Why, you make potato gnocchi of course! But only if you have an empty house and at least five free consecutive hours. Because, trust me, you will need both of those things. Along with patience. It’s a virtue. Think about it.

The thought of making my own potato gnocchi first popped into my head when I found out that it was the Tyler Florence Friday’s bonus recipe for February. Being that this is really not a recipe to make in a dorm kitchen, I was unable to make it during that month but bookmarked it as a kind-of project recipe to be undertaken during one of my school vacations. Spring break turned out to be especially advantageous because I am home all day, alone with the dog, with no one to interfere or poke and prod, as they are always wont to do. (My father is an especial culprit…he likes to stick a fork into whatever I am cooking no matter its stage of doneness.) Well, let me tell you, I set out with some fierce trepidation and anxiety (what if they didn’t turn out – what would we eat for dinner?!?!?) but it all turned out okay. I made some changes to Tyler’s recipe along the way, namely that I don’t have a potato ricer so I had to hand-rice the potatoes with a fork. I also didn’t add lemon to the ricotta because there are some lactose-intolerant people in my family and so I didn’t know how much would be used. I figured it would be best to just let everyone take their own ricotta from the container at their whim.

And what did the family of picky eaters say? Not much. They were too busy eating. There were no leftovers.

Potato Gnocchi with Peas, Prosciutto, and Ricotta
Serves 5, adapted from Tyler Florence

2-2 1/2 lb russet potatoes
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg white
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup frozen peas
1 large shallot (yes, again Anthony Bourdain would be proud)
1 tbsp butter
1/4 lb prosciutto, thinly sliced
15 oz part-skim ricotta
2 tbsp olive oil
more salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Scrub the potatoes, spray them with some cooking spray, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 45 minutes (or until fork-tender). Let the cool for a few minutes then peel them with a paring knife. (I started to accrue VERY minor burns on my fingers from doing this. I thought of them as battle scars. The hands of a true chef, again a la Monsieur Bourdain.) If you have a potato ricer, rice the potatoes. If not, take a fork and run it along the side of the potatoes, effectively shredding them. Kind of the way you would a spaghetti squash.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the egg whites, cheese, salt, and potato. Add flour until the mix achieves a doughy consistency. If I ever decide to make these again, I might add in some more spices at this point. Maybe some garlic powder or herbs. Imagine cilantro-infused gnocchi.

3. Pour flour all over your entire table. Yes, this is a messy process. It INSISTS upon you getting your hands dirty. Breaking the dough into small chunks, roll it into a long tube and cut into approximately 1-inch pieces. Using a fork, press little indentations into the gnocchi to give them that grooved texture. After finishing my first tube, I heated up some water and tested two gnocchi. Tyler says in his recipe that they may either fall or apart or be too hard depending on whether you have used too much or too little flour, and I didn’t want to go through the whole proces only to discover I had to start again. That being said, mine were fine. Unless you are planning on cooking the gnoochi immediately, dust some baking pans with flour and place each gnocchi into the pan once it is formed. Once you are done, you will have made approximately 150 gnocchi (!) and your kitchen table will look like this:

4. Cover the pans with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.

5. Boil salted water in two pots – a large one for the gnocchi and a smaller one for the peas. While the water boils, heat up the olive oil in a saute pan. Add the shallots, some salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes. Cook the peas in the boiling water until crisp-tender, then strain and add to the pan with the shallots. Keep this on low heat.

6. Once the gnocchi water is hot, add the gnocchi in batches, using a slotted spoon to remove them when they begin to float. Add them to the pan with the peas and the shallots. Add the butter to this pan, along with 1/2 cup of cooking water.

7. While all this is occurring, preheat the oven to 350. Arrange the prosciutto on a greashed baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes or until crisp.

8. Place some gnocchi onto each plate and top with two slices of the prosciutto as well as some ricotta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.

I will be submitting this both to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted by Aquadaze of Served With Love, and also to Tyler Florence Fridays.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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24 Responses to What Do You Do When Life Hands You a Sack of Potatoes?

  1. burpandslurp says:

    can you believe it, I have NEVER tried gnocchi before? yours look amazing! I can’t wait to try it out for myself!
    TYler rocks! all his recipes are great.

  2. ttfn300 says:

    ok that looks AMAZING!! i have been meaning to make gnocchi again b/c i got a ricer for xmas 🙂

  3. Juliette says:

    That looks great! I think I’ll also save it for a trip home. No chance (or time) at school

  4. They look delicious. I’m glad everyone enjoyed them…how could they not.

  5. Pam says:

    Wow! You are so much braver than me. These are way down on my list, I’m too afraid!

  6. Debinhawaii says:

    Yea! You did it! Although I won’t be making it very often since it is so involved, it was a good one to try. Your gnocchi turned out great!

  7. Natashya says:

    Great job on this uber-challenge!
    Gnocchi is a labour of love. I make sure the telly is on and my wineglass is full before starting!

  8. Joanne says:

    burpandslurp – The only gnocchi I have had previous to this was in restaurants or the frozen kind. These have a much different texture (much softer and less firm) and so you may want to try some perfected ones first before trying to make your own. Tyler IS the best!

    ttfn – I can’t wait to try your eggplant gnocchi, but that is another project for another day. And I probably would invest in a ricer first, because that was one of the most time-consuming parts.

    Juliette – Thanks for the comment! It’s projects like these that make trips home so much fun.

    The Food Hunter – Thanks! I am glad too, especially after all that work.

    Pam – I believe in you! Worst comes to worse, they will end up like mashed potatoes and will that really be so bad?

    Deb – Thanks! It definitely is one of those things that you should do you once in your life and I’m glad I did.

    Natashya – That’s what I forgot – the wine! That would definitely have made the whole process go by a lot faster, or at least seem to.

    Tha BossMack – Thanks for stopping by.

  9. KC says:

    The gnocchi looks wonderful. I have a bag of potatoes too and you have given me the inspiration to make gnocchi. Thanks.

  10. Reeni? says:

    You rock!! Home-made gnocchi is the best! That end result looks amazing, my mouth is watering even though I just ate.

  11. Megan says:

    Ha ha – your dad sounds like mine – as soon as he comes into the kitchen he starts stirring, poking, and general making a mess. Oh well!

    Congrats for making the gnocchi, I chose the challenge and I didn’t even make them!

  12. leanne says:

    So impressive. Your dad sounds like my mom. She can never wait for dessert and trys whatever she likes before everyone even shows up. Nice job. Glad everyone liked it.

  13. Kim says:

    Looks great! I loved this dish when I made it last month. It was a lot of work, but everyone loved it so much and there were no leftovers. I’m glad you liked it too. I wanna make it again, but need the time to do it : )

  14. Joanne says:

    KC – Glad to be inspirational :P. Gnocchi are always a good thing.

    Reeni – Thanks for the comment! I was pleasantly surprised with how well they turned out…I was definitely fearing the worst.

    Megan – Haha, gotta love them for it. Sometimes dads will just be dads.

    leanne – Thanks for the comment! It’s amazing what you can do with a little bit of time and peace and quiet.

    Kim – I know how you feel. Now that I know I can do it, I’m all excited to make sweet potato and butternut squash gnocchi but the time issue is a real hindrance!

  15. Ruth says:

    What a perfect thing to do on Spring break! Thanks for sharing with PResto Pasta Nights. And I am glad your fussy family enjoyed it.

  16. glad your family enjoyed it! i plan on making these one day, but really… five whole hours?? i didn’t realize that!!

  17. Jenny says:

    Nice work! I haven’t tried making my own yet, but keep meaning to.

  18. Joanne says:

    Ruth – It was a fun adventure. Next up – sweet potatoes and butternut squash (if I can ever muster up the time and energy).

    somethingsweetbykaren – To be fair, I took a lunch break. Also, if I had a potato ricer it probably would have been a lot quicker.

    Jenny – Definitely something you should do at least once in your culinary career.

  19. Daniel says:

    It’s funny, the last time I had full-on tantrum in the kitchen was when I tried to make gnocchi and the little bastards all fell completely apart in the water. I’m still recovering from it!

    Casual Kitchen

  20. Joanne says:

    daniel – That’s cute. And exactly the reason why I tested two before cutting all of the dough. I didn’t want to risk having to be shipped off to an insane asylum or being the cause of any incident of mass destruction, both of which would have been plausible had they been completely inedible. I think the worst kitchen experience I had was about three years ago when I made fettuccine alfredo, put it in a plastic bowl and then placed that bowl on a still-hot burner. Needless to say, the smell of burnt plastic is one that remains with me to this day.

  21. Su-Lin says:

    Such cute gnocchi! And that final dish looks good!

  22. Joanne says:

    Su-Lin – Thanks for stopping by an for the comment!

  23. Heidi says:

    I’ve been experimenting with gnocchi lately, too, and just found your recipe. I froze them on the cookie sheets and then put them in baggies in the freezer. They go directly from the freezer into the boiling water so we can have gnocchi on the spur of the moment.

    Like you, I’m looking forward to making them with herbs and other inclusions. My next experiment is going to be with a sweet potato and whole wheat flour. I’ve seen recipes for these on the web but am only going to start with one sweet potato to make a small batch because I’m having a little difficulty thinking of what I would put on sweet potato-whole wheat gnocchi!

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