The most perfect homemade potato gnocchi recipe. Loaded with Italian flavors. It is a lovely seasonal & vegan dish, which is full of textures.
What’s not to love about rich, starchy foods, smothered in your favorite sauce and served with a generous helping of cheese? Lasagna, cannelloni, ravioli, wraps, fold overs and tacos are just some of the amazing things that fit this description. One of the most delicious vehicles for meaty sauce, creamy toppings and pesto is the delicious Italian potato based main course called gnocchi.
It takes some effort to prepare, but it freezes well and will impress any collection of dinner or lunch guests. Gnocchi is known for its delicious, dense texture. It is served warm as a starter or a main course. It has a wonderful, rich taste which is well matched with flavourful, garlicky sauce and strong cheese. Tomato based sauces are also a popular choice, as are creamy meat sauces such as Carbonara and Alfredo. A Bolognese sauce is also a tasty option.
With just a few key tips, it’s actually really easy to make a home-made version of this delicious Italian comfort food. Gnocchi is made with a mixture of potato and Parmesan cheese. It is not uncommon to add in a dash of nutmeg. I recommend white bread flour, although you may choose to use whole wheat as well. Stone ground flour gives gnocchi a really lovely authentic taste. You can buy stone ground flour at a flour mill, and fortunately, many of these places offer delivery. Search the internet for a mill near you. The potatoes are usually cooked with the skin on. For an interesting variation on traditional gnocchi, you could try it with sweet potato instead. Regular Parmigiano Reggiano works perfectly in this recipe. Buy this in a hard block and grate it directly with the smallest holes on the grater before you use it for the freshest effect.
Temperature is key when it comes to the cooking process. The potatoes should be cooked in boiling water, and the initial mixture of potato and cheese should be left to cool to a mild, lukewarm heat before the egg and flour are added in. You can add in more flour, one tablespoon at a time, if you find the mixture is too sticky. After that, the dough needs to rest before you can separate it into little pieces.
To shape the gnocchi, roll the dough into tubes about two centimeters wide. Next, you can slice these into two and a half centimeter long segments. Use a fork to create the indents that characterize gnocchi on each of the pieces. You can also use a wire whisk to create this effect.
When it comes to cooking gnocchi, it is best to do this in small batches. You’ve got to supervise the cooking process and stir the gnocchi at regular intervals to make sure they don’t stick to each other or to the sides of the pot. You will know that the gnocchi is ready when the pieces have all begun to float to the top of the water. Once they have been cooked through, spread them over a baking sheet and make sure they have been drained of any excess water.
Once the gnocchi has been prepared, add it to a pan of melted butter and pesto, brought to the point of simmering on the stove. Mix the pieces with the mixture until they are warmed throughout. At this point, they are ready to be served.
Along with pesto, this recipe includes a recipe for haricots verts, a type of thin green bean. It is essential to cook these in lots of salt, for just a few minutes, so that they stay firm. You will notice their color begin to brighten when they are ready to serve. They are added into the simmering mixture towards the end, just before it is removed from the heat.
Instead of haricots verts, you can serve the gnocchi with oven roasted rosa tomatoes or sautéed mushrooms. Lots of recipes recommend crunchy raw or roast nuts as an addition to the sauce or the garnish as these make a lovely contrast with the soft, creamy texture of the dish. Flaked almonds, whole or chopped cashews and whole pine nuts are all tasty options. If you are looking for variations of the sauce, there are many options! From really simple options, like sage leaves fried in butter, to more complex ones such as de-shelled prawns in creamy sauce, there is so much you can do with this dish! Creamy tomato sauce is a popular selection, buttery sage sauce is an excellent option, Pomodoro or Bolognese sauces as well as chicken and bacon sauces are great.
If you’re vegan, you can also make gnocchi from potatoes and tofu. You will still be able to use the delicious roasted nuts that are so common to the recipe. Maximize on olive oil to retain the richness of the dish, perhaps frying mushrooms and herbs in it. Coconut cream is an amazing alternative to dairy and just as creamy! Pureed tomatoes, oven roasted aubergine, beans and any vegetables that tickle your fancy can make amazing sauce to complement the gnocchi.
When serving the gnocchi, bear in mind that the individual pieces are very rich and dense, so you don’t need to dish up large portions to create impact. Serve it with a luscious green salad or smoky roast vegetables for a balanced main course. Offer your guests a loaf of warm, crusty bread if you’re open to adding more carbs to the table. Depending on your sauce selection, a glass of red or white wine will round off your comfort food experience really nicely. For Bolognese or pesto, a full bodied merlot or pinotage will complement the food beautifully. Sauvignon or Chenin Blanc will go well with a lighter sauce. Perhaps you could serve a smooth chocolate mousse or Italian gelato for dessert? A swirl of cream and a generous sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano tops off any of the sauce and gnocchi combinations very well, and it also makes the plated gnocchi look appropriately delectable.
OTHER GNOCCHI RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE
Sweet potato gnocchi recipe
Spinach gnocchi recipe
Butternut squash gnocchi recipe
Pumpkin gnocchi recipe
Ricotta gnocchi recipe
In the above mentioned recipes just substitute potato for spinach, butternut squash or pumpkin or ricotta.
HOMEMADE GNOCCHI RECIPE WITH PESTOBest gnocchi recipe
- Potatoes - 800 gm or 1½ lb ( I used Russet potatoes)
- Parmesan Cheese ( grated)- 2 tbsp
- Egg ( beaten)- 1 large
- Nutmeg ( freshly grated) ¼ tsp
- Salt- To Taste
- All purpose flour- 1¼ cups ( 6½ oz) . Plus more as needed.
- Haricots verts or other small greens, trimmed
- Basil Pesto- ½ cup ( 125 ml)
- Parmesan Cheese- ( grated)- ½ cup
- Parmesan cheese shavings - ¼ cup for garnish ( optional)
- Unsalted Butter- 6 tbsp ( 90 gm)
- Fresh Basil leaves- For Garnish ( optional)
- Heavy cream -For drizzling ( optional)
- Take a large pot/saucepan. Cook the unpeeled potatoes until tender when pierced with a small, sharp knife. It took for me 30 minutes. Allow them to cool. Peel them and transfer into a large bowl.
- Add the Parmesan cheese, salt, grated nutmeg & mash with a potato masher.Allow to cool to lukewarm. Mix in the egg and 1 cup flour.
- Knead the dough, gradually adding more flour 1 tbsp at a time,until smooth, soft and slightly sticky dough forms ( 3-5 minutes).
- Allow the dough rest for 10 minutes, then divide it into 5-6 equal pieces.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a rope 2 cm thick.
- Cut the ropes into 2 cm pieces.
- To make gnocchi, roll each piece over the tines of a large fork .
- Cook the green beans in a large pot of generously salted water until tender -crisp ( about 4 minutes). Drain them.
- In the same water cook Gnocchi. Stir from time to time to prevent sticking ( about 4 minutes).
- Put basil pesto and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl.
- Melt butter in a large frying pan. Add Gnocchi and saute about 5 minutes.
- Add green beans and cook 1 more minute.
- Transfer Gnocchi with green beans into the bowl with pesto and Parmesan cheese and toss to coat.
- Use Parmesan Shavings & heavy cream for Garnish.
- Serve immediately.
Viola! Homemade Gnocchi!Yummm.. If you like this recipe for gnocchi, please share!