Gnocchi are not like mashed potatoes. Don’t believe anyone when they try to convince you otherwise.
It sounds crazy that someone would every try to say so, but this is what was said to me when mashed potatoes were being replaced with gnocchi at a family Christmas meal. I believed the tale and engaged in the creation of the gnocchi, only to be disappointed during my first bite. I had tried gnocchi and did not believe it was a food I would ever enjoy.
Then I studied abroad in Florence.
Through my host mom’s wonderfully prepared nightly dinners, I discovered that gnocchi were not only delicious but were also very versatile. With a new appreciation for this classic Italian meal, I was bound to attempt it on my own.
And that day finally came. After seeing a video of someone making gnocchi, I pitched the idea of a date night with gnocchi to Patrick, and with his excited response, we attempted homemade gnocchi.
The first step was finding a recipe. While I could have looked through pinterest or google around, I decided to look through my small collection of cookbooks, landing on Chrissy Teigen’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage from Cavings.
Her recipe was in a section titled “Things that Intimidate People But Shouldn’t.” And man did this recipe intimidate me. Fortunately the ingredients were simple, and there were relatively few steps which were detailed and had plenty of time between to catch your breath. But following Chrissy’s detailed instructions about how to cook the gnocchi calmed my nerves they would be cooked through. I was also very happy to have Patrick help me. Chrissy mentioned that you may need more flour to reach the correct consistency, and we had to slowly keep adding more flour to reach a non-sticky consistency. Patrick would sprinkle flour while my hands were covered in sticky dough, and I would kneed it in by hand.
This recipe was out of my comfort zone but worth the effort! The gnocchi was a treat for the tastebuds, with a rich taste from the ricotta and the sage was not overwhelming. Served along side a glass of wine and side of roasted brussels sprouts, the meal made a great date-night!