Monday, February 25, 2013

How to: Gnocchi

I must tell you I was pretty nervous trying this out, but had some leftover baked potatoes & thought what a better way to experiment & hopefully make the husband a nice dinner. To my surprise it was super easy & will definitely try again using different flavors-- sweet potatoes, beets, cauliflower, cheeses, spices, & herbs. I paired mine with a Creamy Tomato Sauce with Chicken & Mushrooms (recipe to come). I hope you experiment, let me know how it goes!

Gnocchi: (serves 4)

2 large potatoes
1 egg
1 cup white or whole wheat flour (for recipe & surface)
herbs & spices

  • First, you need to boil potatoes until soft & peel them as they are still warm. Let cool completely before grating them. This ensures that the egg will not cook while making the gnocchi.
  • Grate potatoes or you can rice them if you have the tool on hand. On a floured surface create a circle & add about 1/2 cup flour, salt, and desired spices & herbs. At this point crack an egg in the middle & gently mix egg with your finger tips.
  • Begin combining mixture with your hands & gently kneed dough together until it forms a round ball. Add flour if dough feels too wet still or is sticking to the board. Shape into a log and slice with a spatula or any tool to create equal sections. 
  • Now roll each section into long strips. Make sure they are equal in size rolling them together to compare-- this ensures equal cooking time.
  • Now take the spatula or any tool to cut 1/2 in pieces from the dough strips and set them aside. Do this part quickly as they get warm they will begin to stick together. In this case, sprinkle flour on top to help keep their shape.
  • Take each gnocchi and press it against a hand-held cheese grater or fork to create marks-- this helps for sauces to cling to the gnocchi. 
  • To cook: place about 20 gnocchi at a time in boiling water with salt for about 4 minutes. The gnocchi cooks very fast and should rise to the surface to help you know when its ready. Drain water & serve with desired sauce & toppings.
  • To freeze: If you know you won't need all of it, you can simply freeze them. Place them on a plate or         baking sheet not touching pieces, place in the freezer until solid. Remove and place in a zip-lock bag until ready to use. To reheat, just throw in boiling water & will need a couple extra minutes to cook thoroughly.

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