If there's one type of pasta I'd never get sick of, it's gnocchi. These little potato dumplings are light and airy yet doughy and so satisfying to sink your teeth into. And turns out, you can make gnocchi very easily from scratch.
Making homemade gnocchi always felt like a sort of daunting and time-consuming process, until I tried it and realized it's actually incredibly simple, requires just four ingredients, and is almost impossible to mess up.
You need just four ingredients: 3 large or 4 medium russet potatoes (or sweet potatoes!), 1.5 cup all-purpose or "oo" flour, 1 egg, and a teaspoon of salt. Yes, that's really all.
Start by boiling the potatoes in water until they are fork tender. Then, peel the skin, let them cool slightly, and grate the potatoes into a bowl.
On a working surface, shape the grated potatoes into a mound and make a well in the middle.
In the center of the well, add the flour, the egg (you can crack the egg right into the well or whisk it ahead of time), and the salt. I followed this Pinch of Yum recipe which calls for ricotta, but feel free to leave it out and stick solely to flour.
Combine the ingredients with a fork, and then start working the dough with your hands, forming it into a uniform log.
Cut the log into slices and roll each slice into a rope. You can add a bit more flour as needed. Cut each rope of dough into bite-sized pieces. These are your gnocchis. You can use a fork to indent the gnocchi on each side and make it pretty, or just leave it. Even imperfect gnocchi will taste great.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the cut gnocchi. It will only cook for about two minutes before it floats to the top, and that's how you know it's done. Using a slotted spoon, removed the gnocchi and transfer to a strainer to get rid of excess water.
Now you could stop here, but I highly suggest this next optional step. IMO, it takes homemade gnocchi to the next level. Heat a bit of butter or oil in a frying pan until it's nice and hot. Then, add the gnocchi to the pan and cook until the sides become golden brown and slightly crispy.
And that's all there is to it! Eat your homemade gnocchi with whatever you're in the mood for. I tossed mine with some spicy chicken sausage, roasted broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, and then I drizzled everything with a healthy dose of olive oil, salt, pepper, red pep flakes, and Parmesan cheese.
If you want some more inspiration, try tossing the gnocchi in a homemade or store-bought marinara sauce with herbs and mozzarella cheese like in this recipe from Foodie Crush.
This recipe will yield a lot of gnocchi dough, so if you don't use it all at once, you can freeze it for the future. Freeze the cut gnocchi on parchment paper so it doesn't stick together. Once frozen, transfer it to a freezer bag. Then, whenever your gnocchi craving strikes, you can boil it straight from frozen in minutes.
Sure, this process takes longer than just boiling some store bought gnocchi, but the fresh and tender melt-in-your-mouth pasta is worth the extra effort. Here's to an especially delicious pasta night.