Gnocchi yourself out! – A recipe for pasta pillows

I’ve always thought that it’s a bit pointless making pasta from scratch – it takes ages only for you to cram a forkful into your mouth and think ”Mmm, this is tasty, almost as good as the stuff from the shops!”.

Pizza is open to much more experimentation and personalising, plus the dough is great for taking all of your weekday anger on – the more punching the better. I’ll write up my pizza recipe tips soon, I promise.

However, one of the few pasta varieties that benefits from the DIY approach is gnocchi – the little potato and pasta dumplings. Not only are they much fluffier little pillows of pasta-y delight when cooked super fresh, but they are also ridiculously simple to make.

This mix makes about 4 servings. You will need:
2-3 medium sized potatoes (ideally a waxy variety like Maris Piper or Charlotte)
1 egg (yolk only)
90g plain or tipo 00 flour (the latter is lighter but harder to find)

First, boil the potatoes in their skins for 20-25mins – this will stop your mash from being too watery. Once the potatoes are cooked, take them out, peel and mash the living daylights out of them.

Now is the time to put on another pan of water to boil, as your gnocchi will be ready to cook soon!

Once your mash is super creamy and smooth, you can add the egg yolk, seasoning and then the flour bit by bit – stir at first with a fork and then once it starts to get more doughy you can get your hands in there to mix it all together. Once the mix is quite firm transfer to a floured board or surface and start kneading it.

The gnocchi dough - before and after shaping.
The gnocchi dough – before and after shaping.

Once you’re confident that the dough is at a good consistency, split it in to a few portions and then roll in to thin sausages about 2cm wide. Once you’ve done this, cut the sausages in to little segments around 2cm long, then press down with a fork to flatten them slightly. Once done, chuck into the boiling water. The gnocchi will rise to the surface as soon as they’re cooked.

You can serve the little blighters with a simple tomato sauce, sage butter or even put in to a pasta bake with vegetables. I opted for the tomato sauce (made with about 6 garlic cloves, vampires be gone!), olive oil and heaps of parmesan. Good hearty stodge for a wet autumn evening!

Shonette Laffy

My finished gnocchi - annoyingly the light from my new low energy lightbulbs makes everything look like a still from a Grindhouse movie.
My finished gnocchi – annoyingly the light from my new low energy lightbulbs makes everything look like a still from a Grindhouse movie.
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18 thoughts on “Gnocchi yourself out! – A recipe for pasta pillows

  1. WOW! Those look scrumptious. I love gnocchi but I’ve never thought it was worth it to actually make it by hand. Looks like I was wrong!!

  2. I had to come check out your blog just for the title – great attention-getter! Thank you for the follow. And I will be checking out your recipes as my wife and I travel. – Mike

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