As I reported in the most recent At The Market, I bought a large bunch of really fresh and fragrant dill last Sunday from Gardener’s Gourmet. The first dish in which I incorporated the dill is gnocchi. Gnocchi (roughly pronounced NYOK-kee) are Italian dumplings and are named for gnocco, which is slang for “lump”.
Gnocchi are made from potatoes and other ingredients. They can be used as pasta and be accompanied by a variety of things, from a light tomato sauce, to braised meats, to butter and cheese.
Gnocchi recipes reach back to as far as the 12th century are are most common to Northern Italy. Typically, gnocchi are made by boiling potatoes, followed by ricing them, adding flour, egg and salt. Kneading this dough together is quick and portions of the dough are then rolled into batons and cut into 1 inch long pieces. The gnocchi pieces are then rolled on a fork, or gnocchi roller to give them their signature ridges which are great for holding sauce. Once formed, the gnocchi are quickly cooked in boiling water and are done when they float to the top.
After cooking, gnocchi can be added to a dish, or fried in butter to name just a couple ways to use them.
Here’s a recipe for gnocchi which is adapted from Mario Batali’s recipe on Food Network’s website. You will notice that I chose to use Yukon Gold potatoes as a change from more traditional Russett potatoes. The result was still light, yet creamy and the dough came together quickly without having to add more flour (which has unfortunately been a problem which has bitten me in the ass before- I call those gnocchi “sinkers”).
I served the gnocchi browned in butter and topped with Pecorino Romano cheese. The recipe makes about 90-100 gnocchi, but don’t fear, they freeze well and cook up frozen only a bit slower than when fresh.
To freeze, place the gnocchi on a lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until solid. Store frozen gnocchi is an airtight Ziploc baggie.
Herbed Gnocchi with Dill and Pecorino
makes 90-100 gnocchi
- 3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 cups All Purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup finely chopped dill
- 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (more for garnish)
Peel and quarter potatoes, keeping size uniform. Rinse potatoes in cold water. Place potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and allow potatoes to simmer, partially covered, until a fork is easily inserted (about 20 minutes).
Drain the potatoes in a collander and allow to cool for several minutes. Using a food mill or ricer, run potatoes through onto a lightly floured surface. Bring milled potatoes together and make a well in the center. Sprinkle all of the flour, dill and Pecorino cheese over the potatoes. Place egg and salt in the center of the well, and using a fork, stir into flour and potato. Once the egg is mixed in, bring the dough together by kneading it gently until a ball is formed. Knead for 3-4 minutes until the ball is dry to the touch.
Lightly four surface and your hands. Cut a 1 inch thick slice of the dough ball off. Gently roll into a baton or rope, until 1 inch thick throughout. Cut the rope into 1 inch pieces. Using your thumb, roll each piece (uncut side) on the tines of a fork, or gnocchi roller. Here’s a great pictorial from Food Network to guide you through this technique.
To cook gnocchi, place in boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes, until they float. Transfer to sauce, or as I did, fry them up in a bit of butter, until browned, in a non-stick skillet. Sprinkle with extra Pecorino Romano.
*Weekend Herb Blogging is a weekly event started by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen. This week, WHB is hosted by Thyme For Cooking.