Celebrate Christmas or Any Special Occasion with Our Tri-Color Gnocchi Recipe
Well, like many of you, we’ll be celebrating Christmas a little differently this year. The pandemic and the general chaos of 2020 has put our big pasta party out of the question. We will miss the raviolis, but this doesn’t mean we won’t be keeping our fresh Christmas pasta tradition! Change offers a great opportunity to adapt, so this year we will be taking it easy and by making simple, fresh, and flavorful Christmas tri-color gnocchi.
Gnocchi is a type of fresh Italian pasta made with potatoes. I like to think of them as tender little dough pillows. They are fun and easy to make and pair perfectly with nearly any pasta sauce you like.
To make our gnocchi extra special for Christmas, we’re going to make three different versions: classic potato gnocchi, sweet potato gnocchi, and chestnut gnocchi. Like our ravioli, I’ll also use Einkorn wheat with this fresh pasta recipe, too. It gives the pasta added depth and has too many health benefits to pass up!
Then, I’ll toss them all together in a toasty sage butter sauce. Yum!
Why not make fresh gnocchi along with me this Christmas? Get the recipe here!
Our Signature Tri-Color Harvest Gnocchi Recipe
Before I share the recipe, I want to start with some gnocchi-making tips from my grandma to help you make gnocchi that will be neither too soft, nor too hard, but just perfect.
Tip #1. Moisture is the enemy of light fluffy gnocchi, because the more moisture in potatoes the more flour you have to use and the more doughy and heavy the gnocchi are. Therefore I bake my potatoes rather than boiling them.
Tip #2. The potatoes, chestnut and egg yolk amounts are to be followed as noted, while the flour amounts are an average of what I have found was needed. At different times different potatoes/chestnuts have different moisture contents, so you might need a bit more. To judge that remember that the harder the dough is to work with the lighter and fluffier the gnocchi will be. However you also don’t want to make them so hard to come together that they break apart in when boiling or so hard for yourself that you will never make them again.
Tip #3. I use Einkorn Wheat Flour in my gnocchi for health and digestibility reasons. You can use regular or gluten free flours. The amounts will be similar.
Regular Potato Gnocchi:
Sweet Potato Gnocchi:
Cooking Instructions for Tri-Color Gnocchi:
How to Make Regular and Sweet Potato Gnocchi:
- After baking, peal and mash potatoes finely.
- Mix in egg yolk
- Mix in the flour and slightly kneed the flour until the dough is manageable and not sticky. Less is more, as the more you work this dough the starches are awakened and the gnocchi get heavy
- Cut the dough into 5 pieces
- Dusting the dough and work table with flour so nothing sticks, roll each piece into a 1/2 inch round snake shape
- Line these up and cut them all into 3/4 inch pieces
- Place them on a well floured nonstick pan, making sure that none of them are touching
- Optional: roll each piece onto the pan above on a fork or a wooden rigagnocchi or “gnocchi stripper”, a special wooden kitchen utensil used in Italy to give gnocchi their unique ridged texture
How to Make Chestnut Gnocchi:
- Steam the chestnuts for 10 minutes.
- Mash into a fine paste incorporating the egg yolk. You can use a food processor. Don’t do that with the potatoes as they will become a glue, starchy mess
- Mix in the flour and slightly kneed the flour until the dough is manageable and not sticky
- Form oval or rectangular gnocchi about the size of an almond. Chestnuts don’t have the starch that potatoes do, and if you use enough flour to be able to roll this dough in the same way as above these gnocchi are going to be too dense. So better to shape them one at a time
- Place them on a well floured nonstick pan, making sure that none of them are touching. I don’t ridge these
How to Cook Your Gnocchi:
- Boil a large pot of salted water.
- Pour in the gnocchi a little at a time.
- As soon as they float take them out with a slotted spoon and put them into a pan containing the sauce that you have prepared for them
- Mix well in the sauce either using a flat spatula being careful not to mangle the tender gnocchi, or better option by flipping!
Our Favorite Sauces for Gnocchi:
Hearty Italian Meat Sauce Recipe:
Quick & Easy Sage Butter Sauce Recipe:
Put 6 TBS of butter into a large pan with 10 to 15 leaves of fresh sage and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. On medium to low heat melt the butter and continue to sauté the sage leaves until they are tender and the butter has browned slightly. Turn off and start putting your gnocchi in.
Now, if you prefer a tomato-based sauce for your harvest gnocchi, that works great, too. Our Milano Tomato Sauce is my favorite choice for this recipe. Plus, it makes Christmas dinner a breeze.
Serve gnocchi tossed in the sauce of your choice, with grated parmesan cheese and eat!