L’inizio – Maria’s Potato Gnocchi

Con tanto amore, this to me is what Italian Cuisine is all about.  Made “with lots of love”.  Italian food is about simplicity mixed in “with lots of love”.  I think that is why Italian Cuisine has become popular.  Simple, fresh, local foods are fused with lots of love to create absolutely amazing dishes that anyone can make.  Throw in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, garlic, fresh produce, fresh herbs and wonderful Italian wines and you get foods that are healthy, artistic, marvelous and yes, exciting. Not only do I have a passion for Italian food, but I also love cooking and creating Italian dishes.

I guess that’s what Italian Cuisine is for me.  Using foods and produce that are locally available and fresh to make simple,  wonderful and delicious dishes.  My passion is food, so what could be better than writing a blog about food. Sounds great but, food/recipes is really too big for just one blog.  So, after a lot of thinking I decided that I would write about my favorite type of food, which happens to be Italian Cuisine.

Mostra di pani e dolci tradizionali della Sard...

Well, this too presented some problems for me, since Italian food, not only varies from region to region but Italian cuisine is quite varied and vast. Italian cuisine has been around since the 4th century BCE. That’s over 2,000 years.

So, where to start. That’s when it hit me.  Why not start at the l’inizio “beginning”.  And the beginning of Italian food for me is pasta!  Sounds simple, but there are so many types of pasta and so many different dishes, my head was swimming with were to start.  So, I decided, why not start at the beginning.  The beginning of pasta or if you will the precursor or forerunner of pasta in my option is gnocchi.  So, what better way to start a journey of Italian Cuisine than with gnocchi or Italian dumplings.

Maria’s Traditional Potato Gnocchi
Patata Gnocco

Ingredients

2 lbs baking potatoes (about 4 large potatoes)
1-cup flour
2 eggs
1-teaspoon salt

Bake the potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until the potatoes are soft.
Remove potatoes from the oven and let the potatoes cool to room temperature.
Scrape the insides of the potatoes into a medium to large mixing bowl.
Mash the potatoes with a potatoes masher.
Add the flour and mix together with the potatoes.  Add the eggs and salt and mix until you have a firm, smooth dough.
Divide the dough into thirds.
On a floured surface use your hands to gently roll each section into a long rope about 1 inch around.
Cut the rope into 1 to 2 inch pieces.

Gnocchi

Take the cut pieces of dough and using your finger lightly press the gnocchi onto the back of a fork, to make ridges in the dough.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Drop the gnocchi, a few at a time into a pot of boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the gnocchi float to the surface and stay on top.
Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and drain.
Serve hot with melted butter, fresh chopped Italian parsley and your favorite Italian cheese or serve with your favorite sauce.

Tip: If you have never made gnocchi before, it takes practice to roll the gnocchi on a fork to make the ridges (the ridges or grooves hold the sauce).  If you do find this part difficult, you can just cut the gnocchi and cook them.

Gnocchi Paddle

You could also purchase a Wooden Gnocchi Board (also called a Gnocchi Paddle) to make gnocchi. Grooves in the surface of the board give gnocchi their characteristic texture as the dough is rolled down and shaped on the board.  I don’t have one of these, I make my gnocchi by rolling them on a fork.



I hope you enjoy my journey of Italian Cuisine and the Italian recipes that I have collected and saved throughout the years.  I am always looking for new, exciting or different Italian recipes, tips and helpful hints.  If you have any family Italian recipes that you would like to share with me, I would be happy to share them with the rest of the world.

Con tanto amore – With Lots of Love


Maria

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26 thoughts on “L’inizio – Maria’s Potato Gnocchi

  1. Pingback: New Recipe | simplysinglemommy

  2. Pingback: New Recipe | Loving My Chaos

  3. Great blog! I’ve been on holiday in Tuscany and realized over there that my idea of Italy’s pizza and pasta is very little. I discovered a lot of ways to prepare the pizza and pasta and also other dishes that were really amazing.

  4. Hi…thanks for stopping by my blog and liking one of my posts 🙂 I love Italian food (My husband thinks I must have been born in Venice in a previous birth!!) along with their art and culture and I hope to visit Italy some day….so it really made my day that someone like yourself who seems to be a pro at cooking Italian food voted for one of my recipes… This is a wonderful blog….now you know I am going to keep following 🙂

  5. Buongiorno, bella!

    Thanks so much for visiting my humble culinarian blog! I had some time to visit yours and I appreciate your mindset about Italian food. I will definitely be following!

    Un giorno senza il vino e come un giorno senza il sole…

  6. Hi there, just stopping by for the first time, but am loving the approachability of this gnocchi and your food in general. You make me game to try my hand at gnocchi, which I love and hardly eat since I haven’t made any. Thanks for your inspiration!

    • Thank you for stopping by and for your wonderful comments. I love making gnocchi and they really are not that hard to make. The hardest part is learning how to roll them off the back of a fork (to make the grooves in the gnocchi). It really doesn’t take that much practice to be able to master that technique. Just a little patience. Of course, you could always purchase a gnocchi board/paddle. Thanks again for stopping by.

  7. I absolutely love your site. I found out more than 50 years ago that there was more to Italian cooking than spaghetti and meatballs when I married into a large and extended Italian family with roots in Naples. They seemed to focus on red sauces with a lot of sea food. Eel was for one holiday, stuffed squid for another, and salt fish and Puttanesca, all in red sauce. My wife was not a fan of dumplings of any kind (gnocchi) but cavatelli and tortellini were her preferred pastas along with manicotti. I am adapting to living alone and cooking for one, but your site will provide a great inspiration in expanding my culinary horizons. Whenever I adapt a recipe, I always give credit so I will become a regular visitor and let you know when I successfully adapt a meal to coffeepot cooking for one.

    • Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. I have seen your blog and I found it very interesting. I have a coffee pot (not a coffee maker) but, I never thought of making a whole meal in one. I am still trying to figure my way around WordPress and trying to figure out how everything works. I believe that recipes and food are for sharing, that is one of the reasons I started my blog. Also, I needed a place to keep all of my recipes in place. Thank you again for your comments and for taking the time to read my blog.
      Maria

    • I would love to! The trick is not to use too much flour and to not handle the dough to much. The more flour you use-the heavier the gnocchi become. I like to bake my potatoes so that the potatoes don’t absorb too much moisture. More moisture, means you need more flour-add the flour a little at a time. Mix the ingredients just enough to incorporate everything. I hope you will give them another try.

  8. I never knew that there was more then one way to make Gnocchi and I found eight on your site and I will probably try the green one soon as I have an abundance of arugula and love this spicy green. I stopped writing for almost a year and found that I spent more time looking for recipes on paper than it would take to just use WordPress to index all of them. I dont always cook in my coffeepot but I always lose paper recipes so decided to include all of my recipes on my blog. I made gnocchi a year ago but never published it and misplaced the paper. It was very close to your Potato gnocchi, but as with my wife’s family, I served it with red sauce and unlike them skipped that fork thing. The thick red sauce still clung to the pasta.

  9. Pingback: Easy-to-Read Recipes With Mouthwatering Pictures | Mom's Best Kitchen Gadgets

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