Homemade gnocchi. I had this perfect image in my head of these delicious little (potato) pasta pieces in a simple, but tasty sauce made with cooked cherry tomatoes, pesto, some sour cream, and rocket lettuce on top… When my boyfriend would come home he would find me there, cooking with the grace and technique of a real Italian woman (minus the looks, I still have quite some years to go!), serving him this made-from-scratch dish that was so good it was like we were back in Rome.
What I did not picture was him coming home, finding me with my hands literally tied together by “should it be this sticky?” dough, looking extremely desperate and covered in flour. My usual welcome home greeting at the door was replaced by faint calls for help from the kitchen. Not according to plan. Miracles happen though, because it ended up tasting quite great! Will explain more later in this post.
After reading this introduction you might be wondering why the hell I would even attempt to cook gnocchi from scratch. Well, apparently it is very easy. I’ve read some posts, saw some pictures pass on Instagram, and decided that I would give it a try. What knocked me down in this particular scenario is my inability to follow a recipe without making some adaptions. I took this recipe for 4 persons, scaled the ingredients down to three portions, but was stubborn enough to think that 3/4 of an egg (according to recipe) could easily be replaced by one LARGE egg. I ended up massively regretting my decision as I was left with this extremely sticky dough. Lesson learned: Always follow the recipe…
Anyway, the boyfriend came home and we attempted to roll the dough before cutting it. This was simply impossible so we tried cutting the dough itself in pieces. No luck. After a while we were so sick and tired of our numerous attempts to get small pieces of gnocchi in the boiling water we just dumped entire rolls in like way oversized spaghetti strands. When they started floating we took them out and cut them into smaller pieces. Sort of the same thing, right?!
Meanwhile, we were cooking the sauce by baking the tomatoes for approximately 4 minutes and then simply adding the pesto and sour cream to it. We decided to do a little tasting test (after all, we still had some pasta lying around we could swap it with… But that felt like giving up!) and it actually tasted… good. If I hadn’t been around seeing us struggle as much as we did I would have believed it was proper gnocchi. Who would have thought?!
After all my horror stories I’m afraid none of you will attempt to cook gnocchi from scratch. If you could have tasted it, that might have changed your mind! I was cursing so much during the process (I mean, I had to wait 10 minutes for my boyfriend to come home and rescue me from this adult version of play dough that wouldn’t let go of me!) but the end result made me a little proud.
If you do attempt to cook it, please, follow the recipe and add no more egg than needed!
- Potatoes, 750g (with skin)
- Flour, 300g
- Egg, 1 small
- Boil the potatoes with skin. When they are done, after about 25-30 minutes, drain the water.
- Peel of the skin using a fork or your hands. Mash the potatoes in a bowl.
- While stirring, slowly start adding the flour. Once it becomes too thick to stir you can start kneading.
- When you've added all the flour, add some salt and the egg. Knead through.
- Roll the dough-like substance out into thin rolls.
- Cut the rolls into small pieces, all equally sized.
- Stripe the pieces by carefully pressing them with a fork on both sides.
- Heat up some water with salt and toss in the gnocchi.
- Boil them until they start to float: this is where you want to remove them from the water and move them to a bowl to keep warm until you're ready to serve.
- Cherry tomatoes, 250g
- Pesto, 4 tablespoons
- Sour cream, 2 tablespoons
- Olive oil
- Toss the tomatoes in a frying pan with some olive oil. Bake them for around 3 minutes, until they burst open and release the juices.
- Add the sour cream and pesto and heat through. You can add some more of either, if you like.
- Toss in the gnocchi and let simmer for another minute or two, and you're good to go! A very classic but extremely tasty Italian dish 🙂
Do you have experience with dishes that went horribly wrong? Leave a comment down below or send me a message and perhaps I’ll try to see if I can do better.
See you soon!