Gnocchi for an easy and fast weekday meal

Gnocchi are delicious dumplings made with a mixture of wheat semolina (or durum wheat flour), potatoes, eggs and salt. They are ideal for a quick but nutritious meal any day of the week.

Today we will show you how to make the dough for gnocchi, how to form the dumplings and how to preserve them.

How to make gnocchi  

There are countless gnocchi recipes easy using varied ingredients, from pumpkin to spinach. However, making the classic Italian-style potato gnocchi at home is quite easy and they turn out to be much tastier than those sold in the supermarket.

For preparing the dough you’ll need:

  • 500 g of white potatoes, the same you use to make mashed potatoes and french fries.
  • 1 whole egg.
  • ½ tablespoon of salt.
  • 110 g flour without baking powder, plus an additional amount for adjusting the dough and sprinkling the gnocchi.

Hands on the dough  

  1. Cook the potatoes in a preheated oven at 200°C / 400°F for 1-2 hours (unpeeled, whole).
  2. Take them out when you can pierce them very easily with a knife.
  3. While still hot, cut them in half and scoop out the inside with a spoon. Discard the skins.
  4. Press the inside out using a potato masher or you can also use the back of a spoon to put the potato through a sieve. It is important that the potato is hot when you press it otherwise it will be very difficult to press.
  5. Let the pressed potato cool completely before adding the egg. It is best if you cover the bowl with a cloth so it does not dry out.
  6. Mix the egg with the potato until a uniform mixture is obtained.
  7. Then add the flour and salt and mix. When the spoon or spatula no longer helps, finish mixing with your hands on a clean surface.
  8. Add more flour until it no longer sticks to your hands.

Form the dumplings  

  1. Form a snake or worm with a piece of the dough.
  2. From the snake cut small 1″ (2.5 cm) long pieces to form the gnocchi. Do not make them too big, they will expand in the water!
  3. To shape them into gnocchi, turn the little pillows you made into balls, sprinkle them with flour and roll them on a fork or gnocchi board.
  4. First you press it a little with your thumb and then lift and side and make it turn on itself, almost folding it in half. The final shape has a striped texture on one side and a bend on the other.

To preserve gnocchi  

  • They can be frozen for up to a month. To do this, you put a piece of butter paper on a dish that will fit in the freezer.
  • Sprinkle flour on it and put the gnocchi on top of it, side by side without touching each other. You can make several layers of paper with gnocchi. This way they go in the freezer for 8 hours or overnight.
  • After that time you can put them in a container all together and they will not stick together.  

To cook the gnocchi once they are ready, bring salted water to boil, the same as with fresh pasta. Put them in when the water has boiled. Do not add all the gnocchi to the water at once, work in batches. Only add as much as can fit in the base of the pot so they don’t stick together. Remove them as they float. Do not wait until they all float before you start removing them.

From this basic preparation, you can create a number of delicious recipes that will please both children and adults by adding, for example, tomato sauce, basil, shavings of Parmesan cheese. Gnocchi can also be made into gratins, added to soups or served as an appetizer, as in the case of gnocchi bites with Parma ham, which are traditionally served at the beginning of a meal.

Cook’s Tip:

If you do not have the time to bake the potatoes, boil them just like you usually do for making mashed potatoes. Gnocchi will not be as flavorful as with baked potatoes, but they will be tasty pretty much the same and you’ll save an hour of time.