Gnocchi was a pasta we enjoyed prior to becoming gluten-free.  Since then, I don’t think I’ve once seen an alternative in the store.  I made them a few years ago, but thanks to a surplus of mashed potatoes after Easter, I decided to make them this afternoon.  They’re not difficult, although do require a number of simple steps.  However, the end result was worth it, as both of my kids repeatedly professed their love for their dinner (and asked for more).

Potato Gnocchi

I use this recipe, which comes out tender and delicious.  After mashing the potatoes, combine with remaining ingredients.  Sprinkle flour on a clean surface and roll into ropes.

With a butter knife, slice into one-inch pieces and indent with the back of a fork (which helps them hold sauce, apparently).  If you’re letting the little ones help with dinner, this step is a great one to hand off.

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A few things I’ve learned through making these: Do not leave the potato skins on (which I frequently do with mashed potatoes, but doesn’t taste good in gnocchi), and mash the potatoes until they are smooth with no lumps (again, great in mashed potatoes, but less so in a pasta dish).  The water can get starchy after a few batches, so change if necessary. Drain thoroughly, and eat promptly. These were great with a simple marinara, turkey sausage, and a side of steamed broccoli.  To make dinner happen in a hurry, I mixed the ingredients in the morning, put the bowl in the refrigerator, and left a pot of water on the stove.  At dinner time, I turned on the stove, finished preparing the gnocchi (rolling, cutting, marking) and put them into the boiling water (use a spoon! I burned my arm after dropping the first batch in a little too vigorously).

As I surveyed the dinner mess as we walked back out the dinner for our evening activities, I wasn’t sure if it was worth the effort.  Yes, they were good, but couldn’t I have just stuck to regular pasta?  Probably. But we got back in the car, both of my kids remarked, “That dinner was REALLY good,” so I decided it was.  Probably not something I’d find time for on a regular basis, but a special dinner, especially if you’re gluten-free and miss enjoying this dinner. Share your dinner favorites below with our readers.  To find out what’s new in our kitchen, stop by, or become a fan on Facebook.