I’m quite proud that my new daughter-in-law prefers my potato gnocchi to anything she has found in the best Italian restaurants. My gnocchi is, by my own account, excellent, but last night it got even better! I have been thinking of potato gnocchi (small dumplings, in the Italian style) with Gorgonzola sauce for several weeks, just waiting for the time to enjoy the process. My hallmark of truly great gnocchi is a light, tender, melt-in-your-mouth pillow. It must not be chewy or rubbery, that’s just not acceptable.
Ah, back to the recipe. I wanted to make gnocchi that was lighter and more delicate than usual. the ingredients are few: potatoes, flour, egg, butter, salt. I learned many years ago that baking russets was THE way to go, as the potatoes are drier, requiring less flour to form the dough than with boiled potatoes. The next step is to rice them — don’t want any extra gluten formed, because that’s what makes your dumplings chewy, rubbery and gummy. Over-mixing is also a culprit in chewy gnocchi. I added the eggs and butter at this point to help prevent gluten formation. Then, taking great care to mix ever so gently, I reduced the amount of flour normally used in the dough by less than half.
This combination of less moisture and less flour gave me more potato flavor. Less mixing produced a lighter dough. End result — immense potato flavor and a texture that was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth tender. It was delightful! Aha!
Whenever I make a “labor of love” I like to make extra and freeze them for use at a later time. Gnocchi are perfect to make-ahead and freeze as they pair well with a variety of sauces absolutely flexible to match your preferences for any specific evening, whether it be a simple fresh tomato sauce or a more complex sauce of gorgonzola accented with a tomato-basil salsa.
Please check my web site for my new gnocchi recipe. Buon apetito!