Recipes from the Grapevine Cottage

Recipes --> Main Courses --> Gnocchi


Our friends Greg and Susan invited us to dinner to celebrate Greg's birthday. Susan surprised Greg by engaging one of Indianapolis' most well-known chefs, Tony Hanslits, to give Greg a private cooking lesson while preparing dinner for the 4 of us. The Wine Guy and Linda were enlisted to match wines, Tony prepared a feast and Greg now knows how to make Gnocchi (tiny Italian potato dumplings). After we plied him with a couple of glasses of wine, Tony agreed to be this week's guest Chef. His recipe for home-made Gnocchi (no-kee or knock-kee, we're not sure) follows.

Serves a whole bunch of people

3 pounds russet potatoes
2 cups all purpose flour
1 extra large egg
1 teaspoon salt
1\2 cup canola oil

Place the whole potatoes in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook at a low boil until they are soft, about 45 minutes. While still warm, peel the potatoes and pass them through a vegetable mill onto a clean pasta board. Bring about 6 quarts of water to a boil. Set up an ice bath with 6 cups of ice and 6 cups water near by. Make a well in the center of the potatoes and sprinkle all over with the flour. Break the egg into the center of well, add the salt, and using a fork, stir into the flour and potatoes as if you were making pasta. Once the egg is mixed in, bring the dough together, kneading gently until a ball is formed. Knead gently another 4 minutes until ball is dry to the touch.

Divide the dough into 6 large balls. Roll each ball into 3\4 inch diameter ropes and cut the ropes into 1-inch long pieces. Flick the pieces off of a fork or along the concave side of a cheese grater to score the sides. Drop the dough pieces into the boiling water and cook until they float to the surface, about 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the gnocchi to the ice bath. Meanwhile, continue with the remaining dough, forming ropes, cutting 1-inch pieces and flicking them off of a fork. Continue until all the gnocchi have been cooked and allow them to sit several minutes in the ice bath. Drain the gnocchi and transfer to a mixing bowl. Toss with the canola oil and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours or until ready to serve.

Tony sautéed his Gnocchi with olive oil, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, three varieties of Italian olives and blanched broccoli that he added at the last moment. He presented it with a pan seared, beef filet that had been marinated in olive oil, garlic and spices. Gnocchi can also be served with traditional pasta sauces. I once had it served in a Dallas restaurant as an appetizer with a parmesan cream sauce that was accented with nutmeg. This is a very versatile pasta, make something up!