Passover Recipes: No-Fail Matzo Balls & Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Here are some Passover recipes both for your Seder and for the week of Passover itself.
Passover begins at sunset tonight, and many of you will be hosting or attending a Seder. For my Passover column this year, I am including a traditional matzo ball recipe you can use for a Seder, and a modern entrée and side dish that would not make for a good Seder meal.
The tilapia and gnocchi require more attention to timing than is easily accomplished while you’re also trying to conduct (or attend) a Seder, so save this for a meal during the rest of the week. Chag Sameach and B’tayavon!
Roz’s No-Fail Matzo Balls
Makes 8 – 10 large matzo balls
I have been using this recipe for as long as I can remember, from my very first Seder-hosting experience nearly 30 years ago. Roz is one of my mom’s longtime best friends, so this recipe always makes me think of our Seders in Carmichael, CA.
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup matzo meal
- ¼ cup club soda
- 2 1-quart boxes of chicken broth
- Beat eggs with salt and add melted butter (make sure it is cooled or it will cook the eggs!)
- Stir in the matzo meal and add club soda.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour or, better still, overnight.
- Put chicken broth in large pot and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, using heaping tablespoonfuls of the matzo batter and wet hands, form into balls. The less you handle the dough, the fluffier your matzo balls will be.
- Place matzo balls in boiling chicken broth and cover.
- Simmer until tender when tested with a fork, about a half hour.
Matzo Meal & Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia with Sweet Potato Gnocchi & Arugula-Basil Pesto
Serves 4 - 6
Adapted from a recipe from SparkRecipes contributor “NaplesNancy.” If you have any left over, it will keep for up to a week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In bowl of food processor, process garlic.
- Add almonds, arugula, basil, grated cheese, pepper and salt. Process to blend well.
- Gradually add oil and process until fully blended.
Passover Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Adapted from a recipe from the “Cooking with Amy” food blog.
- 1 sweet potato or yam, approximately 1 lb. in weight (I used a garnet yam; longer and skinnier is better than shorter and fatter)
- 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup matzo meal
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
- Thoroughly scrub and dry the sweet potato or yam.
- Prick it all over with the tip of a sharp knife.
- Cook in microwave on high for 6 – 8 minutes until it yields easily to the touch.
- Cut in half and scoop out insides; you should have a cup of sweet potato pulp.
- Mash sweet potato pulp and mix ricotta, matzo meal, potato starch and salt to make a dough.
- When the dough is well mixed, break it into four even pieces.
- Roll each into a ball and then into an approximately 10 inch “snake.”
- Cut into small pieces, about 12 per “snake”, and roll into little ovals.
- Using a fork, roll the bits of dough to flatten them slightly and make indentations.
- Boil in salted water just until they rise to the surface, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and put in heatproof bowl.
- While still hot, toss with arugula-basil pesto or, if not using, with 2 tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper.
Matzo Meal & Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia
This recipe is all mine! If you don’t like Parmesan cheese, feel free to leave it out but add a wee bit more matzo meal to make sure you have enough to crust your fish.
- 4 4- 6 ounce tilapia filets
- ½ cup matzo meal
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons kosher for Passover mayonnaise
- salt and pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- lemon wedges (optional, if not using pesto)
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- On a shallow plate, mix together matzo meal and Parmesan.
- Salt and pepper the tilapia filets and brush with 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise each. Make sure to thoroughly coat both sides.
- Place tilapia filets, one by one, in matzo meal/Parmesan mixture, and gently press mixture into filet until both sides are well covered.
- Cover a baking sheet or jellyroll pan with foil and oil well.
- Place coated tilapia filets on baking sheet and drizzle with a little more oil.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily (note that crust may not get particularly brown, but it will be done when fish flakes).
- Serve topped with arugula-basil pesto or with lemon wedges on the side.
Please note that while these recipes are technically “kosher for Passover,” they do not strictly follow the laws of kashrut. Most ingredients can be adapted for those following more traditional guidelines.