Sunday, June 6, 2010

Homemade Gnocchi Recipe (Vegetarian)

I created this gnocchi recipe originally because I wanted a use for my leftover Baked Mashed Potatoes (Vegan). I know that homemade gnocchi traditionally has mashed potatoes, flour, egg yolk, and a dash of salt in it. My Baked Mashed Potatoes (Vegan) have just baked potatoes, olive oil, and salt and pepper in them, so I figured they would work great in gnocchi. Here is what I came up with. We love this gnocchi browned in some olive oil with shredded parmesan. You can also serve it with your favorite tomato sauce.

Homemade Gnocchi Recipe

1 large russet potato (1-1.15 lbs)
Olive oil for rubbing on the potato
1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

-OR- 1-1/2 cup leftover Baked Mashed Potatoes (Vegan)

1-1/2 cup unbleached flour
1 egg yolk
Unbleached flour for dusting
Water by the tbsp if using leftover cold Baked Mashed Potatoes (Vegan)

To prepare the potato:

Place a piece of aluminum foil on the middle/top rack of your oven, large enough for the potato to sit on. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash the potato, dry it, and poke it with a fork a few times in various places. Remove your rings and drizzle a little olive oil on the potato and rub the oil over it entirely. Place it in the oven on the aluminum foil and bake it for 1-1/2 hours, until it is baked through and soft.

When the potato is done, have a mixing bowl ready. Cut it in half and squish out (or remove using a spoon) the potato from the skin into the bowl. Discard the skin (or you can eat it separately if you want). Add the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste, and use an electric hand mixer to whip up the mashed potatoes. You should have around 1-1/2 cup of mashed potatoes using one large russet potato.

To make the gnocchi:

Remove your rings. Then mix together by hand the mashed potatoes, flour, and egg yolk. If you're using just-made mashed potatoes, the dough should form a ball without having to add any water to it. If using leftover Baked Mashed Potatoes (Vegan) from the fridge, use 1-1/2 cup of the potatoes, and when the potatoes, flour, and egg yolk are thoroughly mixed, add water 1 tbsp at a time just until the dough forms a ball.

Lightly dust your working surface with flour. Take a small handful of dough, dust it with flour, and using your hands, roll it into a long stick shape. Use a knife to cut 1/2" pieces into the strip of dough.

For each piece of gnocchi you cut, press your finger into it to make a dimple, then round the edges a bit.

Lay out the gnocchi side by side, not touching, in an aluminum 9x12 pan lined with wax paper. When the first layer is full, start another layer right on top of it (you can have mulitiple layers of gnocchi-lined wax paper in the pan).

Either cover the pan with plastic wrap and freeze the gnocchi for later, or cover and refrigerate the gnocchi until you are ready to boil them that day. If you freeze them, remember to take the pan out of the freezer after a few hours, remove the wax paper, and relocate the frozen gnocchi to a large Ziploc freezer bag.

To cook the gnocchi:

Non-stick cooking spray
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Handful of shredded parmesan cheese (fresh)

Heat a large pot of water, with a dash of salt, to boiling over High heat. Drop in gnocchi a small handful at a time until all of the gnocchi are in the pot. The gnocchi will float to the top when they are ready to take out.

Meanwhile, on another burner, heat a large skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to Low heat.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the floating gnocchi from the pot. Shake the spoon over the pot to drain off as much water as possible. Put the drained gnocchi in the heated skillet. Use a spatula to move the gnocchi around every couple of minutes, until all of the gnocchi are finally in the skillet. Raise the skillet heat to Med. and drizzle a little olive oil over the gnocchi, salt and pepper to taste, and saute them until all of the gnocchi are lightly browned. This will take around 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and add a handful of shredded parmesan cheese to the gnocchi and mix together. Serves 4 as a side dish, or 2 adults (and one small child) as a main course topped with tomato sauce (or served with a grilled meat if not vegetarian) and a side of vegetables.

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