Classic Potato Gnocchi with Lemon Butter, Ricotta and Parsley
If you haven’t stocked up on classic russet potatoes yet for your quarantine situation, I highly recommend you go get some *right this second*….or whenever you can. Potatoes are starchy and simple, which make them a great canvas for a variety of dishes. You can dress them up and make a gnocchi, or you can dress them down and make roasted potatoes with salt and pepper. Potatoes are like the black tank top of food. You can jazz them up with everything.
On that note, let’s talk about this simple potato gnocchi recipe. All we’re doing is making a classic potato gnocchi (the recipe is pretty much the same no matter where you go — however, the amount of flour you’ll use is different than how much I will use, due to every potato being different.) And then, we’re making a light, zesty and buttery lemon butter to toss these bad boys in. We’re boiling the gnocchi and then coating them in our beautiful lemon butter sauce, which will give them beautiful browned edges to complement and contrast their fluffy center. To top everything off, we’re plating our gnocchi with a generous portion of our sauce (obviously) PLUS some ricotta, fresh cracked pepper, lemon zest, fresh parsley and Parmesan. And of course, if you don’t have any of these items, please do not be sad. You really don’t need any of the cheese or fresh herbs. Lemon, butter and salt are simply enough for the sauce.
I’m a visual learner, so I love to watch videos of dishes being made as I read and make a recipe. For those of you that want to see how this is made, from start to finish, I demo’ed the WHOLE thing on Amazon LIVE. This is not edited or cut, so it truly captures everything you need to do. Click the hyperlink to watch 🙂
Potato Gnocchi with Lemon Butter, Ricotta and Parsley
- Potato ricer or grater (optional, but preferred)
- 4 medium russet potatoes boiled until soft and mashable inside, then peeled
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 3/4 cups flour how much you use is TBD on the size of your potatoes, but you want enough to be safe
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus more for taste
- 4 tbsp butter unsalted or salted, adjust salt in the recipe accordingly if using salted butter
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Pinch of salt to taste
- Pinch of dried thyme optional, for sauce
- Pinch of dried tarragon optional, for sauce
- Ricotta optional, for topping
- Zest of 2 lemons reserving zest of one lemon for topping
- Fresh cracked black pepper for topping
- Olive oil for topping drizzle
- Fresh parsley for topping
- Slice the peeled and boiled potatoes in half and put them in a potato ricer. Rice all of the potatoes. If using a grater, grate all of the potatoes into the bowl. I recommend either of these methods over mashing, because it will not overwork the starch of the potato. If you don't have a grater or a ricer, you can mash the potatoes with a fork or masher, but make sure not to mash them too much or they will become gluey!
- In a large bowl, lightly combine the potatoes with your hands. Add the salt and mix into the potato mixture. Then, create a well in the middle of the mashed potato mixture.
- Crack an egg into the well and with a fork, mix the mashed potato mixture and the egg together until the egg is fully combined in the mashed potatoes.
- Place the mashed potato mixture onto a clean and floured work surface and flatten.
- Pour a quarter of the flour onto the potato mixture and knead the flour into the potato mixture. Keep flouring your workspace so the dough doesn't stick when you knead it.
- Repeat the kneading with quarter sections of the flour, until the dough feels tender, fluffy and as though it's absorbed enough flour. You don't want it to be too firm or too sticky. Use your instinct!
- When the dough is done, roll it into a large ball. With a bench scraper or knife, cut the large ball into quarters.
- On your floured workspace, with your hands, roll each quarter of dough out into a long log that is about 3/4 inch thick (give or take, make it whatever thickness you like.)
- Cut the log into 1-inch(ish) fluffy pillows. Repeat with the next quarter of dough until all of the dough is cut into gnocchi. Set all of the gnocchi aside.
- You can boil the gnocchi this way, or you can jazz up the shape by rolling each piece onto a fork to round it out and give it divots. The choice is yours! If refrigerating, place the gnocchi on a sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap or tin foil.
Lemon Butter Sauce
- Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a sauce pan on medium heat. Let the oil heat up for about a minute until it loosens. Then add the butter, salt, zest of one lemon, lemon juice and herbs, if using. Mix together until the butter is melted and the liquids come together to form a beautiful sauce (should be after about 5-10 minutes.) Taste the sauce to make sure it's to your liking, and if it's not, add more of the ingredients of your choice. If you want more depth of flavor, add a splash of white wine!
- Fill a large pot with water and salt generously (should taste like the ocean.) Bring the water to a boil.
- While the sauce is cooking, boil the gnocchi in the salted water. These will take a few minutes to boil. The gnocchi are done boiling when they begin to float. Remove the floating gnocchi from the water.
- Season a large skillet with olive oil over medium high heat. With a colander or slotted spoon, transfer the boiled gnocchi to the skillet. Toss them in the olive oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until all of the gnocchi are done cooking and are in the pan. If you want to use garlic, now is the time to toss it in to toast with your gnocchi.
- Once all of the gnocchi are in the skillet and slightly golden brown, add the sauce to the skillet with the gnocchi and continue to toss the gnocchi in the sauce for another 2-3 minutes.
- Once the gnocchi are toasted to your liking, put them onto a plate or bowl with a generous portion of sauce. If you have leftover sauce, keep it in a sealed bowl or jar and use it as a compound butter or as sauce for your next pasta dish.
- Top the gnocchi with dollops of ricotta, lemon zest, fresh cracked black pepper and fresh parsley. Finish it off by grating some fresh Parmesan and Pecorino on top. (Or, use whatever you want as a topping.) Serve immediately!