Gnocchi di Verona is both a typical and traditional dish of the Veronese gastronomy. And as a Tourist, you simply cannot visit Verona without enjoying and eating at least one portion of Gnocchi. Gnocchi, more or less pronounced like njoki [ˈɲɔkːi], is actually a super easy to make yet filling yet delicious dish. However, until recently I always bought them ready to boil at supermarkets, and have never attempted on making Gnocchi myself. But, after my recent visit to this truly beautiful city, I simply had to try and make Gnocchi di Verona myself. There are quite a few variations of Gnocchi, or gnocchi di patate (potato gnocchi) like gnocchi di semolino with semolina, but I went with the authentic recipe with only potato, egg and flour.
Ingredients for authentic Gnocchi di Verona (2 portions)
- 300 g potatoes (particularly floury)
- 1 large egg
- 100 g all purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- parmesan cheese to serve
- few sage leaves, if you like them
Instructions: How to make homemade Gnocchi di Verona, served with melted butter and parmesan cheese
In general, the ratio of potatoes and eggs is 1 medium to large egg per 330 g, or 3 eggs per kilo. For 2 portions I’ve used 300 g potatoes, one large egg and, as measured, a total of 90 g all purpose flour.
First off, you need to boil the potatoes. Cut them into equally sized small pieces, to cut down the cooking time (it takes less to boil a small piece of potato, instead of one big whole potato). Give all the uncooked potatoes in a pot in cold salted water and bring the water to a boil. Simmer until the potatoes are very well cooked. Drain the cooking water, let the potatoes cool down to room temperature and mash them. You can crush them with a potato masher, give them in a potato press, or mash them using a fork or something similar. As I haven’t had a potato masher yet, now I do, I’ve actually used a spaghetti server (precisely Ikea’s HJÄLTE) and it worked perfectly.
Once the potatoes are mashed give them in a bowl, together with a pinch of salt, an egg and some flour. You can start by adding only like 40g flour, you will add more and more later. The ideal gnocchi dough is a non-sticky dough, which means to incorporate as much flour as needed. The exact amount of flour depends on how moist the potatoes are, and how big the egg is. Simply acknowledge you will probably need more flour than expected at first. By combining the ingredients and working the dough, keep in mind that it’s no pasta or pizza dough that needs to be heavily worked and quite some pressure, the more gentle you touch the gnocchi dough, the fluffier they will be after cooking. So, rather less pressure than too much. Add as much flour, until the dough is compact and soft. Create multiple long rolls with a diameter not exceeding 1.5 cm, on a flat surface lightly sprinkled with flour. Now, cut the roll in pieces not bigger than 2.5 cm with a knife, and basically, your gnocchis are ready to be cooked. To give the gnocchi their typical grooves you can either use a special wooden gnocchi board or a fork. For a special shape, I used an ice cream portioner and gently rolled the dough into small balls.
You can either boil the individual gnocchi one by one, or all at once. For the water to cook the potato dumplings, add some salt and simmer the water at high temperature. Cook the gnocchi until they flood to the surface. In a pan, brown some unsalted butter and add the cooked gnocchi. You can even fry them a bit until they get slightly crispy, that’s how I like them. Serve them immediately, and sprinkle some (freshly grated) parmesan cheese right before serving. Enjoy!
You can enjoy your Gnocchi di Verona with melted butter and parmesan, with tomatoes and parmesan, melted gorgonzola, sugar and cinnamon or with the so-called Pastisada de Caval, a horsemeat sauce popular in Verona and the Veneto area.
Recipe via turismoverona.eu