Gnocchi, such simple looking little pillows of potato… Must be a cinch to make right? Oh how wrong was I with that frame of mind. Turns out that my tendency to not follow or read instructions was not so helpful when I first started making these. So, I’m posting this homemade freeze ahead gnocchi to help make sure you not only have a supply of gnocchi in your freezer to enjoy whenever you have the urge, but also to help make sure that your gnocchi making adventures are more successful than mine and you can learn from my mistakes.
My first attempt at making gnocchi was a complete disaster. I’d got some rough measurements from a website and didn’t think much of it and threw it all together. It was a sticky mess. My worktop looked (and felt) like it was covered in glue with flour stuck to it. Never to be deterred by a unsuccessful recipe, I threw myself into some research. I believe there were 3 issues with my first attempt, which I’ve outlined here.
How to stop your gnocchi turning sticky
- Keep the potato as dry as possible
Don’t boil them, bake them. That will limit the amount of water which can be added to to the potato during the process. When you bake the potato keep the skin on and then peel and rice while hot and allow to steam to evaporate more water.
In my first attempt I had peeled and boiled them. Seems it’s better to bake them, skin on and then peel and rice while hot
- Too much egg
Italian chefs actually argue about whether eggs should even be used. They do help hold the dough together, so it’s good to use a little – just don’t add too much.
- Don’t overwork the dough
If you over-knead the dough then it will actually create too much gluten in the mixture which results in it becoming rubbery and tough. Instead of kneading lightly fold the mixture gently and only enough times to combine the ingredients – not more.
In the recipe instructions below I’ve given a detailed step by step to help you overcome the issues above. Please follow them! Don’t end up with a gluey counter and flour stuck all over the place, including your clothes and arms. Don’t be me!
Is homemade gnocchi healthy?
In essence, gnocchi is just potato mixed with flour and a little egg. Therefore it’s packed with carbs and doesn’t really offer any other nutritional value. However, it is arguably healthier than pasta which is grain, rather than potato, based.
It’s important to consider that Gnocchi is denser than pasta. – so your portion size will look smaller. Bear this in mind and don’t be tempted to increase the portion size to make the dish look fuller – which is a trap that many people fall into. This recipe contains 340 calories per serving although it is low in fat.
How do you freeze gnocchi?
When you’ve made your gnocchi you want to eat it or freeze it straight away. If it’s left too long then the pieces will start to stick together which you don’t want.
To freeze spread the gnocchi on a plate and pop into the freezer for a couple of hours. Then remove the gnocchi and transfer the pieces into freezer bags and return to the freezer for up to 3 months.
The best news is that you can cook the frozen gnocchi without having to defrost it! A winner for anyone who isn’t the greatest at planning ahead. When you cook it make sure the water is boiling furiously because when you add the gnocchi it will reduce the water temperature. When the gnocchi floats it’s done. It will take an extra minute or two to cook from frozen vs fresh.
What are the ingredients in homemade gnocchi?
In terms of ingredients this recipe couldn’t be simpler! You just need potatoes, flour and eggs. Most likely things you already have in! You can definitely make gnocchi with leftover cooked potatoes too – but I’d suggest using leftover baked potatoes rather than boiled.
When you’ve made your gnocchi, if you are looking for a great recipe to serve it with then check out this Gnocchi with Creamy Bacon Sauce – it’s absolutely yum!
Products that work well for this recipe:
Multi-Function Baker’s Gift Set
Stainless Steel Pastry Scraper, Dough Blender & Biscuit Cutter Set
Veggie Saving Reusable Bags
Learn how to make your own homemade pillowy & soft gnocchi. You’re only 3 ingredients away from having a a constant supply in the freezer to enjoy when you want!
- Read these instructions carefully if this is your first time making gnocchi 🙂 I did not read up enough when I first made them and it was a mess!
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F . Wash, dry and pierce the skin of the potatoes all over with a fork. You want as much liquid to escape from the potatoes as possible. Place in the middle of the oven.
- Depending on the size of the potatoes, cook for 1 – 1.5 hours. Check every now and again if they are done by piercing with a fork.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven and slice in half. Using a clean tea towel to protect your hands from the heat, scoop the middle of the potatoes out and push through a potato ricer. I believe you can mash them although I haven’t tried that.
- Spread the potatoes out on a clean work surface to steam so more moisture is evaporating from them. This step is most effective if you can do this and the previous step as quickly as possible (while they are still super hot)
- After a few minutes, once there is no more steam, dust the flour over the top of the potatoes. Lightly grind some salt over the top. Make a well in the middle and place HALF of the whisked egg yolk in the middle.
- Fold the mixture inwards with your hands and lightly knead it together. Only fold it as much as is needed to get to a smooth consistency and no more. We are talking 6-8 folds inwards maximum.
- Dust your surface with more flour if needed. Take a lemon sized piece of the dough and roll it out into a sausage shape with your hands. Take a knife (or pastry cutter) and cut roughly 2cm pieces along the sausage. They should roughly resemble cute little pillows with each cut.
- Optional – you can use the back of a fork to create indentations on them to give that beautiful ‘grooved’ look. This video shows how to do it well.
- If you are going to freeze some or all of the gnocchi, dust a freezer proof plate or baking tray with flour and place in the freezer for at least 1-2 hours. Remove and then portion into freezer bags.
- When you are ready to cook, bring a pan of well salted water to the boil. Drop the gnocchi into the water. If you are cooking from fresh then they should start to float after a couple of minutes. If you are cooking from frozen this will take a little longer.
- When the gnocchi is floating then remove from the pan – you can either top straight away with sauce or lightly saute to give a crispier edge to them (which I personally recommend). Tuck in!
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian
- Calories: 340
- Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 70g
- Protein: 10g
Keywords: homemade, freezer gnocchi, italian, potato