When it comes to any ingredients in the kitchen, it is essential to store them properly to preserve their quality unless you are using them immediately. This rule applies even more so when the ingredients are hand-made and come without packaging for you to store them in. Here’s how to store fresh gnocchi you may have just made from scratch!
What is Gnocchi?
While the name may be difficult to pronounce, the food itself is rather simple. Gnocchi is a type of Italian pasta that is commonly made from mashed potatoes, flour, and eggs. The ingredients will sometimes vary as people can add herbs to them. Other people also choose to use ricotta in the recipe to flavor the gnocchi.
Similar to most pasta dishes, gnocchi is prepared by being boiled in water and then served with a sauce. It’s a starter or a light main course. Pesto is known to be commonly paired with gnocchi as well as any red sauce that primarily consists of tomato flavors with a hint of basil.
How do you Pronounce Gnocchi?
The word is notoriously difficult to pronounce for a lot of people and it is easy to understand why. The way you pronounce gnocchi is quite easy once you understand how the syllables are pronounced on their own.
The G is silent and when paired with the N, makes a sound like an N with the letter Y after it. The NY sound that you will be making should be pronounced phonetically. The O after the N is pronounced phonetically as well and sounds the same as the O in words such as ‘lock’, ‘drop’, and ‘pop’. The ‘cchi’ part of the word may look confusing but it is arguably the simplest part to pronounce. It is said exactly like the word ‘key’. Altogether you have the word gnocchi which phonetically will sound like ‘ny-o-key’.
How to Properly Store Fresh Gnocchi
The main difference between other types of pasta and fresh gnocchi is that the normal types of pasta you buy in a supermarket can be stored however you want them to be. Once you open the packet and use a portion of them, you can simply place the packet back in a cupboard and leave it until you next need it.
Gnocchi is slightly different as it is so fresh due to being made out of potatoes. There are many ways to store gnocchi to ensure when you come to use it, it is as fresh as possible and still of high quality.
How to Store Gnocchi in a Fridge
One of the best ways to store gnocchi is in the fridge. If you have a lot of dough left from earlier then this can be wrapped in clingfilm or placed in an airtight container.
However, if you are storing gnocchi pieces that you have already shaped, it is best to cook them before placing them in the fridge. This is because the moisture from the potato can seep into the rest of the dough and make them soggy. If you are only storing them for a day or two then this is not much of an issue but for long-term storage, it is best to cook them first.
If you are adamant about keeping them uncooked, then you will want to place them on a baking sheet and separate them to ensure they do not stick to each other or lose their shape. It is best to place another baking sheet on top of them to avoid them absorbing any odors in your fridge.
How long does Gnocchi last in the fridge?
Gnocchi dough will last for about a week in the fridge with no issues. Gnocchi pieces, on the other hand, are better left only for a few days.
How to Store Gnocchi in the Freezer
The best way to store gnocchi for a long time is in the freezer. It is essential that the pieces are shaped but left uncooked before being frozen. Cooked gnocchi tends to go mushy when thawed and then reheated.
To properly store your gnocchi in the freezer you will want to shape it and let the pieces dry at room temperature for around an hour. Letting it dry out a bit before being frozen will help it remain fresh when it comes to thawing it in the future. Once they are dried, cover the pieces with flour and spread them out on a baking sheet lined baking tray. Ensure that the pieces do not touch so that there is no chance of them sticking to each other.
Place the baking tray in your freezer and make sure it is level. This might seem inconvenient as a baking tray is large and you probably want to use it in the meantime. This is fine, the baking tray is only being temporarily used. After the gnocchi has frozen solid, usually in 3 hours, you can take the pieces and place them in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag. The pre-freezing is to make sure they do not stick together. Write the date on your container and keep your gnocchi stored for up to 6 weeks.
How long does Gnocchi last in the Freezer?
Once frozen properly using the above method, the gnocchi will be good to last for up to 6 weeks in the freezer. After this, the quality will start to noticeably decline. The food will still be edible afterward. But to keep it fresh and high quality, it is not recommended to freeze it for more than 6 weeks.
How to Thaw Gnocchi
When it comes to wanting to use your gnocchi again, it is best to let them naturally thaw. Do this by leaving them in the fridge overnight. They can still stay in the bag they are in. Once they have been left overnight they should have the texture of the dough and be soft enough to indent with your fingernail.
Once the gnocchi has been thawed, it can then be cooked as normal by boiling or baking.
How to Make Gnocchi
Gnocchi can be a complicated dish to make at home. But it can also be a very fun challenge for anyone wanting to get more experience in the kitchen.
To cook gnocchi at home you will need;
- 1kg potatoes (Marfona or King Edward is best)
- 3 Large Eggs
- 300g plain flour
Here’s how gnocchi is made:
- To start off, you will want to cook the potatoes in salted boiling water with their skins on. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until they are cooked enough. This means a knife can be pushed into them, but not slid in with ease.
- After this, peel the potatoes. Hold them with a towel to stop yourself from getting burnt as they are hot.
- For this step, you will need a mouli or a potato ricer. Pass the potatoes through either appliance multiple times until it is lump-free and airy. The ricer will take longer as it only has small holes whereas a mouli allows you to be quicker.
- Once your potatoes have been passed through a ricer or mouli, put it all in a bowl. Make a hole in the middle of your potato pile.
- Crack and pour all of your eggs in here and sprinkle some flour over it all.
- Start blending everything with your hands. Be quick and careful as overdoing this will ruin the texture of the potato. Add flour when necessary but try to use as little as possible so the flavor comes from the potato.
- Once the dough is soft and holds together, it should have the color of dough you would normally use for pastry. As long as the dough is like this and not too sticky, you can divide it into 3 equal portions.
- Roll the gnocchi in a small amount of flour and shape them into three lengths. Cut these into pieces that are the size of a thumb-nail. Some people choose not to shape and pattern their gnocchi, which is completely fair. Other people like to as it helps the sauce cling onto the pasta.
When it comes to cooking and eating them, put them in a pot of salted boiling water for about 2 minutes.
Best way to Store Gnocchi
If you are looking to store your gnocchi for a long time, the best method is to shape them, leave them uncooked, and freeze them.
If you intend on using them in the next few days then they can be cooked and left in the fridge.
FAQs on Storing Fresh Gnocchi
You can freeze uncooked gnocchi and then thaw them before cooking. As long as they are properly thawed and defrosted then there is no issue with cooking them.
Fresh gnocchi will last for up to a week in the fridge but is best used in the first three days of storage.
Some foods and ingredients are capable of being left unphased by being stored out in the open. Most notably, fruit is perfectly fine to be left out in the open. It will still eventually go off but that is not due to being stored incorrectly.
Fresh food such as pasta, baked goods, and chips are just some of the foods that you should take good care of when storing. The incorrect storage of these snacks or ingredients will eventually lead to a lower quality food or experience which is not something you want while trying to eat.
Bread and chips especially will be a lot worse if you leave them out in the open as the bread will go stale and hard, while the chips will go soft. This is not what you want when it comes to eating them. Meat is also in need of being stored properly or it will be a growing house for bacteria.