ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Monday, June 14, 2010

Traditional Gnocchi for Meatless Monday!

Hi all!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. It was a happy one here- we had family visiting for the weekend and a houseful of loud kids, but that's what makes my world a happy place!

Not too much time for blogging tonight- I have a presentation to get ready for a client and nowhere near ready!

Tonight, for Meatless Monday, I made traditional potato gnocchi- a favorite of my Mom's and Allies. My Nonna was famouss for her light, delicious gnocchi and I'm quite proud to be able to replicate hers pretty closely :)

According to the emails I've been getting, it seems many of you find these little potato based pasta dumplings to be very intimidating. In reality, they're actually easier to make than home- made pasta. All it takes is a little practice, a ricer and the right potatoes. When my Nonna made gnocchi in Italy, she always boiled the potatoes. In Italy, gnocchi were usually made with old potatoes which were drier and made lighter gnocchi. I find I get much better results here by baking Russet potatoes- they're not too mushy, gummy, or mealy. 

Allie prefers hers with a light tomato sauce. I made mine tonight with a brown butter sage sauce-YUM!

My Nonna always made hers by rolling the dough off the tines of a fork. As a child that was my job and I spent many happy afternoons at her kitchen table making tray after tray of gnocchi and watching her skim them out of the pot as they floated. Many years ago when I was a new bride, a friend's mother brought me a gnocchi board from Italy and I used it till we moved to NC and it mysteriously disappeared. I went back to a fork till I walked into Kitchenworks one day and there it was- my board!

I'm a happy camper again

Nonna Norma's Gnocchi

Russet potatoes- I used 10 medium  sized ones today

2 egg yolks- this is optional. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. There are those that feel eggless gnocchi are lighter, but I'm not sure I necessarily agree. Mine are pretty light. I think the amount of flour has more importance

About 2 tablespoons of salt (I tried to measure today- I usually eyeball it)

about 3 cups of flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce potatoes and bake for about 1 hour till tender. Remove from oven and cool for 5 or 10 minutes. Carefully (I use a pot holder) peel and using a ricer (this is crucial in my opinion- it's what my Nonna used) press the potatoes into a large bowl. Stir in the salt, beaten egg yolks (if you're using them) and 2 cups of the flour. Stir in the rest of the flour and knead everything together for a minute. Do not overwork and the amount of flour may vary depending on the humidity and moisture in the potatoes. The dough should be just a little bit sticky.

Lightly flour a couple of tea towels on the counter. Break off a piece of dough about the size of a small grapefruit and roll it out into a long "snake" on the counter. With a sharp knife cut into inch long pieces. With floured hands, roll each piece off the tines of a fork or gnocchi board pushing it forward with your thumb- the traditional ridges and "curl" or shell shape that is formed are what captures the sauce. Lay the gnocchi on the towel as you form them. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the gnocchi in batches. In a minute or two they will float to the surface. Using a large skimmer remove them to a warmed serving platter, add your sauce, and enjoy!



If you'd like to get some bonus recipes, be sure to become a fan of Bramasole on Facebook. Tonight we're posting a lovely poppy seed tea bread that has already almost disappeared since being made this morning!

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. Oh, Pattie! That looks scrumptious! What a delicious recipe. I know your grandmother is smiling on this post.


    Sheila :-)

  2. I've always wanted to try this. I've only eaten it once and loved it! I admit, I'm intimidated about trying it to!

  3. I am a HUGE fan of gnocchi and yours looks wonderful and I would go with the sage butter. I have to admit that I use my mother's cheaters recipe (IT USES DRIED POTATOES)!! I HATE dried potatoes...except in Nedra's Gnocchi recipe! Joni

  4. I am usually a tomato/cream-sauce-on-gnocchi kind of gal, but I would definitely enjoy a dish of that browned butter sage sauce. Just typing the name is making me hungry.

  5. Hi Pattie
    I have the same gnocchi board! Very often I make mine with ricotta instead of potatoes, as it whips up so fast, but seeing yours gave me have the urge to use poatoes next time I make them.
    ♥ Pat

  6. Yum, yum, yum. I wish I could look over your shoulder as you make this recipe and roll the dough on the board. I'll take mine with sage butter please.

  7. Brown butter sage sounds delicious! We will be sure to try this! Lovin that board! Sounds like a lot of fun this weekend! A full house is a happy home :)

  8. I've never been a fan of Gnocchi, but yours might just tempt me. :-)
    Hope you have a great week. ~ Sarah

  9. Yummmmy Patti, Sounds delish!

    Art by Karena

  10. Love these and I think I would prefer "Yours" over Allies.....sorry Allie! :)

  11. I love gnocchi, but have only made it once. Yours look wonderful. I hope you had a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  12. Your gnocchi look wonderful, but then I'd expect nothing less than perfection. You are such a fabulous cook! Must try them in a sage and brown butter sauce now! It sounds quite delicious! xxoo

  13. Hi ladies, Such wonderful Italian recipes you make look so effortless and explain in terms for us to make without being intimidated. That is why Pattie you are a natural teacher and your culinary students are blessed to have you as an instructor. Thanks for sharing with us your culinary arts. Take care~Emelia~

  14. I don't have an Italian nonna to teach me but I do have an Italian friend to make gnocchi with. I love to try it withdifferent sauces and this sauce looks vbery tempting. I have some gnocchi in the freezer...hmmmmm.

  15. i love that you are blogging with your daughter.
    this is lots of fun, and the gnocci looks incredible!


  16. homemade is so much better than bought and restaurants sometimes can't get them right. I am trying to get them right with my mom, I agree the Russet potato is the best to use. Also, a little nutmeg is nice in them as well.

  17. OH I made gnocchi too but with mochi! pressing and rolling those little dumplings off the fork is addictive. So So fun plus they look soo cute. The sauces you used look scrumptious. on eday I must make a real authentic gnocchi.

  18. Patti- I don't care how modest you are, I'm still very impressed with anybody who can make gnocchi! I love brown butter sage sauce!

  19. Your weekend sounds wonderful and your gnocchi looks delicious, Pattie.

  20. très appétissant, j'adore
    bonne soirée

  21. Great minds think alike. We had the same thing. The kids love making gnocchi. We make ours with pesto.

    They are my daughters favorite!

  22. I would love to see how you rool the gnocchi too, Pattie. I've never tried making it myself but I love eating it ;) You are so kind to share your Nonna Norma's recipe.

  23. My mom made gnocchi and taught me to make it too. Yours are so beautiful. I don't think mine ever looked that good. Oh, must be time to eat, my mouth is watering. Thanks.


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