Potato Pillows

Homemade Gnocchi

When I was growing up, I used to love opening the freezer and seeing a big bag of frozen gnocchi from our neighborhood Italian market, Carlino’s. I could probably write an entire entry just about the greatness that is Carlino’s (and maybe I should). From the pork sausage that has a consistency I have never seen matched. Or their veal meatballs that I have spent more than one late night chowing down on after hockey practice. But there was something about the frozen gnocchi and cavatelli that was extra appealing. When your young, cooking for yourself can be pretty hit or miss. But following simple instructions in this case left you with an awesome plate of food that only needed a little sauce to be perfect. It felt like a special self made meal.

To this day, gnocchi has continued to feel like a special dish reserved to be ordered at nice Italian restaurants. Most of the preparations are simple and flavorful but its the consistency of the gnocchi themselves that pushes these dishes over the top. Sure, there are plenty of great markets in the city with great options for frozen homemade gnocchi, but I’ve always steered clear. It’s probably silly egoism but I always feel like I’m cheating a bit. In fact, I think I’ve used boxed pasta once since my dabbles in homemade. But why scoff at these frozen options, especially since I’ve never made my own…

That was until last night. I decided to make my own gnocchi and what a success. In fact, the process isn’t all that difficult (arguably easier than making pasta, at least as far as rolling goes). I’m sure in the future, I’ll play around with a few things but these gnocchi tasted fresh, and sopped up all the delicious flavor of the sage, mushroom, and english pea sauce they were finished in. And what I was most impressed with was how not time consuming these little pillows of potato are. Start to finish it couldn’t have been more than 45 minutes to an hour of hands on cooking. Either way, this meal made me hungry for more gnocchi!

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