Herbed Gnocchi with Parmigiano Cream Sauce


Homemade gnocchi…translation: little potato pillows of love.  Had a bad day?  Make some gnocchi.  These little dumplings are one of the most comforting foods in the whole world, and also one of the most satisfying. The other great thing about gnocchi is it’s the easiest fresh pasta to make, by far (remember when I made my 1-2-3 fresh pasta and rolled the dough out by hand with a rolling pin? Yeah, never doing that again.  I’ll be making gnocchi from now on).  I made these with my mom and my older brother all the time when we were growing up, so this post is dedicated to them!  Here’s how to make your potato pillows of love:

Ingredients:
3 pounds Idaho russet baking potatoes (don’t use waxy potatoes)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1.75 cups all purpose flour (approximately)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or you could do basil or whatever other herbs you want)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Scrub your potatoes, then pierce them with a fork 2-3 times so the steam can escape.  Bake them on a sheet pan for 45 min to an hour, until a fork can easily be inserted.  Peel the potatoes while they are hot out of the oven, as they are much easier to peel at this time.  To keep yourself from burning your hands, you can hold the potatoes with a towel.

If you have a potato ricer, use that to break down the potatoes.  Otherwise, spread the potatoes out on the sheet pan and mash very well with a fork.

Season your mashed potatoes with the salt and mix in the baking powder.  Start mixing the flour in with your hands, 1/2 cup at a time.  You want to add enough flour so the gnocchi doesn’t fall apart when boiled, but you don’t want to add too much flour or you will lose that potato flavor.  The best thing to do is roll a little piece of gnocchi, and test boil it (this part is so fun to watch)!  The gnocchi should sink to the bottom, then come up a little…then back down…then up…then down…ALMOST THERE…then down…then it will float up to the top after about a minute and a half.  If your gnocchi doesn’t float after that time or if it falls apart/gets fuzzy, it needs more flour.

When your gnocchi dough has the appropriate amount of flour, have a BIG pot of salted boiling water ready to go.  Dump your gnocchi dough out onto the counter, sprinkle over your chopped herbs, and knead the dough for two minutes.  Divide your dough into four sections, and roll it out into a long rope:

Cut off 1 inch pieces, and either roll them off your grater, or create little grooves on them with a fork.  We make these little ridges so the sauce sticks a little better.

Drop your gnocchi into the salted boiling water, and after they float to the top (should take 1-2 minutes), let them cook for 30-60 seconds more.  Remove your little potato dumplings from the water with a slotted spoon, and after they’ve drained, toss them in the Parmigiano Cream Sauce below, tomato sauce, or whatever sauce you would like!

Parmigiano Cream Sauce
What I love about this sauce is how easy, quick, and delicious it is.  I mean, cream and parmigiano…how can you go wrong?!?!

Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
1/16th tsp ground nutmeg (seems like a small amount, but makes all the difference)
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, freshly grated

Directions:
In a small saucepan set over medium high heat, reduce the cream with nutmeg added to it until about 1/4 of it disappears (this should only be a couple minutes).  Remove the saucepan from the heat, and whisk in your parmigiano reggiano.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy your gnocchi, and thanks for reading!

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20 Responses to Herbed Gnocchi with Parmigiano Cream Sauce

  1. Jaqie says:

    mMmm I love gnocchi and how easy it is to make 🙂 The sauce looks/sounds amazing! I must try this soon! I just bought a ton of potatoes and I havent decided on what to make for dinner so I shall try this!

  2. I’ve never made gnocchi but after reading your step-by-step I totally want to try. Very hands on and easy to understand. Always appreciated! And I have that microplane. Love it.

  3. Those look fabulous!! Im in a cooking funk but those look so delicious I might have to try it.

  4. vmacaraig says:

    I love how easy you made this look! The microplane grater was great idea. Your gnocchi looks so yummy. Never tried it before but I’ve put this in my to-do list thanks to your post.

    • Thank you! Yes, gnocchi is easy to make! I promise! I like the microplane idea too…I don’t like to have too many tools in the kitchen (sure, a potato ricer is useful, but I don’t eat potatoes that often). Multi-tasking tools are the best!

  5. Blair says:

    Gnocchi has been on my “to make” list for a long time…this makes me want to do it asap! Love your blog…so glad I found it!

  6. Trusty Sidekick says:

    My grandmother used to make amazing gnocchi, but she passed away and I never got the recipe. Makes me sad.

    I have been hesitant to make them ever since, for whatever reason, but your recipe has inspired me. They look so delicious, I have no excuse not to try.

    And P.S.–I know you hear it all the time, but I love your blog. I stumbled upon it at work one day (shhh, don’t tell!) and I just look forward to your posts. I love food, and it’s so obvious you love it, too. It’s nice to be in similar company 🙂

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother 😦 But I’m so glad my recipe has inspired you! They sure are tasty…and easy to make! You have no idea how much it means to me that you love my blog! It gives meaning to what I do, knowing that others read it and look forward posts. Do you have a blog too?

      • Trusty Sidekick says:

        I do have a blog, but unfortunately it’s not a food one! I wish I could start one, but by the time I get home from work, I’m just fried! I do write a blog for work: http://www.createanddecorate.wordpress.com. I work for a craft magazine, and the blog is for all the stuff we can’t fit in the mag. I love to cook, but I don’t get to do it as often as I like, so I live vicariously through your blog! 🙂 Thank you for all the delicious recipes–and the drool-inducing photos 🙂

  7. Shira says:

    This blog is awesome Joanne!! I’ve been inspired to try to make gnocchi this weekend 🙂 hope all is well and congrats on the wedding!!

  8. Jenn says:

    First time I tried this I forgot the test piece and they were all mushy and stuck together. Second time, was way better!! I’ve only had gnocchi a few timed and can’t remember what the texture was like. That cream sauce was easy and delish!

  9. Lyuda says:

    I didn’t have regular potatoes so I made sweet potato gnocchi using this recipe:) i also substituted a couple other things like 2% milk for heavy cream and pepper jack cheese because hey gotta use what you got and it was still very yummy 🙂 love all your recipes!

    • Joanne says:

      OOOOOO sweet potato gnocchi?!?!?! I still haven’t tried that and I don’t know why! I need to do that. Thanks for the awesome suggestion Lyuda!

  10. Kate says:

    I have a question… Are you speaking of the white sweet potatoes, or the orange ones (yams)?

    • Joanne says:

      Hi Kate, Are you referring to the potatoes that you use for this dish? I did regular white russet potatoes but I’ve seen people do yams. I’ve never been able to get my hands on the white sweet potatoes.

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