May 2, 2013 by Meg G.
Last time I shared a gnocchi recipe with you, I tried to convince you that it doesn’t have to be relegated to the “special occasion” menu. Still not a believer? Well, perhaps this recipe will change your mind.
Mark Bittman is the king of making difficult things easier. In this New York Times article, he debunks the myth that making fresh pasta is an arduous task requiring a machine and a lot of patience. Of course, it can be just that (think cutting and stuffing ravioli), but it certainly doesn’t have to be. He shares three quick and easy pasta recipes, including one for fresh pasta in broth, Spaetzle, and this potato “gnocchi.”
The quotation marks are intentional. This recipe is what Bittman calls a central European take on the dish. Rather than baking and then mashing the potatoes, you use raw, grated ones. While this version “lacks the elegance of gnocchi” (a nice way of saying it looks like an amoeba) it achieves the same end: delicious pasta made by your own hands. Here goes!
Thirty Minute “Gnocchi” – by Mark Bittman via the New York Times
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound raw potatoes, peeled
- 1 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Set a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Grate or shred potatoes in a food processor (or by hand).
- Place potatoes in a large bowl and add 1/2 cup flour and salt, pepper, and eggs. Stir, adding flour gradually until it forms a dough that will barely hold together when shaped with your hands. This took quite a bit more flour for us, perhaps because we had slightly more than a pound of potatoes.
- Adjust heat so water simmers steadily. Make walnut-size dumplings and add about 1/3 of them to the water. Cook for about 3 minutes after they float to surface, then taste one and make sure potato is cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Repeat with the remaining batches.
At this point, you can choose to sauté them with a bit of butter or olive oil and top with parmesan cheese and some fresh herbs. Or you can follow the rest of Bittman’s directions for a simple tomato sauce. We topped ours with some leftover pesto and some vegan Italian sausage, both from the freezer. I also sprinkled on some cheese, just for good measure.
-This was the first time I’ve ever used the grater blade on my food processor. Life. Changing.
-If you grate your potatoes in the food processor, you may need to give them a bit of a snip by hand afterwards (or perhaps put smaller pieces of potato in the food processor). If the strips are too long, they will be more difficult to shape into dumplings.
-These are, admittedly, quite a bit bigger than the size of a walnut, but I got a little lazy.
-The process took slightly longer than a half hour, but I took my sweet time.
-This is some of the stickiest/wettest dough I’ve ever come across. (Don’t be scared.) We probably added a bit too much flour, but it didn’t compromise the texture or flavor at all.
-These really are free-form and look a little ridiculous. They are a far cry from the pillowy gnocchi that you’re used to, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t delicious!
There are just five ingredients standing between you and fresh pasta…so get on with it! 😉