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Old 01-30-2019, 08:35 PM   #1
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Gnocchi Disaster

I tried making gnocchi the other night; sweet potato gnocchi. It was an unmitigated disaster. The “little pillows” were dense and tasted like wet flour. I had to keep adding flour; the dough just wouldn’t come together.

Here is the recipe I used, from Half Baked Harvest.

My problem is that now I’ve got all this sweet potato dough! It’s in the freezer, and I don’t know if there’s something I can do with it, or should I just toss it?

Any suggestions? Also, any gnocchi recipes that actually work?

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Old 01-30-2019, 09:56 PM   #2
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Just looking at the recipe, 1 egg seems like a small amount for all that flour and sweet potato. I'd maybe thaw the dough, take 1/3 of it, mix an egg into it, and see if that helps?
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:08 PM   #3
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I'm sorry it didn't work out Joel. I ate them a few times before I made the attempt to make them, and they're just not for me. Those little "pillows" sit like bricks in my stomach no matter who makes them.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:02 PM   #4
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Update (since it wouldn't let me edit...don't know why this happens sometimes):
I looked up the recipes I used way back, and one had 1 1/2 lbs potatoes (to be boiled in skins, peeled, and mashed) plus 1 c flour - that's it! And the other, which I remembered the egg in, was the same, plus another 1/2 c flour, and 2 eggs. No sweet potato gnocchi, but that was in the 80s. The balls of gnocchi are made up, then pressed with a fork, to form ridges, which trap more sauce. The gnocchi float in the simmering water, when done, so they are lighter.

As you can see, the flour in the recipe you posted is probably excessive, and what caused the heaviness.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:09 PM   #5
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Pepperhead, there is a short window of time after you post when you can edit. After that, no luck. If there is a good reason to edit an older post, you can sometimes get one of the moderators to do it for you.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:31 PM   #6
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Thanks taxlady. No big deal, but it seemed strange, since sometimes I would edit the next day, while others, it would stop it this quickly. I just add another post - nothing ever required bothering a moderator about it. Maybe if I posted something totally wrong, that I wouldn't want people to try. Is there a way of totally deleting the post, in a case like that, or would that require the edit?
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
Thanks taxlady. No big deal, but it seemed strange, since sometimes I would edit the next day, while others, it would stop it this quickly. I just add another post - nothing ever required bothering a moderator about it. Maybe if I posted something totally wrong, that I wouldn't want people to try. Is there a way of totally deleting the post, in a case like that, or would that require the edit?
I think that would require moderator help. Do you know where to find the list of admins and moderators?
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Old 01-31-2019, 05:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
I think that would require moderator help. Do you know where to find the list of admins and moderators?
You rang?

I'm not on all the time but if you need something done and don't mind waiting until I get online (sometimes >24 hours) just PM me, glad to help out.
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Old 01-31-2019, 05:40 AM   #9
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I did a tutorial a while back on making gnocchi.

Honestly, I would toss the dough. I don't think adding an egg will work, as that is basically adding more liquid and you wrote they already taste like wet flour. If you want to try again, I'd skip the ricotta entirely. It just added extra wetness to the dough, causing you to need more flour. Add some finely grated parm in if you feel you must have cheese in the dough.

I realize you used sweet potatoes, but I found where I used Alton Brown's recipe for butternut squash gnocchi that we apparently liked.

Try making small batches until you get a feel for the dough. You won't feel overwhelmed with a huge batch of dough to work with, it won't be wasting much if it's a fail, and they are better made fresh anyway. I used to make huge batches using 5 pounds of potatoes and would be sick of rolling gnocchi by the time I was done, didn't even want to cook/eat them by that point. Finally realized that making small batches is better anyway because they are fresh and have a better texture than frozen, and I am not so tired (figuratively and literally) from spending so much time on them.
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:10 AM   #10
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Thanks for the advice, MT!
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:58 AM   #11
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This is my recipe, I've used it for years and it always works: Unfortunately it's in metric, so go on percentages of ingredients:

1 Kilo of waxy potatoes, ones that remain intact after boiling. About 600g of strong flour, about 120g of butter. Salt & pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. 70g grated Parmesan - and no, a substitute won't do the job. Finely chopped fresh parsley for garnish.

The main secret is to boil the potates skins on: weigh out 1 kilo of potatoes, and put in an extra potato. The potatoes should be of the type that burst out of the skin during boiling. Cook for 20 mins, and then take out the extra potato, cut in half to check how it's all cooking. If there's still a 'circle' in the middle, the potatoes need to cook . Peel the potatoes while they're still hot, and then add the beaten egg - don't add the flour just yet. Mash everything together and transfer to a large bowl into which you put the mashed potato and the other ingredients, and then the flour. Work the dough until it's smooth and homogeneous, and work the flour in quickly. Take a piece of the dough of about a centimetre, or the size a bit larger than your thumb, and then cut the rest of into pieces of the same size, and cook in plenty of boiling salted water.

Your sauce should be ready by now. If your'e not making sauce, butter, sage and parmesan is a nice way of doing it.
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