Potato Basil Gnocchi

Basil Gnocchi


Classic potato dumplings make a delicious hearty pasta that can be served with seasoned tomato sauce or a pesto. These dumplings require a little labour to produce, but are worth the effort.

Potato Basil Gnocchi

Ingredients                                Makes: 6 servings
5 medium-sized potatoes
2 1/2 cups spelt flour or all-purpose, about 1/3 cup more for working the dough
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
2 tbsp avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic bulb, minced with green shoots removed
1 1/2 cups seasoned tomato sauce (optional) *See our Seasoned Tomato Sauce Recipe!

Prepare potatoes: Gently scrub potatoes clean, leaving their skins on. In a large pot place the potatoes and cover with water. (Leaving the skin on the potato reduces the amount of water absorbed. Access water will cause the dumplings to be too mushy.) Boil for about 15  minutes or until tender enough to be pieced with a fork. Avoid over-boiling  as this will also cause the potatoes to become too wet. Remove potatoes and drain well. Allow them to cool in a colander or over cheesecloth and air dry for about 15-20 minutes.

Prepare frying pan for cooked gnocchi: In a frying pan on medium heat, add the cooking oil and then the minced garlic, cook for 30 seconds and then remove from heat and set aside. This is to only soften the garlic and allow its juices to mix with the oil.

Grate potatoes: When potatoes are cooled, remove their skin and any brown spots that might be below it. Using a potato ricer or a fine grater, rice or finely grate the peeled potatoes. If they appear to still have access water, allow the potatoes to rest on a clean dishtowel to further drain before continuing to rice or grate them.

Mound the ingredients: On a clean and dry countertop, sprinkle a little flour and then mound the riced or grated potato. Sprinkle the potato lightly with sea salt, then top it with the minced basil and the 2 cups of flour. Form a well in the center of the mound by scooping out the center and placing it on the outer edges of the mound. In a small bowl, beat the egg and then pour it the mixed egg into the center of the well.

Kneed the dough: Using a fork, now incorporate the ingredients by slowly pulling in some of the flour and potato into the center to mix the ingredients. Once it has all been incorporated, use your hands to combine the ingredients, beginning to form the dough. Pull together the ingredients and knead the dough. Be careful not to over-knead though, as well be weary of adding flour at this point as this will make your gnocchi hard. Knead just enough for the dough to come together. Dough should have a loose airy texture, not gooey or dense.

Shape the dough into a long, wide rectangle for cutting. Cut the dough into 8-10 pieces, about 4 inches long. Roll each piece by gently pushing with your fingers spread. The goal is to make an evenly distributed rope. The longer the rope, the thinner and smaller the gnocchi will be. Cut dough ropes into 1-inch pieces.

Keep the pieces floured: To prevent sticking, keep gnocchi in a cool area. Toss them with extra flour while they are waiting to be cooked. You can use a fork to create ridges on the gnocchi, this process isn’t necessary but adds to the aesthetics of your final dish.

Cooking the Gnocchi: In a large deep pot, fill with about 6 inches of water and add  a little sea salt; then bring the water to a gentle boil. Gently shake away any excess flour from the gnocchi and place the individual gnocchi into the salted boiling water. Cook gnocchi until they float to the top, about 2-4 minutes. Gently remove them with a slotted spoon and place in a colander to drain.

Move the frying pan back on to a hot burner on medium heat. Move the minced garlic to the side to avoid burning it while it warms for about 1 minute. Add the cooked gnocchi to the frying pan and toss gently to coat with the garlic infused oil. Cook the gnocchi together for about 2 minutes. Do not wait longer than 40 minutes from the time the gnocchi was removed from the boiling water as they will begin to stick to each other.

Transfer gnocchi to serving plates and top with a seasoned tomato sauce or a pesto, serve immediately.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

Check out our Seasoned Tomato Sauce recipe!

This recipe is an excellent source for the essential nutrient: Potassium.

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