Tag: potato

Gnocchi  (recipe for 4 – 6 people)

Gnocchi are a classic dish that have been served since Roman times.  If you want good gnocchi go to Sora Lella, one of the best Roman restaurants on the Isola Tiberina in the center of Roma (https://www.trattoriasoralella.it/it/).

There are various kinds of gnocchi, but the most commonly-known in the United States are those made with potatoes.  And while we don’t have the exact types of potatoes in the US as are used in Italy, I decided to try to replicate the flavor and texture of those delicious little “knuckles.”

For some reason I had never made gnocchi, which sounds bad if you think of yourself as a good Chef! Betti and I experimented with a recipe in Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano cookbook –that is generally a good cookbook.  Well, not for gnocchi! After replicating his recipe (somewhat faithfully), we made a new version that works much better.  First of all, instead of boiling the potatoes, as suggested by Batali, we roasted them.  And his recipe recommends boiling the gnocchi and then putting them in a bowl with canola oil to refrigerate, then re-boil the gnocchi immediately before adding a sauce.  This doesn’t work!  Even with utmost care, the gnocchi that have been pre-boiled turn into soft fragments the minute you try to re-boil them.  (Also –  canola oil? Please never use that, only olive oil!)

Naturally, I called my mother.  “No! You don’t cook them and then put them in the refrigerator!,” she said in horror.  “You make them and then you immediately eat them.”  So we tried some experiments with this process and learned that you can make them in advance, but with some caveats.

Another part of gnocchi adventure is that I found that I couldn’t bring myself to throw away the delicious cooked potato skins.  Betti and I came up with two fantastic (and easy) recipes to use the skins of those roasted potatoes:

  • Potato-skin frittata (omelette)
  • Twice-baked potato-skins with anchovies, parsley, grated Parmigiano, and red pepper – or anything else you want to add!

Here’s my recipe for simple potato gnocchi. This is enough for four (4) servings as a main course, and eight (8) servings as an appetizer.   This recipe works best if you have a potato press or ricer because it allows you to mash up the cooked potato to a very consistent, fine texture (here’s a link to different varieties of ricers: https://robbreport.com/lifestyle/product-recommendations/best-potato-ricer-masher-amazon-2919928/) – I have to confess that I have a very simple one with fine holes that cost me $3, so you don’t need to spend much money to buy one.


  • 3 pounds of Russet potatoes (these are the best for gnocchi)
  • 1 to 2 cups of organic all-purpose flour; you will need to judge the amount as you make the pasta (dough) for the gnocchi
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 F. While it’s heating, scrub the potatoes and use a fork to poke holes all over each surface.  Once the oven has reached 450 F, put a large baking pan on the bottom rack of the oven to catch drippings, and then put the potatoes directly on the middle oven rack.
  2. Cook them for 45 – 50 minutes. They are cooked when you can reach in with an oven mitt and gently squeeze a potato and feel it give slightly “give” under the pressure of your mitt.
  3. Remove the potatoes from the oven, and turn off the oven. Allow the potatoes to cool for a few minutes so that they are still warm, but not impossible to handle (15 – 30 minutes should be enough).
  4. Peel the potatoes with your fingers, placing the peel into a medium-sized bowl. If you want to experiment with my potato skin recipes, put the bowl aside for later. Put the remainder of the potatoes in large bowl, or onto the baking pan you used for the drippings.
  5. Set up a clean, large work surface — I use a flour-dusted silicone pad on my kitchen counter. Using your potato ricer, mash all of the warm potatoes onto the work surface and form a well in the center.
  6. Beat the egg with a teaspoon of fine sea salt, then pour it into the potato well. Now, working with about 1/2 cup of flour at a time, begin to mix the flour with the potato and egg.  Gently mix, continuing to add more flour, until you have a dough that feels flexible and soft, but not sticky.  Form a ball of the dough.
  7. Knead it very gently for 3 to 4 more minutes until you have a consistent, smooth texture.
  8. Now divide the dough into even pieces or wedges. Roll each into a ball.

    Gnocchi Dividing And Cutting 1

    A dough made of cooked russet potatoes, egg, and flour is divided and shaped into gnocchi

Gnocchi Cutting And Shaping 1

Cutting the rolled potato dough

9. Starting with the first ball, roll it gently into a long log that is about 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut it into 1-inch pieces, and then using a fork or your fingers, roll down the back of each segment to create the characteristic “knuckle” shape.

Gnocchi Cutting And Shaping 3

10.  Gently place the shaped gnocchi onto a flat, parchment-lined baking dish. Continue creating all of the gnocchi.

At this point, you can either cook the gnocchi in a pot of boiling water (no salt, please, because it will cause the gnocchi to break down) and serve with a delicious sauce –see below- or you can cover the gnocchi with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day before cooking.

Alternatively, you can freeze your gnocchi, and then cook them in the boiling water after taking them from your freezer.


Michele Carbone fried potatoes 2

The Best Fried Potatoes in the World

This recipe, like most of my recipes, is based on having a good extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh ingredients.  Another thing many of my recipes have in common is that they don’t feature too many ingredients.  This one, for example, just has the following ingredients:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil – You will need enough oil in the pan to cover the potatoes
  • Yukon potatoes, scrubbed and with the skin on: about 1 – 2 potatoes per person
  • A sprig or two of fresh rosemary
  • Sea salt

We grow our rosemary in pots so that we can clip off springs whenever we need them.  But, if you need to buy the herb packets from your supermarket, keep in mind that you can freeze whatever you don’t use.  The color may get a little dark if the sprig has been in the freezer for a while, but it retains its fresh flavor when you use it later.

You need a pan that can handle a lot of heat, and depth which allows the potato slices to stay under the oil in a single layer when cooking.  We love using the old-fashioned cast-iron skillets for this, but you can also use any pan designed for high heat which distributes heat evenly.

This recipe is fun to cook when your guests are keeping you company in the kitchen.  Because I’m Italian, I like serving this dish as an appetizer because it’s best when the potatoes have come right out of the skillet.  But, you can also serve it at the same time you dish up an entree, such as lamb chops or steak.


  1. Slice the potatoes into thick strips, each one about 1 cm thick.
  2. Pour enough olive oil into your skillet/pan to cover the potatoes.  This means you may use close to a bottle of olive oil, but don’t worry — you can save the oil to re-use for this recipe another time.
  3. Heat the oil moderately high, but not enough to bubble or fry.
  4. When the oil has gotten moderately hot, carefully place the potato slices and rosemary sprigs into the skillet.  There should be enough oil to cover the slices.
  5. Cook the potatoes at moderate heat for 15 minutes, moving them gently in the skillet.
  6. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes from the skillet and place them on a layer of paper towels.
  7. While the potatoes drain and cool off on the paper towels for 2-3 minutes, bring the heat up in the skillet to high.
  8. Carefully add the potatoes back into the now very hot oil.  Allow them to cook for another 8-10 minutes, moving them gently to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom.
  9. After 8-10 minutes, the potatoes should be a dark golden color.  Take one out and let it cool enough to taste it.  If you judge that it’s ready, remove the rest of the potatoes with your slotted spoon (or tong) and put them on a serving plate that has been lined with paper towels.
  10. Sprinkle the potatoes with sea salt to taste.  We’ve been using Hawaiian black sea salt to finish dishes, and we love the color and flavor, but any salt will do.  Serve immediately.


Italiano: Le migliori patate fritte del mondo

Questa ricetta, come la maggior parte delle mie ricette, si basa sull’avere un buon olio extravergine di oliva e ingredienti freschi. Un’altra cosa che molte delle mie ricette hanno in comune è che non contengono troppi ingredienti. Questo, ad esempio, ha solo i seguenti ingredienti:

  • Olio extravergine di oliva – Abbastanza per coprire le patate
  • Yukon patate –patate gialle-, con la buccia: circa 1 – 2 patate a persona
  • Uno o due rametti di rosmarino fresco
  • Sale

Noi coltiviamo il rosmarino in un vaso così è sempre a disposizione e mi piace il profumo. Ma, se lo compri a; supermercato, tieni presente che puoi congelare tutto ciò che non usi. Il colore diventerà un po’ scuro se il rametto resta nel freezer per un po’, ma mantiene il suo sapore fresco quando lo usi in seguito.

Serve una padella che possa sopportare molto calore e una profondità che permetta alle fette di patate di rimanere sotto l’olio, meglio in un unico strato durante la cottura. Le padelle in ghisa vecchio stile sono perfette per questo, ma puoi anche usare qualsiasi padella buona.

Questa ricetta è divertente da cucinare quando i tuoi ospiti ti tengono compagnia in cucina. Mi piace servirlo come antipasto perché le patate sono più buone quando sono appena uscite dalla padella.


  1. Tagliare le patate a listarelle spesse di circa 1 cm.
  2. Versare abbastanza olio d’oliva nella padella per coprire le patate. L’olio puoi riutilizzarlo per questa ricetta un’altra volta.
  3. Riscaldare l’olio a una temperatura moderata,
  4. Quando l’olio sarà moderatamente caldo, mettete con cura le fette di patate e i rametti di rosmarino nella padella. Dovrebbe esserci abbastanza olio per coprire le fette.
  5. Cuocere le patate a fuoco moderato –sobbollire, per 15 minuti, muvendole delicatamente nella padella ogni 3 minuti circa.
  6. Usando una pinza o una schiumarola, togli le patate dalla padella e adagiale su carta assorbente.per 2-3 minuti.  Alza il fuoco al massimo.
  7. Rimettere le patate nell’olio bollente e cuocere per altri 8-10 minuti, muovendole delicatamente perché non si attacchino al fondo.
  8. Dopo 8-10 minuti, le patate dovrebbero assumere un colore dorato scuro. Tirane fuori una e assaggiala. Se ritieni che sia pronta, togli il resto delle patate con il cucchiaio forato (o la pinza) e mettile su un piatto da portata rivestito con carta assorbente.
  9. Aggiungi sale in abbondanza. Se usi il sale nero Hawaiiano il piatto è molto più bello (lo trovi su Amazon).\
  10. Servire immediatamente.


Image credit: http://www.cbc.ca/inthekitchen/2013/01/thick-cut-fries.html

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