Oct 29, 2012

Vintage Monday - Potato Gnocchi with Cherry Tomatoes

Pre-summer has officially started in the vintage kitchen. Last night the a/c was necessary to sleep and this morning I made my first foray to the terrace, covered from head to toe in sunscreen, a few magazines, my phone and a glass of ice water. Just as I stretched out my towel, strategically placed myself according to the sun´s placement and made sure everything was in place for a good hours´ sun-soaking the telephone rang inside the house, not my cell. It was my mom, of course, to give me some absolutely irrelevant morning news.
Given how hot these few days have been, and the mild winter we just left behind, I suspect the summer will be loooong and soooo hot.

So let´s focus on irrelevant random things: Have you ever come across this letter?
Pinterest decided to play hide and seek with my group boards. For the last two days they have been missing, and they say not to worry they´re all safe and sound. Just not showing. Well, if they don´t show they´re useless, so I don´t care how they are, I want them back!

A few recipes that are clouding my thoughts: this maple cheesecake which is perfect for any kind of party from now till next year; this monkey bread because it is about time I made one for the first time; this main dish with two of my favorite things to eat; this pudding from the lovely Jen and these eggs with chorizo from the other lovely Jen.

A few days ago I saw these ricotta gnocchi and realized it was that time of the month. It´s a tradition here to eat gnocchi the 29th of each month. You put a few bills underneath your plate and it´s supposed to bring economic abundance. And tell me, who wouldn´t accept some prosperity if all that was asked of you was to eat a plate of soft, pillowy, rich, amazing homemade potato gnocchi? But it seems prosperity has so many plates to go to that it doesn´t get here quite as often as I would like it too. A bit like Santa when you were a kid and it didn´t bring you what you wanted and had to settle for what it did. There is no complaints department to go to.

This recipe was taught to me decades ago, but I didn´t master it until much later. One thing to know about homemade gnocchi, it really is a matter of practice, you have to learn to feel the dough. If you put too much flour you will have cute little rocks and if you put too little you risk having a big bowl of clumpy mashed potatoes with flour. So, this recipe is very good in it´s proportions. Very good. You only need to add more flour to be able to roll and form the gnocchi. 

You don´t even have to slide them down a fork to get the striation when you make them the first few times. You can cook them like tiny dumplings, and what are them anyway, right? What is important is to start with cold mashed potatoes. That way it won´t absorb unnecesary flour.
I always put the finished fresh gnocchi in the freezer before cooking. It ensures that they will not stick together and that way I can cook a large batch at a time. If I have some left, once they´re totally frozen they go into a bag, ready to be cooked at a moment´s notice.

Before we go to the recipe, take a look at this. And this. And this.


Note: it´s important that you take them out the moment they rise. Don´t be tempted to leave them boiling longer. The size is between a canellini and a fava bean. They plump a lot when they cook.

1 cup (250g) cold mashed potatoes
1 egg yolk
1 Tbs melted butter or olive oil
2/3 cup (100g) all purpose flour
2 Tbs grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Grating of fresh nutmeg

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 green onions, chopped
Chopped parsley and parmesan, to garnish

Flour a baking tray and the work surface.
Put mashed potatoes, yolk, oil or butter in a bowl and mix. Add flour, parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix well and dump on the floured surface. Add a few Tbs flour on top of the dough to prevent sticking and form into a fat loaf. Divide in three or four parts, and roll each one into ropes (thick as a finger), adding flour just to prevent sticking. Don´t be tempted to make a stiff dough. Cut the rope into little pieces, the size of a fava bean and slide down a fork if you want to.
Put them on the floured baking tray careful that they don´t touch. Take them to the freezer.

In a skillet heat 2 Tbs olive oil. Add green onion and sauté 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and cook for 2 or 3 minutes.
Put a big pot of water and bring to boil. Add salt. Drop the gnocchi into the water and, as soon as they come up, transfer to the skillet with the tomatoes. Heat everything for a minute and serve onto plates. Garnish with parmesan and chopped parsley.
Serves 2


  1. Your gnocchi looks so wonderful. I have always wanted to make it but have understood it is tricky as you described. You have inspired me to give it a try soon and I'll be using this recipe.
    Enjoy the summer coming there, as winter is starting for my area. A chilly wind is blowing today and it is time to pull out the coats and boots.

  2. I have never tried to make gnocchi. I may have to. And the cherry tomatoes are my favorite!!

  3. I love your gnocchi my friend and with delicious tomatoes no less :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. I'm so jealous of anyone who can make gnocchi. Your dish looks delicious!

  5. First (and last) time I tried making gnocchi I got a pan full of potato mush when they all fell apart. When I get brave enough to try again I'll be using your recipe!

  6. it is just starting to be "pre-summer" here, too! i'm starting to open windows during the day to let warm air in the house, and i can work in my garden after work, and wear a few less layers. it's magical, isn't it? your gnocchi looks perfect for this time of the year.

  7. I think such food i would enjoy for hot weather.. :)

  8. Your gnocci look picture perfect. I love to make my own but only if it's just the two of us - I get scared if we have guests that they'll turn to slush in the pan (although they never do!)

  9. Even if I am very much into Italian cooking, somehow I have never done real gnocchi before (only a spinach version oce, which turned out quite differently than it should have.) This recipe looks very good, I will save this for later!

  10. I love the 29th tradition, I must try that! :) Your gnocchi look gorgeous.

  11. Your gnocchi is dazzling, light and tender! Just wondrous! Like so many other recipes, practice begets mastery, well done.

  12. This is some comfort food right here! Yum!

  13. Hi! I'm new to your blog (just spotted it from yummychunklet), but I'm kicking myself for not finding you earlier! Your recipes are gorgeous and so beautifully photographed. I'm lovin' it and looking forward to your future posts :)

  14. These look so tasty. I am definitely going to have to try making gnocchi using your recipe.

  15. Homemade gnocchi are one of my favorite things and, like you, eventually got it down. My first attempt produced doorstops, my second potato soup. By the third try I actually had gnocchi! Yur tips are really good, so now I need to try your recipe! Thanks, as ever ~ David

  16. I love a plate of tender gnocchi. Maybe I'll try your recipe on the 29th!


Your comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to leave a note.