I made gnocchi the other day, and yes my daughter helped. We ate most of them with a simple tomato sauce. They were good but a bit on the heavy side. I haven't really mastered the art of ultra-light potato gnocchi. If you have a hot tip on how to achieve pillowy lightness, please share.
I figured that by frying the rest in butter, I could make the most of their texture. For pan-frying, I think you want a little bit of density in the dumpling. After they crisped up, I added a generous handful of baby arugula and tossed briefly, then finished with pecorino romano. Man, this is good stuff! The toasty gnocchi, nutty/bitter arugula and umami flavors of the cheese are all mellowed with the browning butter. Toasted walnuts would be a perfect addition to this dish (but not in my house).
Since I can't claim my gnocchi technique is spot-on yet, let me point you at this very well-done visual recipe from Syrie of Taste Buddies. One tip I just learned from re-reading my Paul Bertolli: when "forking" the gnocchi, dip the tines in flour before each one. I'll try that next time. Once you've got your gnocchi made and boiled until they float, fry them up like this:
Pan-Fried Potato Gnocchi with Arugula
Vegetarian; not vegan or gluten-free
- 4 cups potato gnocchi (homemade, see link above, or storebought)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (don't worry, you won't eat all of this)
- 4 big handfuls baby arugula, well cleaned
- pecorino romano or parmigiano reggiano, thinly shaved (a vegetable peeler works well)
- fresh ground black pepper
- flaky sea salt (Maldon (aka the world’s greatest salt)!)
- optional: 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- Boil the gnocchi according to the original recipe, drain and cool.
- In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium high heat.
- Add the gnocchi in a single layer, and fry until crispy and brown on one side. Carefully flip to brown the other side.
- Drain off most of the butter.
- Add the baby arugula and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Toss until the arugula just begins to wilt (maybe 30 seconds)
- Divide among 4 plates and garnish with the cheese and optional walnuts.