HI GUYS! We are in the midst of wild garlic season and with the winter weather seeing us through March (thanks to the dreaded “Beast from the East”), I thought I’d put together a step-by-step guide on how to make your own gnocchi with a sunny, spring twist.
These light and pillowly Italian potato dumplings flavoured with wild garlic are sure to brighten up any dinner table despite the bleak British weather!
This was a little tricky to try and perfect, my main struggle was getting correct the ratio between potato and flour and unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that you can make gnocchi in small quantities! So I made what I could and froze the rest for later use.
That being said, I was reasonably happy with the result and will definitely be making this again, shop bought just doesn’t compare to homemade and hand crafted. Plus, what a way to impress any dinner guests!
You can of course ommit the wild garlic and you will have good old plain gnocchi. Keep a lookout on the blog for a quick gnocchi recipe coming up in the next couple of weeks.
500g Floury potatoes such as King Edwards, peeled and quartered
200g Plain flour, sifted
Handful of wild garlic leaves, finely chopped
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of nutmeg
Extra flour for dusting
Large mixing bowl
Potato ricer, if you have one (this will make your life 10 times easier)
A sieve and a potato masher if you don’t have a ricer
A fork to shape the gnocchi
Make mash. Literally boil your potatoes until soft, drain well and mash until smooth – or use your ricer, if you have one. I don’t have much use for a ricer and so I mashed my potatoes the old fashioned way and passed them through a sieve to make sure there were no lumps – this is really important.
Some recipes suggest that you bake your potatoes and then scoop out the flesh, feel free to do this if you have time but in all honesty, I just didn’t have the patience. If you are boiling your potatoes, just ensure that they are thoroughly drained and dry when you mash them.
Set your mash aside to cool down.
Place the mashed potato into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the two eggs and some of the flour and mix well by hand, careful not to over work the mixture. Add in the wild garlic at this stage.
Once the mixture is well incorporated, it’s time to form your gnocchi!
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and divide into 4. Roll each portion into a long sausage, roughly an inch thick and then cut into small pieces – congratulations, you have gnocchi!
For a really rustic looking dish, or if you have ran out of patience at this point, you can leave your gnocchi as it is. However, for a more traditional and refined look, shape each piece of gnocchi into little dumplings and roll on the back of a fork to get those characteristic ridges.
This is another important step. Before you cook your gnocchi, lay them all out on to a baking sheet, lightly dusted with flour and let them dry out for a while.
I left my first batch for at least an hour before cooking. This was just enough time for the gnocchi to dry up a little bit and form a very thin skin. Now it is ready to either cook or freeze.
If freezing, I would say to put the whole baking tray in the freezer and once frozen, bag them up into portions and put them back in for use at a later date.
I plan on publishing a quick recipe idea for this gnocchi at some point, but if you are impatient like me and can’t wait to sample the fruits of your labour, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and drop in your little dumplings.
The second they start to rise to the surface, they are done – do not let them cook for any longer as they will start to disintegrate! Fish them out with a slotted spoon and serve. Or if you fancy you can lightly fry them in a bit of butter. They are great in a tomato based sauce or simply with a drizzle of olive oil and a grind of black pepper too.
Have you tried this recipe? Please let me know how it went in the comment section below!
Did you find this easy to follow? Let me know!