These incredible potato-pasta-pillows are one of the fondest food memories that I have from my mission. Every missionary in Italy (that I met anyway) remembered their first Gnocchi experience, and they all went something like this… “I kept eating them until I was full and then a half an hour later I thought my stomach was ripping open.” You see these light little pillows of goodness expand greatly with water (at least that is what I was told)
This is a great home made pasta recipe for beginners. It doesn’t require a lot of extra tools to make, a flat surface and a fork is all you need. Although I do recommend a good bench knife and a potato ricer. You can pick up both of these for less than $20 from a local kitchen supply store. Also, it is a fairly forgiving recipe and loves simple easy sauces. Seriously, my favorite ways to eat these is to grab a handful (6 to 8) right from the freezer drop them into boiling water. Then remove to a bowl that has a little cream and some Gorgonzola stir around until the cheese is melted and enjoy. Another similar idea is a little garlic a little butter and grated Parmigiana Reggiano. Literally a 10 minute meal.
1 lb russet potatoes peeled
2/3 cup of flour it may take more or less than this it just depends on the water in the potatoes
optional 3 cloves of garlic
Start by boiling your potatoes just like you would for mashed potatoes. I boil several cloves of garlic along with the potatoes and mash them in as well, but that is entirely optional. Remove from the water and set aside to cool. While the potatoes cool make a volcano out of the flour. Once the potatoes have cooled to the point that you can handle them mash them and add it to the flour add the eggs and start gently mixing it all together
Once it is kneaded well it should be soft, but dry to the touch. After it has come together divide it up into working sized pieces. Then use your hands to roll it into 3/4 inch ropes. Once you have the ropes shaped cut them into 1 inch pieces. Then roll the individual pieces on the back of a fork to create ridges to catch sauce.
To cook bring pot of salted water to a boil place the gnoochi in the water and when they float pull them out of the water with slotted spoon, or better yet a spider.
Sauce, Plate, and Enjoy!
PS I completely realize that most of the recipes that I put on this blog go against the current food trends of “fast, easy and delish,” and I do so unapologetically. However, this one really is easy and fast. In less than a half hour you can have fresh made pasta on the table, and in the freezer for easy meals later on. Give this one a try, seriously.