Friday, March 6, 2009

One Potato Gnocchi - Just Because

I don't know how I missed it, but there it was, sitting at the bottom of the white plastic bin where I store my potatoes and onions…a single russet. A single potato is never a good thing. Do you wait to buy more, and hope it blends in? Do you waste all that gas and heat, cooking one single potato? One of the few practical uses for these rogue spuds is to make a small batch of potato gnocchi.

Let me disclose right up front that I really don't like gnocchi that much. They're "Aight" as Randy
Jackson might say, but I never go out of my way to eat them. However, I love to make them. This is an interesting recipe to make, and just about the most fun thing you can do with a single potato (assuming you lost your Mr. Potatohead parts long ago).

There is no such thing as an exact recipe for gnocchi. If you don’t like cooking by feel, and need exact measurements before attempting to cook something, this recipe is not for you. Potato sizes vary, the starch/water contents vary, how you cook it, and how much flour you add not only depends on the aforementioned factors, but also on the desired texture/density of the gnocchi.

I like a very potato'y gnocchi, so I go with just enough flour to form the dough. Other people prefer a denser, more pasta-like dumpling, and use much more flour. I know many of you hate it when I say this, but you'll just have to figure it out as you go. The good news is, figuring things out in the kitchen is fun. Enjoy!

Tech Note: I'm having a sound issue with the videos in Vimeo with the Mozo pre-roll at the beginning. I'll continue to work on it, but until I figure it out here is a low-res YouTube version to hold you over.



Here is the Vimeo version, and you can hear the sound distortion problem. They are working on this issue, and hopefully it will be fixed soon.



Ingredients:
1 large russ
et potato
1 egg
1/2 to 3/4 cup flour depending on a wide array of factors
sauce to cover


Check out these other Italian-American recipe videos:
Italian-style Cabbage Rolls
Chicken Cacciatore
Creamy Mushroom Fettuccine
Beef Braciole
Chicken Parmesan Casserole

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

luv it.. they are so cute!

Anonymous said...

I've been making sweet potato (the light yellow kind) gnocchi a lot lately. At first I was doing it on the back of a fork, but then my friend was helping me look at her Italian (in Italian!) cookbook and they were doing it from the front of the fork. They rolled off easier for me. Maybe try that next time to see if you like it.
Also I use just the yolk and some parmesan cheese.
Luisa Vacaville

granny said...

Haven't made this in a long time. I will pull out my ricer (that is what I use for the potato) and a very long time ago I purchased a wooden tool made just for making the ridges on gnocchi. I had to have it, it was so cute almost as cute as that little spoon you used way back when in one of your food videos.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef how did you know I had two odd spuds sitting on my counter? Perfect! Thank You!!

Quick question--what is the best way to keep your wood sppons and stuff clean since they stain with tomato sauce etc? Bleach & sandpaper?? Regular soap and hot water--Or toss them--not worth it? My Le Crusette spatulas handles come off from teh silicone pads to clean and was just curious what you do. I use bleach and sandpaper but they never really ever stop staining.

Chef John said...

We juts use soap and water, and sometimes a little bleach. Our spoons are pretty old and seem to be very dense which help prevent stains. You can also try mineral oil to possible help prevent absorption.

seryph07 said...

I feel the same way as you about gnocchi. My main problem with them is they're just too thick, and the main flavor I get when biting into them, even with a lot of sauce, is just the gnocchi, which is pretty plain and boring. This doesn't mean I don't like them, but if I was going to eat a pasta-like dumpling-akin dish, my first choice wouldn't be gnocchi! It's a good recipe though!

1 FN HandyMan said...

Howdy Chef John! Have you ever added fresh herbs to the gnocchi as you prepared them for cooking? Or tried maybe a ginger/lime/cilantro gnocchi in sweet and sour sauce? I wonder how that'd taste?

Chef John said...

herbs yes, the rest no... doesnt lend itself to asian flavors I fear.

gromgull said...

I made these - as you said - they were fun. I didn't believe you that one spud would make two main dishes so I used three and ended up having far too much, oh well.

They came out ok in the end, but not with quite as much bite as I like in my gnocchi. I wonder if I simply left them for too long in the pan or if more or less flour would have helped.

Either way - Thanks for yet another fun recipe!

Chef John said...

yes, the more egg and flour, the stiffer they get.

Marco Barisione said...

Actually the first way of saying gnocchi is the right one, not g-nocchi.

I use a ricer and it looks faster, you don't have to peel the potatoes and the consistency is perfect (after all potato ricers are mostly used for gnocchi in Italy).

Chef John said...

that was a joke... you'll learn ;-)

cquach said...

made these for dinner tonight: the texture was perfect, soft and fluffy but with some body. yum! served 1/2 tossed with brown sage butter and other 1/2 in marinara and parm. thanks! i kinda...love you...ahem...

cquach said...

made these tonight - so good. the texture was perfect: soft, fluffy but with some body. served 1/2 with brown sage butter and other 1/2 with marinara and parm. thanks! i think i....love...you...ahem.

cquach said...

made these tonight - so good. the texture was perfect: soft, fluffy but with some body. served 1/2 with brown sage butter and other 1/2 with marinara and parm. thanks! i think i....love...you...ahem.

carylton said...

I have been fiddling around with Gnocchi for a long time--( I even made a low carb variety-- really!) but I could never make one that satisfied me with potato. Until today. I just discovered Chef John and there are corns on my rear end from reviewing all his recipes.

Thank you so much for all this fun and food! These gnocchi were the best I ever made... num!

Anonymous said...

what is the ingredients for the sauce?-fadhilah

Salvatore said...

Hey, I've been watching your videos for two days now and just to let you know, great stuff! Really appreciate it.


Just a heads up, in Italian, gnocchi is actually pronounced "een-yo-key". You can trust me, I'm one of the most hardcore Ital-American "Napoletani" you'll meet. =).

Keep it up!

Salvatore said...

Hey, I've been watching your videos for two days now and just to let you know, great stuff! Really appreciate it.


Just a heads up, in Italian, gnocchi is actually pronounced "een-yo-key". You can trust me, I'm one of the most hardcore Ital-American "Napoletani" you'll meet. =).

Keep it up!

Christina said...

OK, Chef John is not joking around about this recipe, it is SUPER fantastic. The first time I made it was disappointing, but it wasn't the recipes fault, it was my kitchen plunder that fouled it up. However, the SECOND time I made these, they were scrumptious! To save time, I didn't roll the gnocchi off a fork, I lined the gnocchi up and gently pressed the fork into them. That method made them a little flatter, but it didn't matter, they were great :D

Trevor said...

Chef John -

Quick oddball questio,

I have been making mine with prrobably about 1:1 ration of spud to flour, I keep playing with things to lighten up the feel for a soft light, pillow-y feel with the sauce. one thing I noticed is they almost always come up a lot lighter after being frozen and then thawed, not sure whats up, but multiple batches have confirmed. Is it a water loss thing you think?

Chef John said...

I'm not a gnocchi expert, but that could be the reason.

Anonymous said...

i forgot to put egg into the gnocchi... but cool, it still works! i made them with meatballs with tomato sauce

sUndAe said...

2 Chef John ! I luv ur vid so much :D i wanna make " Gnocchi Potato and cheesy Potatoes " and i live in Vietnam so i can find Russet Potato? may i use normal potato? Tks Chef :D

Chef John said...

Yes, that works ok. thanks!!

Christina said...

I combined your gnocchi recipe with a succulent mushroom ragu:
http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/02/potato_gnocchi_with_pork_and_wild_mushroom_ragu

If my boyfriend ever cheats on me, I'm positive it will be with this dish.

Anonymous said...

From my childhood growing up in Italy I remember something either not rolling and leaving them square or someone used to roll them on the cheese grater somehow.

Libby Streed said...

I can't thank you enough for the gnocchi preparation technique and recipe via video and website. Historically, I made gnocchi only once before; it was all I needed to know that I did not like the big mess nor the gluey, thick, large dumplings that resulted. Once I saw your video and also enjoyed the humor embedded in it, I had to try gnocchi once more. Thanks to you, they were so easy to make and so much better than before. My children (ages 9 and 12) also helped me make them and seemed like they couldn't eat them fast enough; imagine my delight and their slight disappointment that we didn't make more of these gnocchi. My husband is looking forward to me making these for him in the near future; they'll definitely become part of our 2012 Valentine's Stay-at-Home Dinner. Thank you Again, Libby S.

Cierra said...

Thanks so much for this recipe!!! I've tried making gnocchi before but they just didn't turn out very well. I definitely want to try your method though. I think maybe my problem was that other recipes I used called for boiling the potatoes. I think that added way too much moister and it just threw me off. I also like to add mine to creamy chicken soup. It's so great! Thanks again!!

Anonymous said...

this recipe doesn't work with smash... (instant mash) lesson learnt!

daniesmiley said...

I can't wait to try making these! Thanks!