Making gnocchi at home for the first time took me back many years. My grandmother on a sunny Sunday morning, bent over a floured wooden board, with her beautiful, gnarled hands, dotted with speckles, made long rolls out of potatoes and flour dough and gave permission her grandchildren (me and my sister) to cut the rolls into small perfect pieces: the “gnocchi”. So much time has passed, so many things have changed…
I did not think I would be able to make gnocchi all by myself. What doses? Which flour? Which potatoes? How do I store them? Then I found a simple recipe in a famous Italian cooking blog and, always on the internet, advice on the right flour and potatoes to use in the UK. I chose and still use plain white flour and King Edward potatoes for making gnocchi, which are among the most “flourish” and therefore most suitable for this use.
A great result since the first time – try it! After a few attempts, I involved my 4-year-old boy, who greatly appreciated both putting his hands-on kneading and eating his cooked hard work!
Today, as a bigger boy, he still helps me and has fun. After a while his little sister usually joins us and make her mini-gnocchi version.
Oh, my beloved granny, I miss you so much… On a slightly sunny Sunday morning in a quiet town in the United Kingdom, we made 2 trays of gnocchi (500 g each) out of 1 kg of potatoes – enough for 5 big portions plus 2 mini portions (one frozen) for the little one. Bolognese sauce, made the day before, and a good sprinkle of parmesan are the perfect accompaniment! Enjoy!
Authentic Italian Gnocchi
An authentic Italian homemade first course from potatoes and flour dough, a perfect hands-on activity for kids... and with Bolognese sauce!
- 1 kg potatoes (skin on)
- 300 g plain white flour (00 or cake flour)
- 1 egg (optional, but I put it)
- wood pasta board
- potato ricer
- pizza cutter (optional)
- To prepare the gnocchi, start by boiling the potatoes (skin on!): place them in a large pot and cover with plenty of cold water. From the moment the water starts boiling, simmer for 30-40 minutes, depending on their size.
- Peel them while they are still piping hot (1) and immediately mash them on a board (2). Pour the flour onto them (3) and start kneading with your hands (4). Add the egg and keep kneading (5) until you get a soft but compact dough, no longer sticky.
- Take a portion of the dough and roll it with the tips of your fingers to create long rolls about 2 cm thick (6); to prevent sticking, sprinkle the board, from time to time, with some flour.
- Then cut the rolls into small pieces 2 cm long (7).
- Lay them on a tray slightly sprinkled with flour and arrange them in one layer well-spaced (8).
If you want to cook them you can pour them in boiling slightly over-salted water (because the dough is without salt!); as soon as they come to the water surface the gnocchi are considered cooked and then ready to be drained and seasoned.
Otherwise, you can freeze the gnocchi. In this case put the trays in the freezer and after about half an hour put the gnocchi in a food bag and keep on doing this until you have frozen them all. To cook them from frozen, you can just throw them into boiling water without defrosting them first.
The cost is less than £3, using organic ingredients when possible. Time (without children!) is about 1.5 hour, to eat them, a moment! 😉
CraftyMessyMom’s Maths Cookies
KIRFs: times table, halving, divisions
- I make 8 (5, 6, 7, 9…) gnocchi out of one roll, how many out of 3 rolls? And how many gnocchi if I use a half-length roll?
- We have 80 gnocchi in total, how many gnocchi will each of us eat if there are 8 of us? 4? 2?
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