Saturday, June 12, 2010

Making Potato Gnocchi ...

not the easiest thing to make. As a student, we made these in class, they came out usually over kneaded so they had a rubbery texture or under kneaded falling apart in the water when they were boiled. Ours today turned out fine, not rubbery, could still be more pillowy. They were soft and edible.

Potato Gnocchi

1-1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
1 cup (or more) all purpose flour
1 large egg yolk, beaten to blend
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pierce potatoes in several places and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Cut potatoes in half. Working in batches, scoop hot flesh into potato ricer or food mill. Rice potatoes onto rimmed baking sheet and cool slightly.
2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Prepare a work area and dust it with flour.
3. Transfer potatoes to large bowl. Add the flour, toss to coat. Form a well in the center of the potato mixture. Add the egg yolks, salt, and nutmeg. Stir with fork until the mixture is evenly moistened and mixture looks shaggy.
4. Turn the mixture out onto the lightly floured work surface. Knead dough until it comes together, sprinkling dough with flour very lightly only if dough is sticky. Form dough into ball; divide into 4 pieces. Roll each piece between hands and work surface into 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut each rope into 3/4-inch pieces. Place gnocchi on prepared baking sheet. Using the tines of a fork or your fingertip, press lightly into each gnocchi, making an indentation in the pasta.
5. At this point, you can freeze the gnocchi by placing them into the freezer spread out on a baking sheet dusted with flour or lined with wax paper. Once frozen, place the gnocchi in a freezer bag. To cook them, place the frozen gnocchi into simmering water (next step).
6. Working in batches, cook gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water. Continue to simmer gnocchi until cooked through and tender, stirring occasionally, until they rise to the surface. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a bowl. Serve with your favorite warm pasta sauce.

The best gnocchi we had was at a little hole in the wall cafe at the base of Whistler, Dec. 2009. They were the melt in your mouth texture sauteed in pesto sauce with a dusting of Pecorino cheese.


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