Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Perfecting Gnocchi


Crunchboy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Another great tip I got from eGulleter Gnocchi queen Shaya, is to rice the potatoes onto a dishcloth and knead the dough in the cloth - this seems to absorb excess moisture. When I started doing this, I was able to make gnocchi for the first time (before that, I either had dissolved ones or very heavy stodgy ones)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all SO much! Those are some great tips, doctortim. The only thing which confuses me, however, is that most of your tips seem aimed at reducing the amount of flour. But don't I actually need more flour to keep my gnocchi from falling apart?

- I use a potato ricer, with holes that are about 0.75 mm diameter. When I use a potato masher, I find I have to overwork the potatoes in order to ensure I've evenly broken them all up. That equals gluey potatoes.

It had already occurred to me (based on what I read in this and other threads) that I might have overworked the potatoes, but would that cause the gnocchi to dissolve and fall apart like they did? I would have thought gluey potatoes would lead to denser gnocchi, not the other way around?

I keep meaning to experiment with the dough as I'm making it, but each time I feel strangely confident that it'll turn out right so I don't bother. One thing I'll definitely try the next time, though, is adding the egg. I have tried that before but this time I thought I'd go without, and I guess that was a bad idea.

Sure they might be a bit heavy, but it's better than gnocchi soup.

Gosh, I just can't agree more. It seems like everyone's always complaining about "heavy", "leaden" gnocchi, whereas I am so far from that, it's hard to believe we're even talking about the same thing!!

Well, I'll let you guys know how the next batch turns out! Thanks again for all your help!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of your tips seem aimed at reducing the amount of flour.  But don't I actually need more flour to keep my gnocchi from falling apart?   

Simply adding more flour would be a good way to ensure that your gnocchi stay together (to a point). However the more flour you add, the more flour you'll get in each mouthful and worse the gnocchi will taste, both in flavour and in texture. Hopefully my tips and the other tips in the thread will help you handle the dough in such a way that a good result can be achieved with a standard amount of flour (which I've found is never more than 1/4 of the cooked weight of the potatoes).

I would have thought gluey potatoes would lead to denser gnocchi, not the other way around?

I'm not really sure about the science of starch and what happens chemically when someone overworks mashed potato. But from practice I've found that 2 things make a gnocchi dough more watery and gloopy: one is overworking the dough, and the other is leaving the dough sitting around. Perhaps as the starch breaks down it releases moisture?

Best of luck!

Dr. Zoidberg: Goose liver? Fish eggs? Where's the goose? Where's the fish?

Elzar: Hey, that's what rich people eat. The garbage parts of the food.

My blog: The second pancake

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.

I tried again tonight with the same result.  I used one and a half potatoes, mashed, with about six tablespoons of flour. 

Help!!!

Its quite evident youre not using ENOUGH flour. Many beginers make that mistake. This is a dough and needs the proper balance of potato to flour. Thomas Keller uses 2 lbs russets/3 yolks/salt and 1.25-1.5 cups AP flour. Thats what I use and it works every time. Also..some people dont quite mix it up enough...everyone always says over kneeding will make them tough..and thats true ,if you kneed for 10 minutes. The dough has to be mixed properly to homogenize.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its quite evident youre not using ENOUGH flour. Many beginers make that mistake. This is a dough and needs the proper balance of potato to flour. Thomas Keller uses 2 lbs russets/3 yolks/salt and 1.25-1.5 cups AP flour. Thats what I use and it works every time. Also..some people dont quite mix it up enough...everyone always says over kneeding will make them tough..and thats true ,if you kneed for 10 minutes. The dough has to be mixed properly to homogenize.

Thanks, man! The more I've been thinking about it, the more convinced I am that that's a big part of my problem. I'm so scared of using too much flour, I go too far in the opposite direction. Also I wasn't using eggs, and that makes the dough take less flour. Thanks for your ratio - I'll keep that in mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 'recipe' (more like a technique), that I've used with great success in restaurants.

Bake potatoes on a bed of salt. Rice potatoes (you've got to work quick while they're hot). Sprinkle flour all over (and season with a little salt), then mix with your hands until it gets 'crumbly' - the drier the potatoes, the less flour needed. Add an egg yolk or two (for most home sized batches, 1 egg yolk should be enough), and mix until it is *just* combined (mix too much, it gets gluey). Roll into 'ropes' (make sure theres plenty of flour on your work surface), cut, and boil (or freeze).

Making gnocchi is more about technique than it is recipes. It's a very hands on, manual operation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure if you are determined to make potato gnocchi, but I've found that ricotta gnocchi is much easier to work with - and to perfect - since you don't have the time consuming process of baking the potatoes (since it goes so much faster, I've found that it's easier for me to tell when the dough is right or wrong because that's what I'm concentrating on versus all of the additional steps with the potato gnocchi). Mario Batali has a great ricotta gnocchi recipe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure if you are determined to make potato gnocchi, but I've found that ricotta gnocchi is much easier to work with - and to perfect - since you don't have the time consuming process of baking the potatoes (since it goes so much faster, I've found that it's easier for me to tell when the dough is right or wrong because that's what I'm concentrating on versus all of the additional steps with the potato gnocchi). Mario Batali has a great ricotta gnocchi recipe.

I'm not sure I've ever had ricotta gnocchi. What does it taste like compared to the potato-based kind?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest, I don't really think it tastes that much different (maybe others think differently?), but it might be because I usually pair gnocchi with strong sauces. For myself, I just think it's a whole lot easier. I've made riccotta gnocchi numerous times, so I kind of understand the texture that works. I made it a few weeks ago using a new recipe (for me at least - from Suzanne Goin's Sunday Suppers - great sauce but gnocchi were heavy). I've had a lot of luck with Mario Batali's (and the sauce is excellent too).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Making gnocchi is more about technique than it is recipes.  It's a very hands on, manual operation.

A couple of years ago, My wife I went to Tuscany for gnocchi lessons. It is an art.

Noella at Aiole insisted on old potatoes, steamed then dried on her special board. Not much flour in the dough, but lots of flour on the board. I have a photo on

My Webpage

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that was me.

I qualify meat ragu as strong (heavy might be a better term) - which is what I typically seem to use. I did try ricotta gnocchi in brown butter with chanterelles and sweet corn following suzanne goin's recipe. while the sauce was awesome, the gnocchi were extremely "leaden" (I think that is an accurate description). They just weren't light, fluffy clouds. I noticed that when I was working with the dough that it seemed heavy/dense - it wasn't light and sticky like Batali's recipe. Next time i make that sauce, I'll follow Mario Batali's recipe for the gnocchi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gnocchi have several things in common with potato latkes and nothing is more crucial to the success of either than, after the potatoes have been grated, crushed, mashed or otherwise mauled, placing them on a clean tea-towel (dish towel), wrapping the towel around them firmly and then squeezing the liquids out of them. The more liquid you get out the less flour you will need for binding and the better your gnocchi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

kellytree, that looks unbelievable! What ingredients went into the tomato sauce?

The sauce was made with our canned tomatos sauce ( just tomato and a pinch of salt), 2 sausages - whole , a piece of some kind of beef, a carrot, celery, a clove of garlic, and a little oregano.

The whole thing is quite simply thrown together and boiled for a couple hours.

I take out all the chunks of meat and veggies and due to my darling mate I have to pass it through a sieve to get out all traces of tiny pieces of meat that may linger.

His version ends up very soupy (but good) or as he says " the gnocchi must swim in the sauce"- I usually put a spoonful of what remains in the seive (which is mostly just thick tomato sauce with a few tiny pieces of meat).

A LITTLE TRICK FOR WHEN YOU MAKE THE FORK MARKS:

Cut your gnocchi worms into the desired size.

Pick up a piece and pass the fork on the side of the gnocchi (not on the top which would seem the most obvious way).

The sides are still a little wettish so it is easier to make the indent marks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...
  • 1 month later...

i recently had a 'liquid' gnocchi while in spain. it is basically a very delicate shell with the inside consisting of a soft creamy liquit. i had some last year as well at tru in chicago- does anyone know how this is done?

Sandy Levine
The Oakland Art Novelty Company

sandy@TheOaklandFerndale.com www.TheOaklandFerndale.com

www.facebook.com/ArtNoveltyCompany twitter: @theoakland

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After getting the idea in my head from this thread I decided to make gnocchi tonight. I used Marcella Hazan's recipe, but added an egg. I also baked the potatoes instead of boiling them, though I did use the red round boiling potatoes as Hazan dictates. I found that with baking the potatoes not nearly as much flour is needed. In fact, I only used 1/2 of the flour called for in the recipe.

I boiled the formed gnocchi as instructed, just until they were getting soft, but not yet falling apart. Pulling them too early will lead to a raw flour flavor as I found out in my past attempt. After draining them, I then browned the gnocchi on each side in butter over medium heat until deeply golden browned a la Keller. Finally, I served them with the butter and onion tomato sauce from Hazan's book, which she notes is perfect for potato gnocchi.

My previous and only other attempt at gnocchi was a disappointing failure. This one, however, is one of the best things that I have ever eaten. It has such depth of flavor and complexity with so few ingredients. Truly an unbelievable dish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These are gnocchi are made with ricotta, eggs and flour, topped with a homemade marinara (good quality olive oil, chopped garlic, minced onion, San Marzano tomatoes, pinch of sugar, s & p to taste, and fresh basil) and freshly grated parm-reg.

gallery_59301_5865_22201.jpg

gallery_59301_5865_17278.jpg

gallery_59301_5865_34540.jpg

The key to tender gnocchi, whether it be potato, ricotta, butternut squash, spinach, or wherever your creativity takes you, is not too much flour, not overworking/kneading the dough, (as this would allow the gluten to develop, resulting in a tough gnocchi), not letting them sit out too long to dry (try to cook them within a half hour of forming them), and taking them out of the salted, boiling water as soon as they rise to the top.

Also, try not to make them too big. About a 1/2 to 1 inch piece cut off a somewhat slender, rolled rope of the dough, is usually just right per gnocchi, unless you're making a gnocchi grande!

Edited by Lisa2k (log)

Flickr Shtuff -- I can't take a decent photo to save my life, but it all still tastes good.

My new Blog: Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives

"I feel the end approaching. Quick, bring me my dessert, coffee and liqueur."

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's great aunt Pierette (1755-1826)

~Lisa~

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i recently had a 'liquid' gnocchi while in spain.  it is basically a very delicate shell with the inside consisting of a soft creamy liquit.  i had some last year as well at tru in chicago- does anyone know how this is done?

If the creamy, soft, liquid like center had some kind of 'cheesy' flavor to it, it sounds a lot like a gnocchi fonduta, which I learned to make from Chef Jamie Adams on a Great Chefs episode several years ago. Since you had it in Spain, I suppose the cheese could be Manchego, Cantabria or any other of the wonderful cheeses made in Spain. How they fill it is written out in the recipe below. Like I previously mentioned, you could substitite most any cheese that isn't oily and melts well, for the fontina in the recipe. Also, the base for the gnocchi you had could have been made with something other than potato, but give this one a try and see if it's close to what you had.

Gnocchi Stuffed with Fonduta in Parmesan Cheese Cream Sauce

Serves 4

Fonduta

1 pound Italian fontina cheese, rind removed, diced, soaked in 1 cup milk

3 egg yolks

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Gnocchi

4 pounds Idaho potatoes

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup all-purpose flour (approximately)

Sauce

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Regiano cheese

pinch of salt and pepper

pepper to taste

1 truffle peeled and thinly sliced

To make the fonduta: In a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the fontina with its soaking milk until smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks and flour and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, about 7 minutes until smooth and thickened slightly. Be careful not to overcook, as the eggs will curdle and the mixture will separate. Remove the pan from the heat and remove the bowl from the pan. Stir the sauce for 1 minute while the water in the pan cools slightly. Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

When the cheese is cooled enough to handle, but still slightly warm, transfer to a lightly floured work surface and roll into pencil-width strips.

To make the gnocchi: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook about 35 minutes until very tender. Remove the potatoes from the water and peel. While potatoes are still warm, pass them through a food mill. Allow the potatoes to cool completely.

Spread the milled potatoes on a board and make a well in the center. Put the eggs, salt, and olive oil in the well. Little by little mix in the flour, incorporating it into the potatoes and liquids. Add the minimum amount of flour possible. When a solid dough is formed, start kneading. Gently knead for about 5 minutes, being careful not to overknead, as this will develop the gluten in the flour, making the gnocchi tough.

Remove a small piece of the gnocchi and roll out into a strip the same width but slightly thicker than the fonduta strips. Press a fonduta strip into the gnocchi dough and roll out into a strip. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi and fonduta. Cut the strips crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. (Be careful not to place the strips too close together when cutting into pieces, as they will stick to each other.)

Bring a large pot containing a large quantity of salted water to a boil over high heat. While the water is coming to a boil, make the sauce.

To make the sauce: In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat until golden. Add the cream and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until reduced slightly. Add the cheese, salt and pepper to taste and cook until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Keep the sauce warm on the back of the stove while completing the dish. If necessary, reheat over very low heat.

When the water is boiling, quickly drop all the gnocchi into the pot. Lightly stir the water with a wooden spoon to keep the gnocchi from sticking. After a few seconds, they will come to the surface of the water; let them cook for 1 minute longer. With a strainer, remove the gnocchi to the pan containing the sauce. Toss them briefly in the sauce to coat, and transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with the truffle.

Edited by Lisa2k (log)

Flickr Shtuff -- I can't take a decent photo to save my life, but it all still tastes good.

My new Blog: Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives

"I feel the end approaching. Quick, bring me my dessert, coffee and liqueur."

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's great aunt Pierette (1755-1826)

~Lisa~

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everybody seems to be trying to make potato gnocchi. Hard work & tricky.

Try gnocchi Parisian a la Keller. Here's a link to the recipe.

There's also a video of him making them as well, but I can't find it at the moment.

I did these recently & they are both easy & delicious. Hard to go wrong when making pate a choux.

See blog below for details.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

I am planning on doing a homemade gnocchi dish for an upcoming event. I love to make the gnocchi from scratch, but obviously it's a bit of a time consuming process and you more or less have to boil them within a very short period of time after making them. Because I will need to prepare a large number of servings I was trying to wrap my head around how to do this.

So here is what I was thinking. After shaping the individual gnocchi, I would lay them out in a single layer on a sheet pan and freeze them uncooked. Then I would transfer to a freezer bag for storage until the event. At the event, I simply throw them, still frozen, right into the boiling water and then cook them until they float.

I am prepared that they might lose a minimal amount of texture, but unless this presents a major problem, are there any other tips or tricks or problems anyone can foresee?

By the way, my gnocchi recipe is fairly standard: riced cooked potatoes, AP flour, eggs, salt & pepper.

Flickr: Link

Instagram: Link

Twitter: Link

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By daniel123456789876543
      I have been making pancetta for the first time. I have experience with the curing process doing things like bacon and cold smoked salmon in the past but this is the first time I have ever hanged anything.
       
      After a week of curing it has had 11 days  hanging so far (I was planning on taking it to 28 days hanging) Although I foolishly forgot to weigh it. 
      It smells really good like some awesome salami and the outer rim of the pancetta looks lovely and rich and dark.
      It was a recipe by Kuhlman in one of their charcuterie books.
      But when I inspected it today it had the mould growing on it as in the pics below. I have since scrubbed the mould off with white wine vinegar and returned it to the cellar. Is it wise to continue?
       
      Daniel
       
       
       


    • By shain
      Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves. 
       
      50-60 g very aromatic olive oil
      80 g honey 
      120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet) 
      2 eggs
      2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon 
      230 g flour 
      1 teaspoon salt 
      1 teaspoon baking powder 
      75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios
      50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts) 
      Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed
      Optional: more olive oil for brushing
       
      Heat oven to 170 deg C.
      In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform. 
      Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. 
      Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix. 
      Add nuts and fold until well dispersed. 
      On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough. 
      With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long. 
      Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking. 
      Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely. 
      Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices. 
      Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden. 
      Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor. 
      Let chill completely before removing from tray. 
      Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea. 
       
        
    • By psantucc
      My own recipe, though influenced by many sources.
      Santucci's Practical Torrone (Christmas Nougat)
      180g honey (½ cup)
      100g egg whites (2 eggs)
      350g sugar (1 ½ cups)
      50g water (2 tablespoons)
      450g (1 pound) roasted nuts
      5-10 drops orange oil
      2 sheets (8 ½” x 11”) Ostia (aka wafer, edible paper)
      Combine honey, water, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Skim foam (if any is seen) off the honey when it reaches the boil.
      In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
      Cook the honey mixture to 280° F (137° C). Remove from the heat. With the mixer on high speed, slowly pour the mixture into the egg whites. Continue to whisk until volume has increased by about half and the mixture just starts to lose gloss – only about 5 minutes.
      Reduce the mixer speed and add the orange oil and nuts. When they are thoroughly mixed in, spread the resulting nougat over a sheet of Ostia. Try to cover the sheet as evenly as possible- the nougat is sticky and will make things difficult. When it is evenly covered, top with the other sheet of Ostia.
      Leave to cool and crystallize completely in the open air before cutting, preferably overnight.
      Note: I call this 'practical' Torrone because the recipe is made for home confectioners of reasonable skill to be able to easily understand what and how much to buy and what to do with it. The ingredient portions are biased for my country, the USA, but I saw no point in using English ounces for the weight-based version – those of us who prefer weight generally prefer it in grams.
      Tips and tricks:
      1.Keep nuts in a warm oven ( about 150° F / 65° C ) until you add them. Adding room temperature or colder nuts will reduce working time.
      2.Getting the nougat spread between sheets of Ostia is the trickiest part of the process. I use buttered caramel rulers on the outside edges of the bottom sheet, pour and press nougat in place, and then press the top layer on with an offset spatula. If you don't have caramel rulers, try spreading the nougat with an offset spatula, topping with the other sheet, and rolling with a pin to smooth. I advise against trying to cast the slab in any kind of fixed side pan, as the stickiness will make it very difficult to remove.
      3.Score the top layer of Ostia before cutting through. Once scored, a straight down cut with a Chef's knife works well. Cut into six 8 1/2” long bars and wrap in parchment or waxed paper to store, then cut into smaller rectangles to serve.
      4.There are many possible alternate flavorings. 1-10 Lemon oil or 1 t. (5 ml) vanilla or almond extract work well and are traditional flavors. Candied orange peel and/or orange zest can also be added.
      5.I use half pistachio and half almonds as the nuts. Hazelnuts (filberts) are also traditional. Any common nut should work.
      6.Ostia is available from confectionery suppliers. I get 8-1/2” x 11” sheets from www.sugarcraft.com under the name 'wafer paper'.
      This recipe is copyright 2009 by Patrick J. Santucci. Contact the author on eGullet under the username psantucc.
    • By Paul Bacino
      1 C Northern Beans soaked over-night in
      4-6C Water or Chxn Stock
      1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
      1//2 t Granulated garlic
      1 twig Dried oregano-- dried from last yr
      2 Bay
      pinch of salt ( yes ) and few pepper corns
      in the Morning; All into the Slow Cooker for 5 hrs. ( Crock Pot )
      I removed half the liquor and added chicken stock here back in . to this I added diced cooked Italian sausage about 1 whole .. simmer in a pot.. I transferred to... then add 1/2 head of shopped chicory ( curly endive ) finish cooking 15 mins
      cheers
      Most measurements again are from feel
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...