Gnocchi a dish typically made with flour eggs and potato, has been around for quite a while in one form or another. This pasta alternative is formed of mashed potato held together with flour and eggs, often formed in to the shape of doughy dumplings, then boiled and commonly fried gently in a combination of butter and other sauces.
Making pasta from scratch can always be a daunting prospect, but in my opinion this is one of the easiest ways to learn about pasta dough as it doesn't require it to rolled on top of that it also contains a lot of skill's that can be carried over when making pasta, this recipe with teach you the fundamentals of making a fantastic pasta dough.
Gnocchi unfortunately has a tendency to come across as quite bland, be sure to thoroughly season your gnocchi dough to counter this from happening.
600G of cooked and mashed potatoes about 3 medium sized
200G of flour
4 Cloves of Garlic Finely diced
1 handful of Chopped basil
2 Tsps Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper
3 Tbsp of red pesto
50 g of peas
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Step 1: Chopping the Garlic and Basil
These items are going to be incorporated in to the gnocchi dough without being cooked. Garlic has a very strong flavour when its not sauteed first because of this you want to dice the garlic up really fine. If not you could end up with a large lump of garlic ruining your food.
Picture 1. Finely dice up the Garlic until it is almost at puree consistency.
Picture 2. Chop the basil, it doesn't need to be as fine as the garlic as you still want to be able to see it in the gnocchi.
Step 2: Sieving the Potatoes
Passing the potatoes through a sieve will make them incredibly fine and help you form a dough with them later. Alternatively if you have one you can use a potato ricer as they are better suited for the job then a sieve.
Picture 1. Using the same bowl as the chopped garlic and basil ass the potato through the sieve
Picture 2. I find adding the olive oil at this stage not only helps the sieving process but also allows the oil to be mixed in more thoroughly
Picture 3. once the potato has been sieved its time to gently mix all of the ingredients together
Step 3: Forming the Dough
Possibly the most difficult and messy part is forming the dough, it is important to not over work the dough as it will become more like bread dough and lose its fluffiness at the same time you need to fully incorporate the flour and the egg. This dough will also be a relatively wet dough as better gnocchi recipes require a higher potato to flour ratio.
Picture 1. Once the ingredients have been combined its time to transfer them to a hard work surface for the next stage.
Picture 2. Form the potato into a ring for the next part and have the flour ready
Picture 3. Sieve the seasoned flour on top of the potato and finally place the egg in the centre of the ring
Picture 4. Combining all of the ingredients can be quite messy and its important to not over work the dough at this stage if you have done correctly you should have dough similar to that in the photo
Step 4: Shaping the Gnocchi
Roll the Dough in to long and thin lines like shown and cut them in to pieces about half and inch long.
Picture 1. I decided that it was easiest to split the dough in to quarters and then roll it out, this was simply because it meant that there was less dough to work with at one time and far more manageable.
Picture 2. Once the dough is rolled in to a long line you can split them in to roughly the size in the photo, optionally you can shape the outside of the dough pieces with a fork this will create a more traditional look.
Picture 3. Once complete you will have a large about of peices it is important to keep them seperate at all times otherwise they will stick together
Step 5: Cooking the Gnocchi
Finally cook them in boiling seasoned water with olive oil, to help prevent them from sticking and cook them for
Picture 1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil
Picture 2. Once boiling toss in the gnocchi, be careful not to create a splash like I did, the gnocchi is cooked once it rises to the surface.
Picture 3. Whilst the gnocchi is cooking, prepare the second pan, in this one turn on to high heat and add oil. Watch it to ensure you don't burn the oil.
Picture 4. Once the Gnocchi is cooked and drained saute them in a hot pan for a couple minutes to get a lovely texture. These last two steps are entirely optional.
Step 6: Thank You for Reading
I have chosen to finish this dish with Red pesto and Garden peas, garnished with generous helpings of grated Parmesan, feel free to finish this dish with other ingredients and find out what works for you.
Finally I would recommend using this item on the day you cooked it, if you do however want to store it, I would recommend that you freeze it first on a flat container and then transfer it to a smaller container in the freezer, if they touch at room temperature they will stick back together and form a strong sticky dough.
Thank you for reading , if you have any comments or queries please contact me and I will try to answer them as soon as possible.