With the cooler weather, the desire for more substantial foods comes back as well. Thicker sauces and thicker sweaters are a hand in hand occurence in this house. I crave different foods when the weather changes, and a good plate of airy and light yet filling gnocchi has never been passed off by this girl here. But when you research or ask around, it seem that short of moving to a monastery in the Italian Alps and apprenticing for a solid three years, or at least adopting an Italian ‘Nonna’ (and they are hard to come by), there is no chance that you might even come close to something edible. Light and delicate and not rubbery, dense or chewy is what I am dreaming off and honestly due to all the info and feedback, it took me a good year of just looking at my potato ricer (that was purchased with just this very task in mind) before I attempted my first batch. When I finally went for it, I could hardly believe how simple it seemed. Had I only realized that it would be so easy to make these from scratch I would have eaten them weekly. So sadly I have lived without gnocchi for quite some time, having been served lumps of what must have been an illegitimate love child of paste and rubber, I had been too scared to even try the frozen variety at the store. Anyone know if they are any good?
But taking an afternoon and making a batch of nice, homemade gnocchi, is going to give you the best result. You just have to be mindful of a couple of important points and you should have no trouble creating a lofty, delicate gnocchi!
My little gnocchi factory 🙂
Go ahead, give it a try! The important factors (from my research supplemented by my limited experience) are using a potato ricer, and just barely putting the dough together, if you knead it as many recipe’s are calling for, it will get dense due to the gluten developing inside the dough, and last but not least of course, the type of potato is important too: Russet, or another starchy variety is recommended.
makes enough for about 3 meals for 2 people
- about 2 lb of Russet potatoes (I used 3 big ones, might have been more than 2 lb, but that’s what most recipe’s call for)
- 1 egg
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups of flour
- 1 tsp salt
- If necessary, cut the potatoes into manageable pieces (so it fits in a pot) and cover with cold water, bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and cook, covered, until cooked and tender when tested with a knife.
- Drain and set aside until juts cold enough to handle, peel the potatoes, cut in half and pass them through a potato ricer into a large bowl. Set aside, uncovered to cool to almost room temperature, about 20 minutes. (They need to cool down to the point where they won’t cook the egg that will get mixed in)
- Slightly scramble the egg, then add to the potatoes with the salt and stir with a fork until mixed in.
- Add about 1 1/4 cup of flour and gently incorporate into a crumbly dough, using your hands. Make sure the flour is all moistened then press all of it together against the bottom of the bowl.
- Generously flour a work surface and wash your hands. Turn dough out onto floured surface and quickly knead until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough is soft and a little tacky but feels delicate and mostly smooth. About 30 seconds to 1 minute max. (do NOT overwork or the gnocchi will be tough)
- Place dough back into bowl and cover with a kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment and flour lightly, set aside.
- Lightly re-flour work surface and using a piece of dough about the size of a small orange, roll into a 3/4″ diameter roll on the floured surface, below the palms of both your hands.
- With a sharp knife, cut the rope about every 3/4″so you get a little dough piece roughly 3/4″ square. Traditionally Italian Gnocchi have little ridges that are made by pushing/rolling the gnocchi over the tines of a fork, but you could just as well leave them in the ‘pillow’ shape after cutting.
- Place the gnocchi in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, and repeat until you used up all the dough.
- If you are going to cook them within the next 2 to 3 hours, you can leave them out on the counter,otherwise place in the freezer(on the sheets) and when frozen store them in zip top bags for use anytime!
- To cook, bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil and slide the fresh gnocchi off the parchment into the water, about 15 to 20 at a time, stir and cook for 1 minute after they float to the surface. If they are frozen, cook right from the freezer but cook less at a time as the water temperature comes down when you add frozen things and the gnocchi will end up falling apart before they cook or (not sure what’s worse) become soggy.
© 2012 SimpleHealthyHomemade