One of my goals has been to try to make gnocchi from scratch. We have a couple of great sources for fresh handmade gnocchi. Pasta and Company makes my favorite - light, easy to cook. Cucina Fresca also makes a pretty good one although it is harder to cook since it tends to absorb more water and gets mushy. Last week I bought some fresh at the Ballard Market and they were really tough and rubbery. I knew I could do better.
I read a couple of recipes on the web and tips on Slow Travel. I decided to make the recipe in The Best Italian Classic from Cook's Illustrated.
They turned out pretty good. They were a little large - each gnocchi took two bites - so next time I want to make them a little bit smaller. They definitely tasted like dumplings so I think they could be a little bit lighter. I had a little challenge figuring out how to roll them. I think the instructions on how to roll them on a fork on this Italian website better than what is in Cook's Illustrated.
Baking the potatoes results in very dry potatoes so it is a little tricky knowing if you have enough flour. The picture below is what the dough looked like after adding 1 1/4 cups of flour. The dough rope broke up so I had to add a bit more to the dough to get it to roll correctly. I also kneaded it a bit more. I hope to do it next time without kneading it as much to make it lighter. Definitely use a potato ricer. You also want the water to be at a low boil so they cook correctly and do not break up.
I cooked half and froze the rest. We'll see how the frozen ones turn out next. I might also try this recipe next just to see if this one can be improved on. I sauced them with a Gorgonzola cream sauce.
2 lbs russet potatoes washed
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the potatoes until done 45 minutes to 1 hour depending upon the size.
2. Hold a potato with a potholder or towel and peel. I found a paring knife works best. Put about 1/2 a potato into a potato ricer and rice the peeled potatoes into a large bowl. Cool until no longer hot, about 15 minutes.
3. Sprinkle 1 1/4 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt over the warm potatoes. Using your hands, work the mixture into a soft smooth dough. If sticky add more flour - up to 1 1/2 cups total.
4. Pull off a small ball about the size of a tangerine and roll into a long 3/4-inch this rope. If the rope won't hold together, return to the bowl and work in more flour.
5. Cut each rope into 3/4 inch lengths - about the size of your thumb to the first knuckle. Roll each piece on the tines of a fork pressing with your index finger. Place on baking sheet. These can be frozen at this time.
6. To Cook, Bring 4 quarts of water to a low boil in a large pot. Add salt to taste. Add about 1/3 gnocchi and cook until they float, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and sauce.