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I have a lot of potatoes to use, and I am making a large batch of Gnocchi. I plan to freeze much of it, but I was wondering if it's also possible to dry the fresh Gnocchi and store in a sealed container at room temperature (as is done with other pastas). Has anyone tried this?

If it matters, the Gnocchi dough will not have egg in it.

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Not sure enough to make it an answer, but I'd be inclined to think that won't work well. Gnocchi are a lot thicker than other pasta. I'd expect you get some nasty cracking, and also maybe rotting before the inside fully dried –  Michael at Herbivoracious Sep 1 '10 at 21:47
    
Why do you need to dry it rather than just freezing all of your left overs? –  yossarian Sep 1 '10 at 22:23
    
I would think that is not possible to dry gnocchi; if that would be possible, there would be less problems for the food industry to preserve them. Consider that gnocchi are not like other pasta. –  kiamlaluno Sep 2 '10 at 2:23
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I agree with the above comments, but I am experimentally drying some anyway... @yossarian, freezer space is quite limited, while pantry/closets has plenty of room. –  kevins Sep 2 '10 at 2:35
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Surprisingly, the answer seems to be a qualified yes, however the texture is not the same. The dried gnocchi turned out to be much better if fried after boiling; see below.

Here are the results of my experiment:

I dried a small amount of the fresh Gnocchi by placing them in a 150 degree (Farenheit) oven for about an hour, then turning off the oven and leaving them in all day. It is very dry here, so that did the trick.

I boiled the dried gnocchi after several days of storage. They took about ten times longer to boil than their fresh counterparts. Even after they were fully cooked, they were not as soft as the fresh gnocchi, and they never regained their original size or shape. Overall, they were denser, firmer, and less sticky. Not desirable traits necessarily, but they were quite edible.

I decided to pan-fry a small batch in about a tablespoon of oil, and these turned out wonderfully! I have pan-fried gnocchi before, and it tends to be hard to keep them intact and keep them from sticking. The previously dried gnocchi, however, did not stick and held up to vigorous frying. The result were gnocchi with a crispy exterior and soft (if somewhat dense) interior. The crispy outside and flavor reminded me of samosas. These weren't just edible, they were great. I plan to dry about half of my next batch and use the dried gnocchi exclusively for frying.

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I think the fact that I've never seen dried potato gnocchi, only vacuum packed 'fresh' potato gnocchi means that you can't. If you could surely dried potato gnocchi would be in the shops.

It seems that the dried gnocchi is semolina gnocchi, and not potato although there seems to be a patent for a technique for drying potato gnocchi. If you try it let us know how it turns out. If you are still alive after eating it that is :)

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I use a regular dehydrator after cooking at 40 degrees Celsius for 7 hrs. I store them dry in a masonry jar. This works fine and doesn't change anything. I also don't use eggs.

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