The ABC's of Cooking with Lynn Fredericks
author of Cooking Time Is Family Time

E  is for Equipment
Potato Gnocchi a la Amarone

Adapted from Lynne Fredericks' Cooking Time is Family Time.

Equipment: potato ricer, masher or fork

After the thrill of passing whole, cooked potatoes through the ricer, my son's little hands made quick work of the potentially time-consuming task of forming individual gnocchi. Since that first experiment, gnocchi-making has become a regular part of my parents' and kids' culinary classes. Everyone loves the alchemy of turning the potatoes and flour into light and delicious nuggets to be drenched with their favorite sauce. Hopefully, your family will have as much fun as well.

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 potatoes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

1. Fill a large pot two-thirds full with water and bring to a boil. Have older children peel potatoes, quarter them and place them in the pot. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until potatoes are very tender when pierced with a fork.

2. When the potatoes are cooking, have the children measure the flours and grate the cheese with a box grater. Place these ingredients in separate small bowls. When the potatoes are cooked, parents should remove the pot from the heat and drain, taking care that children are at a safe distance, as the steam is very hot and dangerous.

3. Now spread the potatoes on a cutting board or counter. Help the children put the potatoes through the potato ricer or masher. Mash until there are no lumps. Spread the potatoes over a lightly floured surface and have a younger child sprinkle a "light" handful of semolina flour over the potato. Parents or older children then work the potato and semolina flour into dough, by alternating handfuls of each flour and the cheese, kneading in between each handful. Knead well until the mixture becomes dough-like and no longer sticky.

4. Roll the dough into a thick log and assist an older child in cutting into 3 inch long pieces. Now have children roll each piece into a thin (3/4 inch diameter) coil. Cut these into one-half inch pieces, and roll each one along the prongs of a fork. (There is an illustration in my book.) Place in a floured bowl so they do not stick.

5. While you are all forming the gnocchi, place a medium saucepan two-thirds full with salted water and bring to a boil. When all the gnocchi's are formed, place them in boiling water for one minute, or until they float to the top. Remove and place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and serve warm with butter or marinara sauce and herbs.

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