Gnocchi

So, here’s the thing. We had a lovely Christmas dinner with a good friend’s family and brought home quite a lot of leftovers: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc. Most of it got eaten in fairly short order, as tasty the second time round as the first. But the mashed potatoes… they didn’t reheat very well. And we had a fairly large container of them. I didn’t want to waste them, but I didn’t really want to eat them, either. What to do, what to do…

I did as I always did in this circumstances, I asked The Google. And The Google told me a whole bunch of things I could do with leftover mashed potatoes, but the one that really piqued my interest was gnocchi. See, gnocchi are my favorite pasta, bar none, and if I could do this properly, life would be sweet indeed. (Sweet and savory. Because gnocchi are best with butter and sage.)

A tour of quite a number of cooking sites revealed that this was going to be more “test and see how it turns out” than I’m used to. I prefer to use precise recipes, and this one… well, this was gonna be anything but.

In any event, I took the 2-ish cups of (cold) mashed potatoes, cracked in an egg, and stirred that around for a while. Then I added a cup of flour, mixed it some more, figured it wasn’t quite enough, and added a little more. Dumped the whole thing out and kneaded it for a while until it became (as the recipes instructed) a sticky dough. I had no idea whether it was too sticky, too smooth, or whatever, but I figured if I could roll it out into strips, it was good enough.

And roll I did! Into about 8 “snakes,” which I then cut up into little “pillows,” that seemed to be pretty delicate. Didn’t bother running them over a gnocchi board (because I don’t own one) or the tines of a fork (because they seemed too delicate), so I just left them as-is. Popped them into boiling water in three batches, and boiled until they rose to the top and then another 2-3 minutes past that, about 5 minutes overall. Drained for a while on paper towels, then served with butter and sage.

They were pretty soft (though they’re firming up as they cool down) and very filling, as gnocchi tend to be. I have no idea why they were so soft: too much or too little flour, too long or too short a cooking time, too much handling… no clue. But it worked out.

In the end, this isn’t the sort of recipe I’d make every day — because I have no interest in boiling up potatoes solely to use as gnocchi when store-bought gnocchi is both more convenient and better quality — but if I ever find myself with some extra mashed potatoes lying around, it’s certainly the sort of thing I can see myself making again. Success!

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