Gnocchi is a delicious, comforting Italian dumpling – it’s so easy, and these tips for making them will ensure they turn out perfect!
What is gnocchi? Well, there are all kinds of varieties out there, but potato gnocchi is what we’ll be tackling today. Every culture has its own form of a dumpling, and gnocchi is Italy’s lovely creation. Potato gnocchi originated in the north of Italy, where the cold climate lent itself to growing potatoes as opposed to grains. It all trickled down from there, and if you were to take an Italian gnocchi tour all over the country, you’d encounter many different types of gnocchi out there.
Gnocchi, at its best, is a delightfully fluffy little potato pillow. At its worst, they can sometimes taste gummy or dense – so let’s make the former, shall we? I have a few tips for making gnocchi the right way (the Italian way!) to share with you. Let’s do it!
Tips For Making Gnocchi
1. Get your potatoes dry. This means 2 things: cook your potatoes with a dry-heat method, like roasting in the oven or in the microwave. Secondly, as soon as they’re done cooking, slice them open to let all that steam out. Excess moisture in potatoes can cause the gnocchi to ultimately get a little gummy, so we want to definitely avoid that.
2. Keep it warm! You want to start working with the dough when the potatoes have cooled down just a bit, but when they’re still warm. Basically, as soon as you’re comfortable enough working with them, go ahead and start. Making sure the potatoes are still warm will ensure a pliable, soft dough.
3. A ricer is nicer! In my opinion, a potato ricer is the best tool to use for breaking up your potato. It invites a lot of air into the party, so the potatoes don’t get all gummed up and dense. However, if you don’t have one, you can absolutely use a fork, potato masher, or even a food mill. Just be sure to not spend too much time mashing the potatoes down, as the longer they’re worked with, the more glue-y they can become. If you use an alternate method, be sure to fluff them up with a fork once they’ve been mashed to help release all that steam and keep everything airy and happy.
4. Don’t overwork the dough. Being gentle and light with the dough is the name of the game with gnocchi. The more time we spend working and kneading it, the more gluten develops, and the more gummy the potatoes can get. Knead the dough just until it comes together to form a nice, supple dough.
You can buy a gnocchi board online – or, you can use the back of a fork to shape your gnocchi!