The Crucial Reason You Need To Let Homemade Gnocchi Rest

Patience is a virtue — and one of your best assets in making homemade gnocchi. Whether you have plans to whip up a meal of crispy gnocchi with pesto or a creamy chicken gnocchi, making the gnocchi dough from scratch will elevate these Italian recipes. However, you don't want to rush the gnocchi-making process; the shaped gnocchi needs time to rest before you throw it in a pot of water. Granted, this final resting step may seem like an unnecessary detour to your dinner. However, it's actually crucial for preserving its final shape and texture. 

Indeed, resting your cut-and-shaped gnocchi prior to cooking helps individual gnocchi pieces keep their shape. If you add them to a pot of boiling water too soon, you risk the starch falling apart. All that effort to make homemade gnocchi could go, quite literally, down the drain. A resting period also prevents the gnocchi from sticking together. While resting, your gnocchi pieces will dry out on the countertop, and better maintain the form you labored to create. 

Give gnocchi 30 minutes to rest and dry before you start to cook

Resting gnocchi requires little more than a tray, a cloth, and, perhaps, a timer. On the clock, 30 minutes is practically nothing — but, on your gnocchi, that time span is everything. Once you cut and shape your gnocchi into those individual, signature pieces, you should let them rest for roughly 30 minutes. Some recipes cite 20 minutes as more than enough time to do the job, so you don't have to be too exact with your timing. You will, however, want to be precise in your methodology. 

Fortunately, all you have to do is leave them be. Once your gnocchi are shaped, simply let them sit uncovered in their tray in a single layer. During this stage, they'll lose some of their moisture and stiffen up to the necessary consistency for cooking. After those 30 — or 20 — minutes have passed, you should place a towel over your gnocchi until you're ready to boil them. You can be safe in the knowledge that this resting period ensures that the gnocchi will make it out of the pot intact, and quickly onto your plate.