Monday, July 12, 2010

Parmesan Gnocchi with Simple Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi are just about my favorite thing to order in an Italian restaurant because I always thought that they were next to impossible to make at home. I’ve tried and failed so many times that I’d almost given up entirely. Turns out, I just hadn’t consulted the master. For all of his stupid clogs and pretentiousness, that Mario Batali knows a thing or two about making pasta. I finally did my research and gave gnocchi another try. Thank goodness! They were amazing. Light and fluffy with a simple tomato and white wine sauce. Apparently making pasta is the opposite of making quickbreads and cakes in that you want to develop the gluttens in the flour by thoroughly kneading the dough. Helps to know. This made enough pasta for a dinner for 2, but uncooked gnocchi freeze beautifully so you can make more and freeze them. I hope you try making these because they are being added to my regular rotation for sure.
Parmesan Gnocchi with Simple Tomato Sauce
1 medium sized russet potato
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used a mixture of romas and medium sized tomatoes from my garden)
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup arugula
1. Peel and chop the potato into cubes and cook in salted boiling water for 15-20 minutes until tender.
2. Most recipes call for using a ricer or food mill to mash the potato, but since I don’t have one, I used a fork to smash the potato pieces on my cutting board.
3. Mix the mashed up potato with flour and parmesan cheese. Form a well and crack the egg in the center.
4. Slowly incorporate the potato, flour well into the egg until well combined. You want to make a dough that you can knead and roll out so if you need to add more flour, do that until a dough forms.
5. Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes and divide in half. Roll out half of the dough into a long snake.
6. Slice the dough into bite sized gnocchi and roll over a fork to form small ridges. This way the sauce will stick better.
7. I let them sit out on the counter for 20 minutes to firm up.
8. Make the sauce by sautéing chopped tomatoes in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes.
9. Add white wine and cook down.
10. Boil a pot of water and add a healthy pinch of salt. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the gnocchi. They will cook up super quick and you know they are done when they are floating on top of the water.
11. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and put them straight into the pan with your tomato sauce.
12. Don’t stir the gnocchi in the sauce because you don’t want to break them up. Just shake around the pan a little to coat the gnocchi thoroughly with sauce. If you need more liquid, add some of the cooking water and allow to cook together for about 3 minutes.
13. Add arugula and another handful of parmesan and shake pan around to incorporate.
14. Plate up and enjoy.


  1. I have tried (and failed) many times at gnocchi. I'll have to try this!

  2. Yes! Let me know how it goes. I was so proud of these and I wish I'd made more.

  3. Nope, still too scared. Also- whoever tries to make Gnocchi on Top Chef is ALWAYS eliminated. :) xo

  4. I swear that they aren't that hard, Sar. I think that carving out plenty of time to make them in a relaxed state of mind helps. Maybe that is why they always fail on Top Chef. Gnocchi can smell fear, like horses and dogs :) I hope you and the Mrs. enjoy them, Will!