Mashed potatoes repurposed


I blame my mother for having recently made twice as many mashed potatoes as two people could possibly eat.

We were on the phone as I was peeling potatoes, and she convinced me that four potatoes probably wasn’t enough. So I threw in another one, bringing the total to five. Again, for two people. Ridiculous even when you consider how much Mike likes (make that loves) mashed potatoes.

Even though he could’ve fashioned himself a Devil’s Tower to rival Richard Dreyfuss’ with the mound on his plate, there were plenty left over. (“Enough for thrashers,” as Mom would say.)

Growing up, second day mashed potatoes meant hamburger pie, otherwise known as my least favorite meal ever. Imagine ground beef mixed with tomato soup mixed with green beans and topped with mashed potatoes then baked in a Pyrex bowl. I know, gross.

But Googling “leftover mashed potatoes” yielded a super fast and easy — and far less disgusting — solution: gnocchi.

After reviewing a few recipes, I surmised that I simply needed to mix the leftover mashed potatoes with about half the amount of flour and one egg. I eyed instead of measured the mashed potatoes, estimating there to be just over two cups, so added the egg and a little over a cup of flour. After I mixed it with a fork, I kneaded the dough by hand until I had a non-sticky ball. I divided it into three equal portions, then rolled each into a rope the thickness I wanted for my gnocchi and cut it into 1-inch pieces.

The cooking was even easier. I simply added the gnocchi to a pot of salted, boiling water and waited for the gnocchi to float to the surface. I topped the cooked gnocchi with a jar of sauce stashed in the pantry, and added a side of steamed broccoli.

Quite possibly the easiest dinner I’ve made in eons.

Next time, and there will be a next time, I’ll experiment with adding a spice to the dough — Mike thought it was delicious but “missing something.” Still, an impressive first effort.