holiday leftovers part 3

Remember when I said my family always makes WAYYYY too much food?! Well, it's so true. One year I found myself making dinner for 18 when I was only serving 6 people. I had a mountain of leftover mashed potatoes and after 4 nights in a row of reheating the leftovers, I had enough leftover mashed for a lifetime. Ok, lets be real, more like a few weeks but you get my point... I found myself with a ton of mashed potatoes and I couldn't even think about eating anymore. That's when it hit me. GNOCCHI made from the leftover mashed potatoes. Something that felt completely different from the original dish but used up the remaining leftovers. If you, like me, find yourself with an excess of mashed potatoes and don't fee like reheating them, you have to try this. Leftover mashed potatoes are always so dry and gross anyway. 

This is the type of recipe that will vary depending on how you make your mashed potatoes. Use it as a guide but know that you might have to adjust the amount of flower depending on how wet or dry your leftover potatoes are. There's nothing worse than a super gummy or heavy gnocchi. 

gnocchi from leftover mashed potatoes
makes about 180 gnocchi (enough for 4 generous servings)

2 c. leftover mashed potatoes
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ c. flour (more or less depending on consistency)
¼ c. grated parmesan
salt to taste

Start by sprinkling a large work space with a dusting of flour. If there are any beads of water surrounding your leftover mashed potatoes, pat them dry with a paper towel. Put your leftover mashed potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill, letting the pieces fall in a thin, rectangular shape in the middle of your work space. This will remove any lumps and skin that might have been in the mashed potatoes and will fluff them up resulting in a lighter gnocchi. If you don't have one of these, just do your best to fluff it with a fork. You'll sacrifice texture a little bit but it will still turn out. Pour your beaten egg over the mashed potatoes & sprinkle with 1 c. of the flour to start & the parmesan cheese + salt. Depending on how wet or dry your potatoes are, the amount of flour you'll need will vary.

Start to mix the dough together with your hands like you would any bread or pasta. Be gentle but make sure it's well incorporated. Sprinkle with more flour, as needed until the dough comes together and isn't too sticky to the touch. It shouldn't feel too fragile (like it won't stick together) but it definitely shouldn't be tough. It will be slightly elastic as you're kneading it. When the dough is the right consistency, divide it into 4 equal parts. Roll each section into a long, thin snake. Cut about 1 cm thick pieces. This will become your little gnocchi. On the back of a fork, gently roll the dough, creating little ridges in the gnocchi. This is an important step because this is what makes the pasta stick to the dumpling! Toss onto a lightly floured baking sheet and repeat. Turn up the Beyonce and get in your zone... if you're into that sort of thing.

In a large pot of boiling water, toss about 20 gnocchi in at a time. You'll know they're done when the rise to the surface. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or into a pan with your favorite sauce. Keep cooking them a few at a time until you've made your way through the batch. If you're not ready to make the gnocchi, you can freeze them uncooked on a baking sheet for a few hours. You can then transfer them into a plastic bag and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Or you can cook them and lightly toss them in olive oil to keep them from sticking. This will make the sauce not stick to them as well but it will work just fine if you're feeling a strong urge to cook them immediately. 

improv style:
you can make these with leftover roasted potatoes or even roasted sweet potatoes. you could even add in some roasted garlic for a twist on flavor. 

i like to serve them with all sorts of different sauces. i did a vodka sauce with mascarpone but brown butter and sage, fresh pesto, or even baked with alfredo sauce are all great ways to do it. 


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  2. Wonderful idea for leftover mashed potatoes. I like to sautee my gnocchi in butter and oil after it has boiled, gives them a wonderful crisp.

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