(As Featured in Mar2014 Nourish Magazine) These Simple Potato Gnocchi are easy to make and taste great with a variety of sweet and savoury toppings. Made with only 3 basic ingredients.
Whenever I go to an Italian restaurant I check if they have gnocchi on the menu, because they remind me of a childhood favourite called kopytka – a Polish version of these potato dumplings of sorts that my Mum used to make. And I always make sure to ask if they are pan-fried as well, because that’s when they become irresistible.
I sincerely believe they taste better in bite-size pieces and twice cooked: boiled in water, then quickly pan-fried in butter and olive oil. Their skin turns golden brown and crispy, while the centre stays soft and spongy. Great for mopping up savoury or sweet toppings and sauces!
The quickest Gnocchi shape to make is the pillow shape. Simply roll out a log of dough and cut into bite-sized pieces with a knife. To get a slightly more fancy, ribbed look, press your pillow Gnocchi down with a fork gently. Or, if you are feeling more adventurous, go for the more traditional round shape with a thumbprint in the middle.
My favourite way of serving Gnocchi, no matter what shape, is with a spring vegetable carbonara sauce. It takes a few minutes to prepare and is incredibly moreish. And isn’t it pretty? Plus kids love them too! Other toppings you might like to try is a Chorizo Bolognaise, Pine Mushrooms + Asparagus and these sweet options as well…
Sweet cinnamon crumb topping:
Combine 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix well. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a pan. Add cinnamon breadcrumbs and fry over low heat until golden and crunchy. Drizzle over your gnocchi and sprinkle with a little sugar if you like.
Blueberries, lemon sugar and pepper topping:
Sprinkle gnocchi with a handful of blueberries, a little sugar and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Season with freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
And there you have it, perfect little pillows of goodness. You can keep cooked gnocchi in the fridge for 3 to 4 days without spoiling. Reheat in a fry pan.
Simple Potato Gnocchi and 3 Topping Ideas
For the Potato Gnocchi:
- 750 g potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of plain flour
- extra flour for dusting
For cooking the Potato Gnocchi:
- 2 litre water
- pinch salt
- olive oil
For the Spring Carbonara Sauce:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly shelled peas or snap frozen peas
- 1/2 cup broadbeans shelled, frozen
- 185 g (1 small) can corn kernels
- 1/2 cup fresh cream
- 1 tsp pepper
To serve, optional:
- grated Parmesan cheese
To make the Potato Gnocchi:
- Boil potatoes for about 20 minutes or until soft.
- Drain, toss in the pot and place back on low heat for a moment to get rid of excess moisture. Mash using a potato masher.
- Set aside to cool down.
- Once the potatoes are at room temperature, mix in the egg, then sift in the flour.
- Mix well with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined and you can't see any flour lumps.
- Dust a cutting board with some flour.
- Take a handful of the dough and roll into a 2 cm thick log.
- Flatten gently then cut on an angle into bite-sized pieces and set aside on another tray.
- Repeat with the remaining dough.
To cook the Potato Gnocchi:
- Place water and a pinch of salt in a large stockpot and bring to a rapid boil.
- Drop handfuls of gnocchi into the water in batches and boil for a minute, or until they float to the surface.
- Remove from pot with a slotted spoon onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Spread out and drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Cool down slightly.
To fry the Potato Gnocchi:
- Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat.
- Fry gnocchi until golden brown then turn over using tongs.
- Serve with your choice of topping.
To make the Spring Carbonara Sauce:
- Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add peas, broadbeans, corn, cream and pepper. Add fried gnocchi.
- Simmer gently for about 2 minutes to thicken the sauce slightly and for the gnocchi to warm through.
- Serve potato gnocchi with the sauce, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.