Potato Gnocchi with Marinara or Pesto Sauce and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

  Special Equipment needed: A Hand-held Potato Ricer. 

Here it is my last gnocchi post (for now)- regular, good ol' potato gnocchi! What can I say, save for I love gnocchi any which way! Sweet potato gnocchi! Beet gnocchi!  I'm an American cooking in France and I like fresh, homemade food. Forget about buying packaged gnocchi- make it your own. It's worth the effort and full of yum! Ready? Grab your flour and let's get to it.

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Ingredients for the Gnocchi:
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes, preferably Yukon Golds (but use what you've got!)
  • Two cups all-purpose flour, plus extra
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus freshly grated for garnish
  • One egg
  • Basil/chives (for garnish) 
  • Fresh ground pepper (garnish) 

Ingredients for Sauce:
  • Your favorite marinara or pesto sauce  
  • Roasted cherry tomatoes, around 1 1/2 cups, sliced in half– optional

Instructions for the Gnocchi:
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Peel your potatoes and cut in half. Boil potatoes for about 16-18 minutes. Drain. Set aside. If roasting tomatoes, place them on parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350°F. Set aside.
Pour two cups flour into a large mixing bowl and create a hole (think volcano), to place the ingredients in the "nest"– salt, ricotta, parmesan, and using, a handheld potato ricer, squeeze the meat of the potatoes on top of all this. Then, add the egg. Mix well. Transfer to a floured cutting board/work station. Roll out the dough using the palms of your hands, pushing it until it's smooth. (It's a workout!) If the dough is too wet, add a bit of flour. If it's too dry, add a bit of water. Work that dough--and your arms! Finally, when it's ready, nice and smooth– shape it into a ball. Cut the ball into six-eight pieces. Flour your board again. Take each piece and roll it into a long snake- about 3/4" thick.
Cut each snake into pieces- about 1/2" long. If you want to get fancy, make indentations with the back of a fork or a gnocchi board. Place each gnocchi on parchment paper...and continue.

When all of your gnocchi are formed, sprinkle with flour, and then bring a pot of slightly salted water to boil. Cook the gnocchi for about 1 minute-- or until the gnocchis float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon. Place the gnocchis on individual plates/bowls...and coat with your favorite marinara or pesto sauce. Garnish with roasted cherry tomatoes, if using, basil or chives, fresh ground pepper, freshly grated parmesan, and serve. This dish is nice with a salad and a fresh baguette.

Note: the gnocchi can be prepared in advance and will keep frozen. So get thee a gnocchi making!

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Bon Appétit, Baby!

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