A great way to use leftover mashed potatoes: Homemade potato gnocchi
Gnocchi is such a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes. It is incredibly tasty and relatively easy to make, but most importantly no one will ever think it was made from leftovers. Gnocchi is basically an Italian potato dumpling. It is really similar to pasta and can be served with many different varieties of pasta sauce, but it also works perfectly well as a side dish or appetizer. Gnocchi is absolutely delicious browned in butter and served with a quick butter sauce.
Begin your gnocchi with cooked and cooled potatoes (mashed potatoes work great) make sure that the potatoes are well meshed without any lumps. Add enough eggs to loosen up your potatoes, and begin to boil water. I would estimate that for about two cups of mashed potatoes you would need to use one egg. Mix the egg and potato well and begin adding flour until a dough is formed that can be rolled without sticking to your fingers. You want to be careful not to add too much flour, but you do need enough to gently roll the gnocchi dough into a snake without it sticking to your cutting board or fingers. Roll the gnocchi until it is a snake about half an inch thick and cut into half inch pieces with a knife. Lay the gnocchi out in a single layer on a plate then drop them one by one into the boiling water. When the gnocchi floats it is finished cooking. Remove it with a slotted spoon and place it on plate or sheet try to cool down or toss them with your favorite pasta sauce. Continue this process until all the gnocchi is cooked.
For butter gnocchi heat a pat of butter in a saute pan and add a handful of gnocchi. Allow them to brown on each side and gently jiggle the saute pan to roll the gnocchi until it is nicely browned on all sides. Cut the heat and add two or three pats of butter. Toss the gnocchi gently with the butter letting the butter emulsify into a creamy sauce. Grind some fresh black pepper onto the gnocchi and serve as a side.
Sweet potato gnocchi is slightly more difficult to form because sweet potatoes don't have the starch that regular potatoes do. Make the sweet potato gnocchi the same way you would make potato gnocchi but keep in mind that your dough will not be as firm as with potato gnocchi. Roll it on a well floured cutting board and cook in boiling water following the same process as potato gnocchi.
Note: Try adding cheese like ricotta to your gnocchi for more flavor.
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