Time to come clean, gnocchi is my favourite pasta. Yes, that pretty much sums it up. Truly, it is my most favourite of pasta children. All things considered, I adore making it, cooking it, sauce it, and eating it. In fact, I can’t even tell you where and when I learned to make it. Gnocchi and I have had this affair for a long time.
Making my case
So of all the pasta we can make and eat why is gnocchi, my love? Comparatively speaking, what makes her such a seductress? I have actually thought about this. Here is my list of arguments:
- Based on a potato -winner
- Similar to making bread – so cool
- With a little practice, it can be mastered – an overwhelming sense of satisfaction here
- So soft and pillowy on the palate
- It is a perfect accompaniment to really any sauced dish
- Our friends and dinner guests are astounded by it
- It freezes well
- Cooks in 3 minutes, and furthermore in a spate of generosity she tells you when she is done
Not only do I remember gnocchi’s I have had, but also, I remember when my friends complimented me on it. Gnocchi is so cool, she makes me cooler, I love to have her around.
With this passion in mind let’s make some Gnocchi.
Don’t be daunted by the number of steps. I was intentionally detailed to make it easy. Furthermore, not one is complex. The quantity is so easy to scale, if it is your main course, 1/2 potato per guest if it’s a component 1/4 per. The recipe adjusts simply, it has 4 ingredients.
- 2 Large Russet Baking Potatoes
- 1 egg
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup 100g “00” or unbleached flour more for kneading
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 c)
Clean and dry potatoes
Bake for 1 hour until soft
Let the potatoes cool considerably 15 – 20 min
Half the potato and using your fist, gently, or smash until the skin is loose and flesh is separated, a punch or two all over, discard skins
Rice the potatoes or mash with masher or spoon on a large flat surface getting as smooth as possible
Cover with ½ c (65g) flour, put the remainder in a pile nearby
Whisk egg and pour in a small crater in the four
With your hands, combine and knead until a stiff dough forms adding flour as needed, roll into a thick log
Cover and let rest for 15-20 min
Cut a 1.5-inch (4cm) disk. Place between your hands and form into a cylinder, then roll on the flat surface into a long snake starting in the middle and working outward, if it breaks push it back together
There are two styles of gnocchi ribbed, and pillows
Ribbed: Using a fork, measure in one fork width, by gently rolling the fork across the gnocchi leaving light humps, pressing down on the outside to cut the gnocchi, repeat
Pillow: same procedure use a knife and roll cut each one
Set the Gnocchi on a dusted cookie sheet and cover until needed
Boil a large pot of heavily salted water, add the gnocchi, boil until they float, remove and add sauce or to dish
Gnocchi freezes very well just open a freezer bag and lay flat on the counter, heavily dust the gnocchi with flour, and set the flat in the bag in one layer. Gently lift the bag to the freezer and freeze flat. Once frozen store as normal.
Gnocchi is ideally a one hand prep; however, this takes some practice. I use my right, pick a hand, any hand. Otherwise, both hands will be caked with sticky dough. It can be done two-handed, but it is really fun to learn. Let’s be honest, so rarely do most of us have the opportunity to do something with one hand, here a chance to seize that opportunity.
Bake the potatoes, don’t boil them. Boiling makes them too wet, consequently it leaches flavour.
Use a great flour, I like “00” it is uniquely suited, you can get it at an Italian grocer or on Amazon.
Finally, don’t over think it. It’s actually a simple thing to make, just allow yourself some practice.