Grandma Giannini’s Gnocchi

recipies July 2016

Recipes, such as savory gnoccki and lucious orange torte cake, bring back fond memories of famility traditions. (Photo provided)


Grandma Giannini’s Gnocchi


Deon Lemmons gave us the recipe for her grandmother’s delicious gnocchi. It’s easy to make and, if you make a large batch, an extra set of hands is helpful and more fun. Deon and her family attend St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Student Center in Valparaiso.


10 cups flour

10 cups potatoes (about 5 pounds boiled russet potatoes)

8 tablespoons canola oil

8 large eggs



Peel and rice or mash cooked potatoes into a large bowl. Sprinkle flour and 1 teaspoon of salt over the potatoes and toss together. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil, then stir into the flour mixture.

Using your hands, mix the dough until firm, adding more flour if it’s too sticky. Remove dough from the bowl and knead until soft and smooth. Break off a handful of dough and roll it into a 3/4-inch thick rope. Cut each rope into 3/4- inch pieces. 

Holding a fork in one hand, press each piece of dough against the tines to make ridges, then use your thumb to make an indentation in the center. Place the gnocchi on lightly floured baking sheets.  (Recipe makes 8 pounds of gnocchi. Freeze them at this point if you want to save for future use.)

When ready to serve, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt to taste. Add gnocchi to the water, about 2 cups at a time, and cook until they float to the top. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon. Serve with your favorite sauce.

(We sauteed zucchini, tomatoes and garlic in 4 tablespoons butter then mixed in gnocchi and seasoned the dish with 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, fresh basil and shredded Parmesan cheese.)



Orange Torte Cake


Eleanor Polaski  remembers  her mother, Kathryn Sappan, making this luscious torte cake as a special treat for birthdays. Eleanor and her husband Frank are members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Valparaiso.


Cake Layers:

2 cups cake flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

8 large eggs, separated

2 cups sugar

1/3  cup orange juice


Line 3 round cake pans with wax paper. Grease and flour under and over the paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy. Add the orange juice and beat until blended. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Alternately fold in the egg whites and flour to the egg mixture. Pour into prepared pans. Bake until cake tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. After a few minutes, remove cakes from the pans and peel off wax paper. Cool on wire rack.



1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 egg yolks

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the yolks and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and bubbles, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in the juice and butter. Cool completely.



1 cup Crisco shortening

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

1 cup warm milk

1 teaspoon vanilla or orange extract


Dissolve the sugar in warm milk and let cool. In large bowl, combine shortening and butter. Add milk mixture and beat about 5 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy. Add the extract and beat until thoroughly combined.

Spread cooled filling between layers and swirl frosting over sides and top of cake.


Annette Kukoy is a member of St. Thomas More Parish in Munster. Jackie Shayotovich belongs to Ss. Peter and Paul in Merrillville. For more information contact Annette or Jackie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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