10 July 2009

potato gnocchi


One of my favorite ways to use potatoes is turning it into pillowy mounds of gnocchi. I don't really care for mashed potatoes, although mine are excellent (does it make any sense that I can make well what I don't care for?).

The first step is to boil the whole russet potatoes in their jackets. What you have to get past is the humanizing of an edible, akin to the oysters in The Walrus and the Carpenter. All I know is that if I saw something tasty wearing shoes, jackets, whatever, I'd feel a little like a cannibal if I did eat it, which is why I am opposed to tuxedoed strawberries.
Anyway, after the boiling you peel the potatoes immediately after removing from the pan, then rice it. And I swear gnocchi was invented by the Italian mafia since this has to be a form of torture, even if you are wearing gloves or holding the potato by a clean cotton towel.


Once the riced potatoes have cooled, you make a well and dump in some of the flour, the salt and pepper, a bit of freshly grated nutmeg (just enough to enhance the potato flavor), and a beaten egg. Gather the flour into the egg and draw in the potato a little at a time, ending up with a large mound of emulsified dough that you've kneaded until all ingredients are thoroughly distributed, but not enough to make it overly glutenized.


My fake nonna, Lidia Bastianich, says that the correct texture of finished dough should resemble cookie dough with little holes strewn about, and I say it should pretty much be soft to the touch, but not sticky. This woman knows what's up.




Slice each half into half to make fourths, then keep the rest covered while you roll out one piece on a lightly floured surface. Slice the log up into evenly-sized "pillows", some recipe say 1", some less, I like making smaller gnocchi because the shape comes out better.


Take a piece and roll it down the tines of a fork, pressing down with your thumb, to create ridges on one side and an indent, which I like to refer to as a sauce catcher, on the other side.


If you aren't cooking these up immediately, place gnocchi in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and dusted lightly with flour and freeze until solid.

While I didn't use her recipe this time, Lidia Bastianich's recipe is my referral guide as she offers precise instructions for turning out excellent gnocchi, so take a look and read through her recipe, method, and tips here.

P.S. I know all recipes say cook for 2-3 minutes, but as I have a paranoia of disintegrating gnocchi I cook them just until they rise to the surface and I'm quite certain it's not 2-3 minutes, I don't know. You may or may not want to listen to me.

10 comments:

  1. Mmm sounds great! I'm planning on making sweet potato gnocchi some time next week, so I'll definitely check out the method and tips- thanks!

    justine

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  2. You owe me a gnocchi for my assistance on this blog entry. =)

    B

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  3. Veggie Girl ~ And classics are some of the best =)

    Justine ~ Hope it goes well! Sweet potato gnocchi is on my cooking list.

    Anon ~ Singular of gnocchi is gnocco. Fail.

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  4. Send me two then.

    B

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  5. Great job on the gnocchi. I love the Mafia torture part, who here hasn't burnt their fingers on hot potatoes.

    I do the floating thing too when I work with pierogi. Dirty dough water in not our friend :)

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  6. oh my, the mafia might not like you outing them and their gnocchi :) but they look fantastic! i've been meaning to make them since i got a ricer for xmas... hopefully i'll get it done before next xmas rolls around!

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  7. What beautiful gnocchi! They're absolutely perfect. You did a fine job.

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  8. I was dreaming of making some potato gnocchi this week. I think this a sign. Thanks for visiting. I am so behind in my visits to everyone and trying to balance it all. But know its appreciated.

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  9. I could never get potato gnocchi right. So difficult for me. Wish me luck on my next try :)

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. Your thoughts are appreciated! ^,^

~Christina

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