Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gnocchi



As a self-proclaimed pasta and potato girl it's a little shocking that I just recently tried gnocchi for the first time. John and I were out to dinner at an adorable restaurant in NYC, sitting in this beautiful courtyard with flowering trees, and enjoying the atmosphere. Then I looked at the menu and had a "OH NO!" moment. There were only about 10-15 items on the menu and most had beef or veal worked in... 2 things I don't like. I saw the potato gnocchi and figured why not. It was the best possible choice because they were fantastic. I was so impressed with the texture and delicacy of the dumpling that I knew I'd try them again.

I became inspired when I saw a recipe for an Asian gnocchi on Cate's World Kitchen and decided to try my hand at making my own gnocchi. The recipe explicitly states how tricky gnocchi are to make. The comments reiterate the fact. I was scared that I would waste over an hour of time and fail but they were so perfect. I didn't use the fork to create the lines because I personally prefer them without the lines, but you can always do that. They were so delicate and honestly not as hard to make as I expected. Best of all these are VERY inexpensive so if you want to entertain without spending a ton of money I suggest this recipe.

Source: 101 Cookbooks

Ingredients:

Scant 2 pounds of starchy potatoes (2 large russets)
1/4 cup egg, lightly beaten (about 1 large egg)
scant 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour
fine grain sea salt

Directions:
Fill a large pot with cold water. Salt the water, then cut potatoes in half and place them in the pot. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender throughout, this takes roughly 40-50 minutes.

Remove the potatoes from the water one at a time with a slotted spoon. Place each potato piece on a large cutting board and peel it before moving on to the next potato. I used a fork and lifted the skin, then pulled back with my fingers.

Using the back of a fork push the fork into the potato and repeatedly push the fork into the potato. This will mash the potato into a fluffy pile. Don't over-mash - you are simply after an even consistency with no noticable lumps.

Save the potato water.

Let the potatoes cool spread out across the cutting board - ten or fifteen minutes. Long enough that the egg won't cook when it is incorporated into the potatoes. When you are ready, pull the potatoes into a soft mound - drizzle with the beaten egg and sprinkle 3/4 cup of the flour across the top.

Using a spatula gently lift the left side of the mixture and fold it over the right. Keep repeating, alternating sides, until the mixture is well incorporated and a light crumble.

Using your hands gently knead the dough. You want it to by moist but not sticky. Slowly add the additional 1/4 cup of flour as needed until you achieve this consistency. (I used about 1/2 of the remaining flour).

Cut it into 8 pieces. Now gently roll each 1/8th of dough into a snake-shaped log, roughly the thickness of your thumb. Use a knife to cut pieces every 3/4-inch (see photo). Dust with a bit more flour.

If desired, push each piece onto a fork, forming it into a c-shaped pillow. If not, leave them as they are.

Either reheat your potato water or start with a fresh pot (salted), and bring to a boil. Cook the gnocchi in batches by dropping them into the boiling water roughly twenty at a time. They will let you know when they are cooked because they will pop back up to the top. Fish them out of the water a few at a time with a slotted spoon ten seconds or so after they've surfaced. Have a large platter ready with a generous swirl of whatever sauce you are using ready. Once all of the gnocchi are cooked top with a little bit more sauce and stir gently.

Enjoy!!!!

1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious and I love making homemade gnocchi!

    ReplyDelete