I once heard someone refer to gnocchi as ‘fluffy little pillows of heaven’ which I thought was pretty freakin’ adorable, and also possibly the most perfect way to describe this dreamy Italian dish.
I’ve always been a huge lover of gnocchi (it’s the first thing I look for on the menu when I’m out at an Italian restaurant) but for some reason I never really thought to make it at home until recently. I guess I thought it’d be too hard or something…but it’s actually much more straight forward than I thought!
Yes, it is *slightly* time consuming since you have to make the dough from scratch etc. but I promise it’s also totally worth the extra effort! I like to go one step further and quickly sear my gnocchi as to get a nice contrast between the crunchy outside and the soft melt-in-your-mouth inside but if you’re really pressed for time then you could skip that step. I’ve served my pan-fried gnocchi with Swiss brown mushrooms here but you could use different mushrooms or herbs. Basil pesto could also make for a lovely addition but then again pesto makes everything better, doesn’t it? ;)
Pan-fried gnocchi with mushrooms and thyme
For the pan-fried gnocchi
3 large starchy potatoes (I used 600g of desiree potatoes), peeled and quartered
1 1/2 cup flour + 1/4 cup for dusting
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
For the mushrooms
300g Swiss mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 tbs butter
2 tsp olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)
Express Hostess: use ready-made gnocchi.
Variations: use different kinds of mushrooms and herbs, or add in a little pesto at the end of the cooking process.
1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill with cold water until the potatoes are submerged. Place on medium high heat and boil the potatoes for about 13-15min (or until tender but still firm). Drain and transfer the potatoes to a large bowl before mashing them with a potato masher or ricer.
2. Re-fill the same pot with water, add in 1 tbsp of salt, and place onto medium heat.
3. Add the flour, egg, and salt to the mashed potatoes and quickly stir with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture starts to come together and turn into a soft dough, turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough gently until it becomes smooth and dry to the touch (about 2 minutes). Divide the dough into four equal pieces and roll each piece into a ‘thin sausage’ shape. Then, using a knife, cut each ‘sausage’ into small 2cm pieces and place them onto a tray lined with baking/parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
4. Carefully drop one quarter of the gnocchi into the boiling water. Once they’ve all risen to the surface, cook for a further minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi back onto the baking tray or into a bowl. Repeat with the remaining dough.
5. Whilst your last batch of gnocchi is cooking, heat 1 tbs butter and 1 tsp olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan placed over medium high heat. Add in the mushrooms, followed by the garlic and thyme. Season to taste and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.
6. Add the remaining butter and olive oil to the frying pan and sear the cooked gnocchi for 1-2 minutes on each side. Add the mushrooms back into the pan and stir until heated through.
7. Serve immediately, topped with grated Parmesan and more fresh thyme if you wish.