Did you know I had a fear of making gnocchi? I did. I feared making them because they are so simple, but they can go horribly awry. But, after enlisting my mom as my sous chef, I decided to take on the challenge. And let me tell you, I am so glad I did. This is, I think, the most perfect gnocchi recipe. The trusty Idaho potatoes and sweet earthy carrots are a match made in heaven.Print
For the gnocchi:
2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4)
2 large egg yolks
1 cup flour (potentially more, so have it on hand)
4 carrots, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
For the sauce:
4 Tablespoons of butter
About 10 small heirloom tomatoes sliced in half. (I used a mix from Trader Joes, but you could use cherry or grape tomatoes if you can’t find those)
Sage – about 4-5 leaves chopped
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan or Peccorino cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork. Bake them in a microwave oven at high power for 10 minutes, then flip the potatoes and microwave for 5 minutes longer.
Transfer the potatoes to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Alternatively, bake the potatoes in the oven for about 1 hour, until tender.
While the potatoes are cooling, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place your sliced carrots in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Cover the carrots and cook for about 15 minutes. They should be very tender.
Transfer the carrots to a food processor or a blender and purée. I found that a blender (or a food processor with a small bowl) works better because there really aren’t a lot of carrots to purée. This should yeild about 1/2 cup of carrot purée.
Halve the potatoes and scoop the flesh into a ricer. Rice the potatoes onto a clean surface. I used my kitchen table.
At this point, you can dump the carrot purée onto the riced potatoes. You should have a nice carrot/tater pile.
Throw on top of this the 2 egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, kneading as you go. The dough will be very sticky, but will start to come together as you add more flour.
Once you have added the cup of flour, form your dough into a ball, and cut off a small chunk. We will be using this chunk for testing.
Rolling the tester chunk into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch pieces. Roll each piece against the tines of a fork to make ridges. Place the gnocchi on a floured surface to await their turn in a pot.
Place your tester gnocchi in a large pot of simmering salted water, cook the gnocchi until they rise to the surface, then simmer for 2 minutes longer. If you like the tast of these, then feel free to cook the rest of them.
In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter. Add in your halved tomatoes and chopped sage. Sautée until your tomatoes start to cook – about 2 minutes.
Add the pinch of salt, and give every thing a good mix.
Add the gnocchi to the butter/tomato sauce in the skillet. Mix and cook over high heat for 1 minute.
Sprinkle with the cheese and ground pepper and serve.
The reason I advocate making a tester rope is that you don’t know how the consistency will turn out. Boiling up three tester pieces to check it is a good use of your time. If your gnocchi are the consistency of a mealy apple, add more flour. They should be light, fluffy, and smooth in texture. They shouldn’t fall apart or be grainy.
If you haven’t yet made your sauce, but you’ve cooked all your gnocchi, DON’T PANIC. Just place your cooked gnocchi in a big bowl and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. They’ll wait happily until you’re ready to outfit them in buttery sauce.
The uncooked gnocchi pieces can be frozen on the prepared baking sheet, then transferred to a resealable plastic bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Boil without defrosting.