Gnocchi, gnocchi, gnocchi! What a great invention. I wish I could claim the gnocchi idea of turning potatoes into these pillowy delicious little bites of goodness but I cannot. What I can do is share with you my own recipe for gnocchi. I pretty much make some version of my gnocchi weekly since I find it so relaxing. Whenever I have a tough day, I resort to making this dish, it just seems to relax me and make all of my worries disappear . Call me weird but I find the process of taking amazing potatoes and using them to create pillows of goodness that you can combine with almost any type of pasta sauce, just simply magical and wonderful.
I typically combine my gnocchi with a pesto or a red sauce but for this recipe I wanted to play on fall flavors so of course I went with pumpkin and sage. Yum!
My mom and husband were over the moon about this recipe so I know it was a winner since they are my toughest critics.
Let’s get to it!
My Gnocchi Making Process!
First potatoes: I find that russet potatoes or even sweet potatoes make the best gnocchi. I have tried using Yukon Gold potatoes but they did not work as well since they are typically the type of potatoes you want to use for mashed potatoes, since they have a more fine, silky and fluffy texture when cooked. So Russet potatoes it is! I will post my sweet potato version at some point as well since they are also gluten-free and amazing.
Next it is onto prepping your potatoes. You want to of course scrub them then place them in a pot, cover them with water, bring them to a boil and then simmer them until cooked through (al dente).
Then you want to drain them and let them cool until they are easy to handle so you can peel away the skin.
Now comes the fun part, ricing your potatoes. Now if you don’t have a ricer then you can use a box grater but ricer’s are inexpensive and I think they are pretty fun to use.
At this point you can cover your potatoes with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge until you are ready to make your gnocchi. I actually made the gnocchi the next day and they came out great. I would not wait more than one day though.
Now, you are ready to make your creation. Making gnocchi is a technique that I have researched quite a bit and there are different methods, but this one I have found is the most foolproof.
First, you need to make your dough. Place the riced potatoes on a floured surface and make a well in the center. Crack your egg in the well and mix it around with your hand. Now add your flour (I used a gluten-free all-purpose flour) about 1/2 cup at a time and mix it all together with your hands, adding the flour as needed (you will know when to add more since the dough will start to get sticky). Once the dough is firm enough to roll into a ball, you then need to knead it for 5 minutes. Do not skip this step. I have missed this step when I was first making this and the result was not great. The action of kneading makes the dough more pliable when you need to roll it out and cut it.
Then you want to cut the dough (I like to do this in stages), roll it into a log shape and cut your gnocchi.
Place a wet towel over the remaining dough while you cut up the gnocchi so it doesn’t dry out.
Next you get to put those cute little lines (i.e ridges) in the gnocchi that will hold your amazing sauce.
You can use a gnocchi board or a fork to do this but I find the board easier and it was only $7 so very affordable and faster if you plan to make this often like I do.
As you roll the gnocchi, you want to place it on a floured baking sheet to sit until you are ready to cook it.
Once you ave made all of your cute little gnocchi, you are ready to cook it.
Using a large pot, fill it with water (about halfway) and bring it to a light boil, adding in some salt to season.
Then drop your gnocchi in using a slotted or mesh spoon. I drop them in 4 or 5 at a time and add in about 12-15 for each batch since you don’t want to overcrowd the pot. As they float to the surface that means they are ready.
Remove them with your slotted or mesh spoon and place them on a dish.
Place the dish in the fridge for 5 minutes. This allows the gnocchi to keep their cute little shape.
Now its party time! These next few steps require a bit of coordination but it goes quick and the end result is so worth it!
Heat up a cast iron pan with a little butter and add the gnocchi to brown it. I also do this in batches, about 20-25 gnocchi at a time. You want to toss them as they brown so they do not stick and get browned on all sides.
While this is happening, you want to start the sauce. Heat up another skillet on the stove add in some olive oil and butter.
Then add in a little flour to build a rue like mixture.
Let that cook, constantly stirring for at least one minute. Then add in some fresh sage, cook for about 30 more seconds and add in the pumpkin puree.
If the sauce is too thick then you can add in some white wine or vegetable stock to thin it out but I like it a little thick, similar to a spaghetti sauce consistency. Add in some salt, pepper and nutmeg to enhance the pumpkin flavor. I also added in a small amount of maple syrup just to bring out the sweetness of the pumpkin.
Then as your gnocchi are browned, you want to add them right to the sauce. My favorite part.
Toss them to coat them in the sauce. Plate and top with some chopped sage and parmesan and there you have it. A delicious fall gnocchi dish that is sure to impress your friends and family.
Trust me! You will want to make this all the time! It is so fun and versatile to make and the kids can join in the process as well.
- 2 large Russet potatoes cleaned and rinsed
- 11/2 to 2 cups of gluten free or all purpose flour
- 1 egg at room temperature (about 70 degrees)
- 1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
- 3-4 tablespoons of vegan butter ( I love Earth Balance)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 sage leaves
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1-2 tablespoons white wine or vegetable stock
- 1/2 tablespoon oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the potatoes whole, skin on in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender (about 15 minutes).
- Drain, rinse and let cool until they are easy to handle.
- Peel off the skin.
- Cut them in half and add each half to a ricer and rice into a bowl until you have riced all of your potato. Add in a little salt and oregano to season.
- Set aside.
- Grab your flour and room temperature egg. Place your potatoes on a floured surface and make a well in the center.
- Drop in your egg and a little flour and mix. Continue mixing, adding in about a half cup of flour at a time until the dough is firm enough to roll into a ball.
- Then on a floured surface, knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
- Place a wet towel over the dough to keep it moist.
- Cut off a chunk of the dough (about a third) and roll it into a log shape.
- Cut your gnocchi to desired size and using a gnocchi roller or fork, add the ridges to each piece of gnocchi.
- Place the gnocchi on a floured baking sheet and continue with this process until all of your dough is gone.
- Heat up a large pot with water and add some salt to season it. Bring it to a light boil and add in your gnocchi using a mesh or slotted spoon (about 12-15 at a time).
- Once they float to the top, remove them with your mesh or slotted spoon and place them on a plate or dish.
- Put them in the fridge for 5 minutes. Continue until all of your gnocchi are cooked.
- Heat up a cast iron plan with a little butter. Remove the gnocchi from the fridge and add about 20 at a time to the cast iron pan to brown them.
- In the meantime, heat up another pan on the stove, add in butter and olive oil. Once the butter starts to melt, add in the flour and whisk for one minute.
- Add in your garlic and fresh sage leaves. Cook for another 30-60 seconds.
- Now add in your pumpkin puree, salt, pepper and nutmeg and cook or 2-4 minutes. Add in some wine or vegetable stock if the sauce is too thick.
- Add in the maple syrup and cook for another minute or so.
- Add the gnocchi to the sauce and stir to combine (amazing).
- Plate and top with some fresh chopped sage and parmesan and enjoy!