Make Ahead

Baba Matilde's Breadcrumb Gnocchi (or Shlishkes)

December 15, 2013
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6 people
Author Notes

My maternal grandmother was Eastern European origins, and emigrated to Argentina as a child, in the early 1900s. Her father, a former army cook in the Prussian Army, opened a restaurant in Buenos Aires. My grandmother, or Baba, as we called her, grew up in the restaurant kitchen and was exposed to the foods of many cultures. Mostly eastern European, but also Italian and Spanish, which were the cultures that build Argentina's culinary traditions. We always knew this recipe as "breadcrumb gnocchi", but when I decided to enter this contest, I became curious about its origins, and googled it. I found a Hungarian dish, named Shlishkes, which is very similar to what she made. I now wonder if she was actually making Shlishkes, and referring to them as gnocchi because she was growing among Italians. The recipe asks for very little flour, and the mix will not look like regular gnocchi batter. However, this makes extremely light gnocchi. Enjoy! —boston foodie

What You'll Need
  • 3 large potatoes, pureed (about 800g)
  • 1 egg
  • 2-2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  1. Boil potatoes and puree them, taking care of not leaving any clumps. I use the hand blender. While they are still warm but not too hot, add the egg and the flour, and mix them until the batter is homogeneous. It should be sticky but not liquid.
  2. Chill it in the fridge for 30'. In the meantime, boil a pot of water and prepare the breadcrumb mix: melt and brown 6 tablespoons of butter in the stovetop, and when the butter is melted and smells nutty, add 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs. Mix until the breadcrumbs are evenly covered in butter, and remove from stovetop when toasted. Transfer breadcrumb mix to a serving dish.
  3. Take the gnocchi batter from the fridge, and using a cookie scoop, drop spoonfuls of batter on the boiling water. The gnocchi will be ready when they float on the surface of the water. About 3-4 minutes. Remove them from boiling water, drain, and transfer them to the serving dish with the breadcrumb mix. Don't overcrowd the boiling water. Dropping batches of 4-5 gnocchi at the time worked well for me, using a 5 quart pot.
  4. Enjoy!
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3 Reviews

Ana L. August 13, 2018
Your grandmother most likely came from Romania. She might have been a Hungarian Romanian. Baba means old lady in Romanian. We make this kind of pasta dish.
healthierkitchen December 17, 2013
Great story! Do you roll the "gnocchi" in the breadcrumbs once they've boiled?
boston F. December 17, 2013
Thanks! Yes I do. I place the buttered breadcrumbs in a serving dish and transfer the "gnocchi" directly from the boiling water to the serving dish.