The parmesan gnocchi I made the other night turned out wonderfully – light, pillowy cushions of cheese and potato pasta sautéed in olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic. I did not turn out the prettiest of gnocchi, the cheese made them a little chunkier then usual, but the flavors all checked out. I added more eggs to my gnocchi then I would usually use to help bind in the cheese. I also selected a hard cheese that would not add to much moisture, but had a stronger flavor. A little bit goes a long way when using an aged parmesan, but the flavor is still subtle enough to not overpower the potatoes. For a sharper flavor you may want to try an asiago. A project for another day.
- 3 Potatoes (medium sized)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago (or another sharp, hard Italian cheese)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 Eggs (room temp)
- 1 1/2 cups Flour
- Prepare the potatoes:
- One of the keys to making light gnocchi is to use as little flour as possible, which means that you want to keep things as dry as possible. Generally, when a recipe requires cook potatoes I head for the boiling water, but in the case of gnocchi, I have found the microwave is the best way to go. The microwave will draw some of the moisture out of the potatoes, ergo, less flour. Microwave your potatoes.
- Allow your potatoes to cool fully.
- Remove the potato skins.
- Grate your potatoes or run them through a ricer. The potatoes should be slightly mushy anyways.
- Add the eggs and cheese to your potatoes using your hand to mush it together.
- Add about a 1 1/2 cups of flour to your potatoes, remembering that when it comes to flour and gnocchi, less is more. You want to add just enough flour to form a light, slightly sticky dough, but not a heavy, solid dough.
- Allow your dough to rest, while covered, for about 1/2 a hour to activate the gluten. The gluten will work to hold the dough together, and give it some structure.
- Form the gnocchi:
- Use your hands to roll the dough out into long logs. Dusting with flour as needed, but once again sparingly.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the logs into evenly portioned gnocchi.
- Allow your gnocchi sit out and dry for about a hour before cooking.
Sun-dried Tomatoes and Garlic
- 2-4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 cloves of minced Garlic
- 1/4 cup small diced Sun-dried Tomatoes
- 1-2 tbsp Sun-dried Tomato juice (canned sun-dried tomatoes usually come packed in oil, that is what I mean by sun-dried tomato juice. If you are using sun-dried tomatoes that were not packed in liquid, it may be a good idea to rehydrate them in water for a hour or two before use.)
- Salt and Pepper for seasoning
- Heat up a large non-stick or cast iron skillet with a drizzle of olive oil in the bottom.
- Once the pan is sufficiently hot, add in half of the gnocchi. Do not over crowd the pan or the gnocchi might begin to stick together.
- Cook the gnocchi for a couple of minutes until it’s a light golden brown.
- Sprinkle in half of the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes, along with a splash of the sun-dried tomato juice, and give it a quick toss about the pan.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Sauté everything together for another minute or two. Keep a watch on the garlic, you do not want it to burn and get bitter.
- Remove the gnocchi form the skillet, and repeat the entire process with the second half.