I often hear, “My favorite restaurant has the best gnocchi and risotto…I wish I knew how to make them at home!” For some reason, gnocchi and risotto strike fear in the hearts of a lot of people. Both have an aura of difficulty and “must be a trained chef to make” reputation about them. But, really, both are quite simple to execute. We’ll cover risotto on a different day; today we are focusing on potato gnocchi. Gnocchi is really nothing more than potatoes, eggs and flour. The ingredients are simple. It’s the execution that can trip some people up. But really, all you have to remember is to be gentle with the dough. We’re not making pizza or bread dough – we’re making soft and fluffy gnocchi. You want to gently incorporate all of your ingredients and work efficiently and gently to get your dough together. Once it comes together, do not mess with it. Roll it out into long ropes, cut into pieces and then toss into some boiling, salted water for a few minutes. When the gnocchi is finished cooking, drain the water and add gnocchi to a pan that already has sauce heating in it. Please do not serve your gnocchi with a blob of sauce it. Get a little sauce in the pan, add your gnocchi (or whatever pasta, because this is how all pasta should be sauced), toss until coated, garnish and serve. That’s it. See? I told you making gnocchi would be easy.
Oh and one more thing – after you scoop the flesh of the potatoes from the skins, use the leftover skins to make these delicious Sports Bar Potato Skins!
Homemade Potato Gnocchi with Mushroom Cream Sauce
- *Potato Gnocchi*
- 1 pound russet potatoes
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Peccorino-Romano cheese
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 3 large egg yolks
- *Mushroom Cream Sauce*
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 6 white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. freshly chopped thyme
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or milk
- 2 tbsp. freshly grated Peccorino Romano cheese
- 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place potatoes on a sheet pan and bake until tender, about 45 – 50 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- When cool enough to handle, cut potatoes in half and remove the flesh. (Use the potato skins to make my potato skin recipe).
- Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer.
- Place potatoes onto a clean cutting board, make a well in the center of the potatoes and sprinkle with all of the flour, cheese, salt and pepper.
- Place eggs into the center of the well and stir into potatoes and flour using a fork.
- Once egg has been mixed in, bring the dough together by gently kneading, until a ball is formed.
- Knead for 3 – 4 more minutes until ball is no longer tacky.
- Cut the dough into four equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut into 1/2-inch-long pieces. Lightly flour the gnocchi as you cut them.
- Gnocchi can be cooked immediately or frozen covered in a single layer on a sheet pan and then transferred into a resealable plastic bag once frozen and cooked from frozen when ready to eat.
- To cook the gnocchi, add a good pinch of salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
- Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute after they have risen to the surface of the water.
- Drain and set aside.
- *Mushroom Cream Sauce*
- Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat.
- When butter is melted, add shallot, mushrooms and thyme. Saute for 4 – 5 minutes until mushrooms have softened and browned a little.
- Add cream and whisk in cheese.
- When the sauce is hot, add the cooked gnocchi to the pan.
- Toss quickly to combine and heat through, about 1 – 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.