Gnocchi is one of the things I do the best! It all comes from my honeymoon. The front desk manager at the hotel we were staying at told us about one of his favorite places to eat, so we figured we would give it a shot. The restaurant was tucked away, small, and perfect. The gnocchi served there were life changing. They were small, about the diameter of a quarter, and pan-fried to get a little bit of a crust. Pair this with a fresh tomato sauce, and it is pure heaven. This recipe is as close as you can get to that magical meal.
- 3 Russet Potatoes 2 lb.
- 1 1/2 Cup Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 T Salt
- 2 TB Butter
- 2 Cup Marinara to serve
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork and bake for 50 minutes, or until soft in the center (to the point you can easily insert a knife.)
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Cut the potato in half and scoop out the flesh. Reserve potato skins to make... ding ding ding! potato skins!
- Put the flesh of the potato into a ricer and crush. Squeezing the potato into a large bowl.
- Add your egg and mix into the potato mixture with a wooden spoon.
- Add half of the flour and continue to mix. Once it starts coming together, and becomes less sticky, start to mix with your hands.
- Place dough onto a flour dusted countertop.
- Gradually add the rest of the flour, and knead until the dough is no longer wet.
- Separate the dough into 5 balls. One at a time, roll the ball of dough into a rope that’s about an inch thick.
- With a butter knife, cut the rope into 1 inch section.
- Roll these 1 inch sections into balls. If you have kids, this is where they come in handy, as they can cut, roll and manage this process. That allows you to focus on the next step.
- Hold each ball in the palm of your cupped hand, and gently roll a fork across the ball, allowing the gnocchi to roll in your palm. You're trying to get a somewhat oval shaped dough ball with light grooves from the fork.
- Place completed gnocchi onto floured baking sheets (if they touch they will stick together!) Put into fridge until ready to cook.
- To cook, you’ll have to make 2 batches. Drop half the gnocchi in boiling water, and cook until they float.
- Heat butter in a heavy bottom pan. Scoop the floating gnocchi from the water and put into the pan. Sear the outside of the gnocchi, shaking the pan to keep the gnocchi moving in around. The gnocchi should cook for 4 minutes in the water, and then 5 minutes in the pan.
- Repeat with the second batch (I always drop the second batch into the water once I move the first batch comes out, that way, they finish 5 minutes apart.)
- Remove the gnocchi from the pan into a large serving dish. Serve with your favorite sauce and you've got a taste of Italy right at home.
I like mine with a fresh tomato sauce, but any marinara will do. Below is my marinara.
My Homemade Marinara
- 5 Tomatoes Ripe, medium sized
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons Basil Chopped fine
- 3 Oz. Pancetta
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Cup Water
- Your tomatoes have to be ripe to get the best flavor. To get the skin off, make an "X" with your knife at the bottom of the tomato and drop them into boiling water. After a minute, fish them out of the water and let them cool for a minute. The skin should away. After you remove all the skin, quarter the tomatoes, and remove the seeds so you only have the flesh remaining.
- Now take the pancetta, (you can use diced as well) and layer in a cold pan. Heat over medium until crisp and remove. You're really trying to get the fat from the pancetta to flavor the sauce. What to do with the pancetta? It has a mild bacon-like flavor, so I like to crumble it up over a salad.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan the pancetta was cooked in with about 1 to 2 TB of water and the salt. Cover and lower heat to medium low. Stir occasionally. What we're trying to do here is break down the tomatoes.
- Once the tomatoes start to breakdown, add your garlic to the sauce, and smash all the tomatoes with the back of you wooden spoon. Continue to crush and stir until the sauce is relatively smooth. If you need to add more water to smooth out, add 1 TB at a time.
- At the very end, add the basil and butter. Let it simmer for about two minutes, and then remove from the heat. Serve over pasta with fresh parmesan.