Gnocchi has been a traditional type of Italian pasta since Roman times and was first introduced in Europe by the Roman Legions. Originally, gnocchi were made from semolina porridge-like dough mixed with eggs. Most people associate potato gnocchi as the traditional Italian gnocchi but potatoes were not available in Europe until after the 16th century. I decided to start with this gnocchi recipe since it is the first type of gnocchi that I learned how to make. What I love about this recipe, besides the delicious taste, is the fact that “gnocco” are simple to make, you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make them and you don’t need any special kitchen gadgets. To save time, you can cook your potoatoes in advance and keep in the refrigerator for several days until you are ready to make the gnocchi.
Recipe for Traditional Potato Gnocchi
2 lbs baking potatoes (about 4 large potatoes)
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.
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.
Tips: 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.
Also you can 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 hope you enjoy this Italian recipe for Traditional Potato Gnocchi.
Con tanto amore – With Lots of Love