Gnocchi, the pillow pasta

Gnocchi: The Pillow Pasta

With very few ingredients and some delicate technique gnocchi can be easily prepared for your dinner tonight at Lloyd’s Chicago just blocks from Union Station and Chicago’s theater district! Gnocchi invokes feelings of a hearty stick to your ribs meal. Potato gnocchi began as Italian peasant food that required few ingredients, little time and few tools. This dumpling has been made for hundreds of years and is celebrated throughout its homeland with variations unique to the local landscape that developed it.

Let’s talk taste and texture! Gnocchi should be light fluffy like a pillow with shape-holding density. Heavy enough for thick sauces yet light enough to melt in your mouth. Yummy! As for taste, it depends on the kind of gnocchi. Many gnocchi soak in the flavors of the sauces they are cooked in, some gnocchi are made with additional ingredients in the dough like spinach, and there is also stuffed gnocchi with different kinds of cheese and tomatoes that are generally used for stuffing. Homemade is obviously the best so that’s why we will be making our own today in this blog!

First, ingredients are simply 2.5 lbs potatoes ( we prefer russets; but experiment and try other varieties), one egg ( some chefs prefer egg yolk only; again experiment), 1 ¾ cup of all purpose flour, and salt.

Second, boil potatoes until softened. Cool and peel potatoes. Mix flour, potatoes, salt, egg, and flour in a bowl. A dough should form.

Third, roll the dough into long log shaped pieces.

Use a pastry cutter and cut dough into equal pieces.

Separate dough pieces and place with flour or semolina flour to help

gnocchi hold their shape.

Lastly, you have two options from this point.

  1. Boil for approximately 5 minutes, take out and place in ice water and then remove and freeze for later use.
  2. Boil until gnocchi float to the top of the water. Heat a sauté pan with olive oil or butter. Throw gnocchi in the sauté pan until lightly browned; add sauce of your choice.

See it’s pretty simple! You can take a few ingredients you might have hanging around the house and practice the delicate technique of rolling out this pillowy mouth-watering pasta dish. At Lloyd’s Chicago we take our gnocchi to the next level. So on your way to the Lyric Opera house or heading home from Chicago’s loop, dive into our stick to your ribs braised beef gnocchi: soft pillowy gnocchi soaked in a rich braised short rib, mushroom, and caramelized onion gravy; A delicious belly warming meal for a cold Chicago autumn night. See you soon!