Thanks for sharing the recipe, it's something I've never tried to make. Enjoy your week...hugs to you both!

Ruth Hiebert said...

That special meal sounds yummy. I have never had gnocchi. Love the last picture with the triplets.

NCSue said...

Quite a feast!
Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/06/pop-art-i-dont-get-it.html

Lydia C. Lee said...

Good for you. I've helped the kids make gnocci at school but never at home! Too lazy. Tastes delicious tho!

Tom said...

...new to me! Those fawns are a delight, thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week.

ellen b. said...

Happy Birthday to your dear husband. Those gnocchi look amazing!

William Kendall said...

I'd enjoy that dish.

The new family are a good sight to see.

likeschocolate said...

Looks wonderful! I really like my gnocchi with brown butter and sage.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Savory!

Linda said...

Pure LOVE through and through!!!

Lady Fi said...

How delicious! And happy belated birthday!

Angie said...

Pat - your hubby does not look his age! We all should be so blessed. How wonderful to prepare his favorite meal, and I think it's terrific that he helped you. Belated happy birthday from Mosaic Monday! I am so glad that Colorado is drought free - I think I would rather deal with flooding than fires. Thanks for linking up, my Rocky Mountain friend!

eileeninmd said...

Hello pat,

Happy Birthday to your husband. The gnocchi looks delicious! Wishing you a happy day!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Happy birthday to your husband! Thanks for the recipe!!

fredamans said...

Thank you for the recipe!

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I didn't think about the abundant rain we had in California, too, may make for fewer forest fires this year. PG&E made a recent decree that it will turn off power in any area that's at high risk for fire until it passes. We'll see how that goes. I enjoyed reading your recipe for gnocchi. I'm ready to eat. :-)

Jeanie said...

That looks so delicious! And what a perfect birthday dinner. I think I'll need to copy this one down (and share it with my cousin, world's biggest gnochi fan!)

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Now that is what I call a true labor or love. A belated happy birthday to your sweet husband, I'm sure he enjoyed the gnocchi. You are right, being together with family is wonderful.

betty-NZ said...

Happy birthday, Hubby! I love potatoes in any form and your special dish sounds so good! I will have to try your recipe soon. :)
The doe and fawns are so special and adorable, too.

I'm so glad you are a part of 'My Corner of the World' this week!
My Corner of the World

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Happy Birthday to your husband!!! It doesn’t look his age so you are keeping him young.
I love gnocchi but there are so few places to get it, yours looks delicious.
I love the photos of the fawns. They look they are in a safe space. My sister worked in Yellowstone Park the last two years. The birthing of elk calves happens as the same time as the emergence of bears from hibernation and that didn’t work out for a lot of the calves. Bears got to eat I guess.

Natasha said...

That look lip-smackingly delicious. Thank you for sharing and thank you so much for linking up with Esha- The Sky Girl and me for #WordlessWednesday. Thank you for sharing the detailed recipe too. Happy birthday to your DH. Have a blessed year!

handmade by amalia said...

Oh, wow! I love gnocchi and have never tried making them myself. I should give yours a try, they look amazing.
Amalia
xo

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Those triplets are super-cute! I like the birthday wish "may you live to 100!" Luckily, seems like more and more people are doing that these days. Have a great weekend!

Natasha Mairs - Serenity You said...

I love gnocchi, but have never tried making my own x

Linda at Apron Strings & other things said...

I have a teen aged son who loves gnocci and he's been wanting to try making them from scratch - thank you for this fantastic tutorial! Can't wait to let him have a try at it.
And thanks for joining us this week at our Encouraging Hearts & Home blog hop - enjoy your weekend!

Louca por porcelana said...

We love gnocchi too,yours looks great!Happy Birthday to your husband!Hugs!

Lowcarb team member said...

Happy Birthday Wishes for your husband.
The gnocchi looks great.
Loved seeing all of your photographs.

All the best Jan

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Pat!

Your Gnocchi looks delicious. I hope your Hubby had a very happy Birthday!

The deer and twins are so cute, what wonderful visitors. Wonderful photos.
Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day, have a happy weekend. PS, thanks for leaving me a comment.

Molly said...

Now my tummy is rumbling

Mollyx

diane b said...

You are such a fabulous cook thanks for sharing. I'll get Bill to try it. WE don't have a potato ricer would a fine grater work?

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 1! Pinned ♥