Friday, September 17, 2010

Recipe Day - Handmade Gnocci

Gnocci is one of our favorite family meals.  Do not be intimidated, it is easy to make.  Like most things, it just takes some time.

Gnocci ingredients: Potatoes (about 1 per person), salt, egg(s), flour.

You can either start with raw potatoes, or if you have enough left-over mashed potatoes, start with those.

If you have potatoes, peel, slice and cook in salted water until done.  I use a potato ricer to get the potatoes nice and smooth - no lumps, but this isn't necessary.  If you don't have one, just whip or thoroughly mash your potatoes.
If you have a potato ricer, this is what they will look like.

At this point you take your freshly mashed/riced potatoes, or your left-over mashed potatoes and mix one or two eggs in with them.  How many eggs will depend on how much potato mash you have.  For 6 potatoes I used one egg.

After the egg is mixed in you will add some salt (just to taste, you've already cooked your potatoes with salt and you will cook the gnocci in salted water).  Then start to add in your flour.  Your goal is to make a dough that is no longer sticky, but still malleable.   Think something similar to play-dough.  (for my 6 potatoes, I added about 3 cups flour)  It will probably take more flour if you started with left-over mashed potatoes, they have more moisture in them.  I usually start mixing with a spoon, and then use my hands.

Once your dough is workable, you will start rolling out ropes.  About 1/2 inch diameter.

Then cut your ropes in to small pieces.  Approximately 1/2 inch.

At this point I sprinkle lots of flour on my counter for the gnocci to sit in/on so they don't stick to each other.  
If you have a gnocci board, you can roll the pieces across it for the lines.  This is what the board looks like.
If you don't have one, no big deal.  I didn't have one for years.  My husband happened to run across this at a local Italian Deli last year.  So if you don't have one, just separate your cut pieces into the flour pile.  Some people roll their pieces on the back of a fork.  You can try that, too.

After a while you will have a whole bunch of gnocci and a lot of flour sitting out on your counter.
They can actually sit out for a couple of hours.  I tried leaving them out overnight once, they were greenish-brown in the morning because of the potato starch.  Not so appetizing.

So when you're ready to eat, just drop them in some salted, boiling water and cook them until they float.  

You kind of do it in batches.  Drop in, cook, scoop and drop in more.  When you scoop them out, put them in a bowl and put butter in with them.  It will help stop them from sticking to each other.

Serve your gnocci with your favorite spaghetti sauce or garlic butter. (I didn't get a picture of this, they were eaten too quickly)  If you need a recipe for spaghetti sauce - check out mine from last week here.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Oh Rachel... I LOVE gnocchi with a passion! Have you ever been to Rosebud in Chicago? There's is what hooked me.

Thanks so much for your kind words about my blog! I'm so glad you enjoy reading it! Is your 7 year old as funny as mine? & year old girls can be so funny!!