Potato Gnocchi

Potato Gnocchi are more technically demanding to make than ricotta gnocchi. If you have not made gnocchi yet, I would suggest getting your sea legs with a few batches of ricotta gnocchi.  They are more forgiving.

However, if you are ready for the gnocchi di patate, follow the directions below.  They are tricky but. a few tricks picked up here and there really seem to make the difference.  The recipe and techniques presented below WILL ensure a soft, delicate, potato gnocchi.  I will say that while most of these recipes are typically Italian in that they allow for some interpretation or personalization.  That is NOT the case here. You need to pretty much follow the recipe as presented.  In addition, you also need a ricer to make potato gnocchi.  Nothing else will substitute.  You cannot mash the potatoes nor can you use the food processor.  I find using the metric system and a scale very helpful for this recipe, but you can use volumes and ounces but results may suffer a little.

Ingredients

1000 grams of yukon gold or russet potatoes (about two pounds)

100 grams of 00 flour or king arthur all purpose flour(3.5 oz)

100 grams of cake flour (3.5 oz)

1.5 teaspoon of salt

1 bag of kosher or rock salt (or other course salt)
Technique

Pour out a bed of course salt on a baking sheet.  It does not need to be thick, but it should cover very well.

Pierce the potatoes multiple times all over with a fork.  Pierce them deeply and OFTEN!

Place the whole (unsliced) potatoes on the bed of salt and place uncovered in a fast oven (450 degrees) for 90 minutes or until very well done.

When they are done, take out of the oven and quickly cut them in half (you will need to use a towel or oven mitt as they will be very hot).  Let them cool down a bit and let the steam evaporate.  You want them to lose as much moisture as possible.

Bake the potatoes on a bed of salt.  Slice them open and let the steam escape

Bake the potatoes on a bed of salt. Slice them open and let the steam escape

When still hot but cool enough to touch, run each half through the ricer.  There is no need to peel them.  Place the face of the cut potato against the ricer holes and press hard.  The skin will be left behind while the flesh of the potato will pass through the ricer.  Lay the riced potatoes out on the table in a mound.

Add the flour and salt.  I usually do it with a sifter.  Fold them over a few times until a soft dough forms.  You MUST do this while the potatoes are still  hot or it will not work.  I stop and cool my hands off during the folding.

Hot BAKED potatoes, flour, cake flour, and salt.  There is no egg.  They will be light as a cloud.

Hot BAKED potatoes, flour, cake flour, and salt. There is no egg. They will be light as a cloud.

Once the dough forms, roll into 1/2-inch logs and cut to shape.  Use the tines of a fork to add texture.

Knead until the dough just comes together.  DO NOT overwork it.  You do not want to form gluten if you can avoid it.

Knead until the dough just comes together. DO NOT overwork it. You do not want to form gluten if you can avoid it.

Finally drop gnocchi into boiling salted water until they float to the top. Take out of the water and sauce with your favorite.

Rolled into logs and then cut and scored with the fork.  These are ready for a quick boil in hot and salted water.

Rolled into logs and then cut and scored with the fork. These are ready for a quick boil in hot and salted water.

 

An Easter Feast!  Gnocchi di Patate, Abbacchio, and stuffed artichoke.

An Easter Feast! Gnocchi di Patate, Abbacchio, and stuffed artichoke.

The more you make them, the defter your touch will become and the easier it will be to make gnocchi.  These gnocchi literally melted in your mouth!  The stuff they sell in the store is just awful.


Ciao!