Gnocchi is a labor of love

My favorite gnocchi board

Prep

To make gnocchi, start with 6 cups of flour. Add 2–3 eggs and little bit of salt. Then add water in small increments and mix until the dough is the consistency of play-dough.

Pull off a piece of dough slightly larger than a golf ball. Roll the dough into a thin rope, then cut hunks off the rope. Try to keep the hunks uniform and around 1/4" in size.

The tricky part comes next. Dust the dough hunks and the gnocchi board with flour. Roll each hunk of dough across the board. You need to dig your thumb deep enough into the dough that it curls, but not so hard that it sticks to the board. You can use a fork if you don’t have a gnocchi board but it’s harder.

Drop each piece onto a cookie sheet. Once the cookie sheet is full, place it in the freezer for 20–30 minutes. When the gnocchi are frozen, it’s safe to put them in a ziplock bag for storage.

Cooking

Cooking them is easy. Just put them in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, add your favorite marinara sauce, and enjoy.

History

I learned how to make gnocchi from my mom. She learned how to make it from her mom and her grandmother. There are two different recipes. One is the mixed potato/flour gnocchi that you normally find in restaurants. The other is just plain flour and is my favorite.

Making gnocchi is a true labor of love. There are no shortcuts. Each individual piece has to be rolled by hand by someone.

They served it for my brother’s first wedding. I don’t remember how many guests there were, but I know that my mom, my grandma, my Nana, and all the other ladies spent days and days making gnocchi.

They calculated how many pieces each guest would get and made exactly that many. They even figured out about how many would fit in the serving spoons at the Legion Hall so they could dole them out properly.

My daughter loves gnocchi as much as I do, maybe even more. I don’t make it very often but I always make it for her birthday.

Ever since she was little, I’ve loved the look on her face when she sits down to eat.