Kelly Neil

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Easy Potato Gnocchi Recipe with Arugula-Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Easy Potato Gnocchi recipe with Arugula-Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Years ago, an incredibly gifted chef taught me how to make potato gnocchi. Afterwards, I was sent home with a basic recipe that I’ve tweaked over the years. Let’s be clear on one thing - this recipe makes A LOT of gnocchi, but I like that because when I make a batch, I refrigerate the amount I want to cook that day and freeze the rest for later use. Also, a potato ricer will make a HUGE difference in the texture of your gnocchi so use one if possible.

Ingredients :

2 ½ pounds potatoes

3 cups flour + extra for baking sheets

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

¼ cup butter

1 egg

Directions :

Prepare two baking sheets with a generous layer of flour, ¼ to ½ cup depending on the size of the sheets.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 2-inch chunks. Place potatoes into the pot of boiling water and cook, about 20-22 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain.

While potatoes are cooking, mix the flour, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a bowl to combine. Add the butter to the flour and mix with your hands until crumbly.

Rice the potatoes directly into a large bowl and allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes (you don’t want the hot potato to cook your egg, but you also don’t want your potatoes to cool completely because your dough will be less pliable).

Make a well in the center of the potatoes. Add the flour mixture and crack the egg on top. Gently mix everything together with your hands to form a loose dough. Turn the dough out onto your counter and knead until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Your dough should be soft and supple - over kneading will lead to tough gnocchi and nobody wants that.

Shape the dough into a 1  to 1 ½-inch thick flat rectangle. Cut a strip of dough from the short end, and, using your hands, roll the dough into a long “rope”. The thickness of the rope depends on your preference. Gnocchi cut from a thicker rope will take longer to cook. 

Beginning at one end of the rope, slice across in ½ inch to ¾ inch wide bite-sized pieces. After your rope has been cut into pieces, place the pieces on the flour-lined baking sheets. Repeat until all dough is gone.

Refrigerate any gnocchi you want to cook the day of, and place the rest, on the floured baking sheets, in the freezer. Once frozen, remove the gnocchi from the baking sheets and store in a freezer-safe container with a tight fitting lid or plastic freezer bag for later use.

To cook fresh or frozen gnocchi :

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a sautée pan, heat pesto with a little olive oil.

Add the gnocchi, fresh or frozen, to the pot of boiling water and cook until the dumplings float (frozen gnocchi takes a little longer). With a small strainer, skim the floating gnocchi from the top of the water, add to the pan of pesto, and toss gently to coat. Serve with more parmesan cheese.


Arugula-Pumpkin Seed Pesto Recipe

Ingredients :

2 cups baby arugula

½ cup green pumpkin seeds, toasted

½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

½ tsp sea salt

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup olive oil

Directions :

In a food processor or blender, combine the arugula, toasted pumpkin seeds, parmesan cheese, salt, and garlic. Pulse to combine, stopping once to scrape down sides until pesto resembles a smooth paste..

With the motor running, slowly add olive oil to the food processor in a slow steady stream until gone. Scrape down the sides of the food processor, then blend 5 seconds.