How To Quickly Turn Leftover Mashed Potatoes Into Gnocchi

Mashed potatoes can be one thing you often make too much of (and why wouldn't you?). Whether you prepared a classic thanksgiving dinner or cooked sausages with gravy, chances are you're now wracking your brain over what to do with leftover mashed potatoes. Lucky for us, buttery mash lends itself to a real leftover fiesta. There are plenty of recipes to try, but one of the best and easiest recipes for leftover potato mash is gnocchi.

Gnocchi is puffy pillows of dough that can be made from a variety of ingredients such as cornmeal, pumpkin, or semolina, but the most common version eaten around the world is classic potato gnocchi. They're a true symbol of Italian home cooking and just what we need for a quick leftover dinner. While the traditional potato gnocchi isn't made with leftover potato mash, we're here to help you make it equally satisfying. It feels really good to say no to food waste in our kitchen.

The key to soft gnocchi

Mashed potatoes aren't exactly what the classic recipe calls for: the potatoes for gnocchi should be as dry as possible. Therefore, they're usually baked with the skin on a bed of coarse salt to retain as little moisture as possible. Otherwise, too much flour is needed to firm up the dough, and that can make the gnocchi hard and chewy. Mashed potatoes, on the other hand, are made with butter and milk to make them creamier. While the mash can still be used to make gnocchi, it's imperative to balance out the moisture.

The ratio of potatoes to flour should be no more than three to one, but for softer gnocchi, it's best to add as little flour as possible. One way to make sure the gnocchi don't get hard is to avoid eggs. Although it adds a nice color to the dough, eggs can make the dough too wet. If you still want a nice golden hue to your gnocchi, try adding a pinch of turmeric powder instead.

How to make gnocchi out of the leftover mash

Okay, so you've got some leftover mash in the fridge and you're ready to roll up your sleeves. We recommend using 00 flour here as the fine grain of the classic Italian pasta flour will give us the fluffiest results.

Making gnocchi is all about technique. Break up your mash into smaller chunks in a bowl and sift some flour over them, add a pinch of salt and mix gently to incorporate. The amount of flour will depend on your mash, but it's best to add the flour gradually until the dough is soft and no longer sticky. Be careful not to overwork the dough or you'll end up with rubbery gnocchi, so be gentle. Form a ball and let it rest for 15 minutes. Then dust the table with more flour and divide your dough; take each piece and roll it out into a long strand (about three inches thick). Next, cut the dough into small pieces. You can cook gnocchi straight away or roll them over a fork to get nice ridges — they look super cute and help to absorb the sauce better.

Cooking gnocchi is very easy: Just boil them for a few minutes until they float to the top and you're done.