Leftovers, Pt. 2: Mashed Potatoes = Gnocchi

It’s the Sunday night after Thanksgiving and we’ve done a decent job of working through the leftovers from the big feast.  We still had some meatballs, sausage and tomato sauce leftover from the ravioli we served.  And we had still has some mashed potatoes on hand as well.

Wanting to take a break from the turkey, dressing, cranberry rut I opted for a little culinary alchemy and turned the mashed potatoes into gnocchi. It was a good call and a delicious dinner.

Here’s what I did:

  • 2 cups mashed potatoes at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (approximate)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of grated pecorino romano (optional)

Bring three quarts of water to a boil in a large pot.  Salt the water and turn down to a slow boil.

In a bowl, mix the beaten eggs with the mashed potatoes and the cheese if using. Add the flour in 1/2 cup increments and work in until you get a soft, but not sticky dough. (you may not use all two cups…tonight I only needed about 1 and 3/4 cups).

Pinch off a ball of dough a little larger than a golf ball and roll out on the counter until you have a “snake” about 3/4″ in diameter.  Using a table knife, cut the snake into dumplings 1″ long.  Take a fork and sit it on the counter with the end of the tines pointing up.  Place one of the dumplings in the bow of the fork.  Applying just enough downward pressure to create ridges on the underside and a depression on the top.  At the same time, flick your finger and roll the dumpling off the end of the fork. (This is the tricky part…but it’s easier than it sounds and you’ll get the hang of it by time you’ve worked through all of the dough).

When you’ve turned all the dough into gnocchi, add them to the pot of water.  Stir gently to prevent sticking.  When all the gnocchi float to the top, cook for another minute or two (you can pull one out and taste for doneness).  Remove from water with a spider or strainer and toss in a warm bowl with the sauce of your choice.

There aren’t many better ways to use up leftovers.

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