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Twice cooked potato gnocchi with chorizo Bolognese

Every now and again my plans to go vegetarian are foiled by Mr Chipconnoisseur’s insatiable apetite for red meat. I cannot say I’m displeased about it, in fact I probably enjoy it as much as he does, especially in a rich saucy Bolognese like this one. But with the addition of smoky chorizo, this is definitely a dish best fit for a man’s heart stomach.

While I was hoping to serve it with spaghetti, and by all means you could, in a mad dash to the checkout I forgot to procure the said ingredient, so I made these delicious twice cooked gnocchi instead. It is amazing what one can do with just 4 pantry staple ingredients. And despite what you may think, they are quite easy  and quick to make!

I like to cook my gnocchi twice; boil then fry off for extra crunch on the outside and fluffiness in the middle. Irresistibly good! But they are just as good boiled and have none of that weird additive taste of the store-bought pre-packaged type. For other savoury and sweet gnocchi topping ideas, see here.

Serves 4-6

Twice cooked potato gnocchi with chorizo Bolognese

You can keep boiled gnocchi in the fridge for a few days, then to refresh them simply fry off in a pan until golden and crips on the outside. Uncooked gnocchi can also be frozen and boiled for a couple of extra minutes whenever you may need them. The whole dish is a great lunchbox candidate too.

{Printable recipe}

For the gnocchi:

  • 750g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of plain flour + extra flour for dusting
  • pinch of salt
  • 2lt of water
  • olive oil for frying
  • oil spray

For the chorizo Bolognese:

  • 500g (organic) beef mince
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 chorizo, diced
  • 2 cups red wine (I used a Grenache Mataro Shiraz blend)
  • 1/2 red capsicum, diced
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp Italian herb and spice blend
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp oil

To serve:

  • grated cheese (cheddar, parmesan or pecorino)
  • lemon wedge

To make the 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. I don’t bother putting mine through a ricer or sieve, they are more rustic that way and if you mash them well enough they will be smooth enough. 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 boil the gnocchi: place water and a pinch of salt in a large stockpot and bring to the boil. Drop batches of the gnocchi into the water and boil for 2 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon into a colander and spray with oil spray to prevent them from sticking together. You can serve them without frying, and they keep best in the fridge that way – you can then fry them up for serving later or the next day.

To fry the gnocchi: heat up some oil in a frypan. Fry gnocchi until golden brown then turn over using tongs and brown the other side. Serve with your choice of topping.

To make the chorizo Bolognese: brown onion and chorizo in a little oil in a large stockpot. Add beef mince and cook on high heat, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon until the meat is nicely browned. Add wine, capsicum, tomatoes, herbs and spices. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer, semi-covered for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a 1/2 cup of water if the suace becomes too thick in that time.

To serve: arrange some boiled or fried gnocchi in a serving bowl. Add a scoop of Bolognese and grate over some nice smelly cheese. Serve with a lemon wedge on the side.


Maureen January 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I’ve never twice cooked gnocchi but it sounds like a great idea!

Steph January 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Your dish looks amazing, and it seems to be pretty easy to make too. Thanks for sharing!

Timothy R January 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Speaking as a man, I approve 100%. Make it 110%.

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide January 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I love this idea and I keep meaning to make my mom’s gnocchi recipe. I know what I’ll do with the leftovers.

Anna @ the shady pine January 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm

How delicious! I never thought to incorporate chorizo in a bolognaise but it would really intensify the flavour with its smokiness. I will definitely be trying this next time I am making a big batch of bolognaise.

shez January 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I’ve always got dried pasta in the back of my pantry but never have delicious home made gnocchi! If I could switch my pantry supplies for yours…

(Love the idea of boiling then frying the gnocchi too – it would make it so much more interesting texturally)

Anne S January 23, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Potatoes egg and flour have never tasted so good. I’m adding this to the Valentine’s Day meal idea basket.

Mez January 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I have always wondered about the frying of gnocchi and secretly craved it even though I had no idea how to do it… le sigh… and now all my fried gnocchi dreams are here on the screen… and i want fried gnocchi… LE SIGH… maybe if I wasn’t on an immense health kick at the moment I’d make it STAT, but alas I am so it’s going to have to be saved for a cheat meal day.

I want it NOW dammit!!

rsmacaalay January 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I made gnocchis before but never double cooked it, great idea. I guess it would add a lot of flavour to that dish.

Leah Vanderveldt January 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm

I love the sound of chorizo bolognese! If there’s one meat that makes me go weak in the knees, it’s chorizo. I’ve been meaning to try making my own gnocchi too – will have to put this on the list!

Three-Cookies January 24, 2012 at 5:23 am

Twice cooked sounds twice the amount of flavour, at least! I haev tried boiled as well as baked but never together. I will fry next time

Sissi January 24, 2012 at 5:35 am

I have never made gnocchi, but since you say they are not so complicated, I should try them one day. Chorizo bolognese sounds fantastic!

Joanne Ozug January 24, 2012 at 5:36 am

These look absolutely incredible…WOW

Geni - Sweet and Crumby January 24, 2012 at 6:18 am

Everything about this meal looks drool worthy! Your gnocchi are GORGEOUS! I love the idea of frying them for an extra crunch and a little browning. I really want to learn to make gnocchi so next weekend I am planning to be brave and give it a whirl with your recipe. I actually went to a cooking class to learn how to make them and it was taught by the hottie, Favio, from Top Chef. And you know what, I learned NOTHING! I was sadly disappointed. He made gnocchi, which he was famous for on the show, gave us no recipe or measurements, and they were sorely undercooked. He also made pumpkin risotto and did NOT USE ARBORIO RICE?! Can you tell i am a little bitter? Your sauce looks so hearty and yum as well. Sorry for my little rant there.

justalittlepiece January 24, 2012 at 8:36 am

YUM! I feel you on the vegetarian attempts. This sounds so good for today’s rainy weather.

[email protected] January 24, 2012 at 8:58 am

I adore fried gnocchi and can eat it on its own just drizzled with olive oil and a bit od sea salt. Love how you’ve teamed it with chorizo. Delicious!

Courtney January 24, 2012 at 9:55 am

A great combo! Chorizo and gnocchi – sounds so good.

Nami | Just One Cookbook January 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Oh my, I love the “twice-cooked” gnocchi idea! The nice char on the gnocchi is so appetizing – like one on pot stickers, you know. This looks so good! I love bolognese…should try with gnocchi like you next time!

Bam's Kitchen January 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I never thought about frying the gnocchi after boiling, what a great idea and I am sure it adds another layer of flavor. Take Care, BAM

Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} January 27, 2012 at 1:18 am

Omg, Amazing combination of flavors! Very clever idea on frying the gnocci’s! I’m Italian and I think I’d love this dish with the chorizo

sara (Belly Rumbles) February 5, 2012 at 1:32 am

Just takes gnocchi to another level. Makes perfect sense and surprised I haven’t done it before, I fry other pasta.

Jennifer @ Raisin Questions February 7, 2012 at 7:16 am

This is a really quick dinner idea! I don’t think I believed gnocchi was that easy. Thanks for the inspiration and great tutorial!

Kristy Lynn @ Gastronomical Sovereignty February 11, 2012 at 10:56 am

it’s true. you’re right on two counts:

a. store bought gnocchi is gnarly.

b. home made gnocchi is easy.

oh wait.. one more count…

c. twice cooked is always a good idea. I usually boil em real quick, remove them from the water as soon as they float and then shock em in a really hot pan to get em crispy outside. love it!

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