Nigella Lawson's Alternative Method For Making Gnocchi

When it comes to making homemade gnocchi, everyone makes mistakes. From using the wrong type of potato to being a little overzealous with the flour, making gnocchi is full of potential missteps. It can be intimidating to cook, but it shouldn't be. As MasterClass explains, traditional gnocchi is simply a little dumpling made from potatoes, flour, and eggs that is fashioned into a dough and formed into little lumps. Amaro Bistro reveals the signature ridges you may have noticed on gnocchi serves a purpose: They help the sauce to stick.

While many boil potatoes to make the foundational ingredient for gnocchi, others do not. Nigella Lawson actually shuns the pot of boiling water all together and uses an alternative cooking method for making the potatoes for her gnocchi. Lawson professes to follow the Italian philosophy. The celebrity chef told, "I learned to cook the Italian way, and what revolutionized my cooking is this: They don't go for tricks; it's always about simplicity that is based on having utter respect for the ingredients. It's not about having a secret ingredient, either, but rather using ingredients with the absolute best flavor." 

Lawson's cooking method for this dumpling is anything but a trick and may even produce a more delicate and delicious bite. 

Skip the pot of boiling water

Nigella Lawson shared via Twitter that, when it comes to gnocchi, she prefers hers baked. Lawson tweeted, "I prefer to bake the potatoes for them rather than boil them, as the drier the mixture the less flour you need, and the lighter they'll be." 

According to The Guardian, this is a better way to make your homemade gnocchi. The publication cites a recipe created by Angela Hartnett, who explained, "The trick is to keep the potatoes dry so that the gnocchi are fluffy and melt in the mouth." The Guardian goes on to share that Hartnett recommended baking your potatoes on a "bed of rock salt." This method draws out the moisture. But one of the most essential steps when making your gnocchi is doing so while the potatoes are hot. The Guardian warns if you wait for it to cool, you are likely to get a chewy bite, rather than those heavenly soft pillows. At the same time, the news outlet warns the heat may be too much for some fingers. 

Lawson is not the only Food Network star who uses this alternative method for making gnocchi. Tyler Florence is also a fan of baking rather than boiling the potatoes.