Fast Potato Gnocci

Making potato gnocci can be fast if you cook your potatoes using a microwave. Microwaving the potatoes not only speeds the process up, but also results in drier potatoes and more robust dough. This is a “fast”, condensed version of the recipe found here.

Ingredients

  • About 2lbs of starchy potatoes, e.g. Russets
  • 1-1 1/2 dry cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg

Steps

  1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut the potatoes up into 1/2-inch slices, but cut the larger pieces to match the size of the smaller ones. This helps cook them uniformly.
  2. Transfer potatoes into a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave until fork-tender. Cook on high in 2-minute intervals, stirring occasionally – it should take about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Press the potatoes through a ricer once cool enough to handle. A strainer or sieve will work equally well.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes with the egg and salt.
  5. Once the potatoes and eggs are well combined, mix in the flour. Start with 1 cup, and work your way up, lightly kneading until the dough stays together in a ball and holds its shape. Cover the dough with a damp paper towel to prevent drying.
  6. If cooking immediately, begin heating a large pot of water. You want it to be boiling vigorously when cooking your gnocci.
  7. Dust a cutting board or similar work surface and a baking sheet (to hold the finished gnocci) with flour. Have some extra flour to the side to replenish as you work.
  8. Take a good handful of dough, and roll it out into a 3/4 inch-thick noodle.
  9. Cut the noodle into 3/4 inch pillows. To shape, take a fork, and place the pillow on the tines. Press the pillow into the tines with your thumb, and pull away towards the points of the tines. The dough should curl up onto your fingers, and you should get a cylinder with the characteristic indentations. Place the gnocci onto the baking sheet.
  10. Once the water is boiling, drop the gnocci in. Lightly stir to prevent the dumplings from sticking to the bottom of the pot and to each other. The gnocci will begin to float as they cook through. Once one is floating, let it cook for another minute, then fish it out of the water and into a colander. You may want to toss them with oil (or with the sauce you were planning to eat them with) to prevent them from sticking together.

Notes

  • Note that the potatoes can get very (read: scalding) hot as they cook.
  • While mixing the dough, keep the kneading to a minimal, as too much will develop the gluten and toughen the dough (or conversely, knead it more, if you like it to be chewier).
  • The shaping is mostly cosmetic, but for an idea of how to roll the gnocci, take a look at this video.
  • Contrary to what some people think, microwaving the food is neither harmful, nor will it degrade the nutritional value of the food, any more than other forms of cooking.
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