Gnocchi is one of those things that everyone makes a little differently. I am no expert on making it and I’m pretty sure a lot of people would say this isn’t gnocchi. I don’t make traditional little knuckles of potato dumplings; instead I make slightly larger pieces and fry them in butter and oil. My son adores these served with chicken and pickled gherkins.
These are soft and pillowy with a slightly crunchy exterior, perfect for little people to pick up with their hands. They are a great food for weaning.
I have only made traditional gnocchi once before. Little round oval knuckle shaped dough which were boiled. And while I love gnocchi, when I discovered this easy way to make a slightly more kid friendly version, I was delighted.
Last year, while at my son’s best friend’s house (during the lowest numbers of Covid in the summer), I watched my friend whip these up in just a matter of minutes. I was mesmerised. When she said she was making gnocchi, I was surprised. I thought dinner was going to be hours away. But in fact it took just 15 minutes from start to end. In front of me at the table were these gorgeous looking flat ovals which had been fried and sprinkled with sea salt. I thought “there is no way my kid will eat this” but to my surprise he had seconds and has requested them every week since. He says they are his and his best friend’s ‘favourites’. I am super glad I paid attention while my friend made these.
Now it takes only 15 minutes, if you just happen to have leftover mashed potato, if you don’t, then it will take the extra 15-20 minutes to boil the potatoes.
EASY FRIED GNOCCHI
If you are using left over mashed potato, it needs to be fairly dry. Not creamy mashed potato or the dough will be too soft to work with. Whenever I make boiled potatoes for dinner, I always leave aside some, gently mashing them and leaving in the fridge for the next day to make these. Adding no butter, no milk etc.
- 500 g of dry mashed potato, or 500 g of peeled, even sized potatoes, cut in half
- 1 egg, beaten
- 50 g grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp of plain flour, and some for dusting the work surface
- salt and pepper
- olive oil and butter to fry
To make the mash; bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. This all depends on the size of your potato.
Drain and leave until cool enough to handle. Then using a potato ricer of mashing thingy mash until no big lumps exist. I do this in a large bowl.
To the potato add in the egg and Parmesan cheese and some ground pepper. I season with salt after cooking as the Parmesan adds a salty flavour already. Mix this all up together with a fork.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the mash and bring together with the fork. If it looks a little sticky add a little more flour, depending on the potato variety used, some absorb more cooking liquid than others.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently for a minute. Shape into a log and then with a sharp knife, cut slices. I like to shape the ends of each slice into little points, but that is just me.
Over a medium heat add some oil and butter to a frying pan, until it begins to bubble and add the sliced gnocchi to the pan as you go.
Turn the gnocchi slices after 2 minutes, or when golden brown, and cook the other side.
Continue until all the gnocchi is sliced and cooked.
Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and serve with some dill crème fraiche, it is a great combo!