Monday, February 18, 2008

gnocchi made easy

whilst looking for something today – not sure what, think it might have been bus timetables – i came across canela y comino's lovely site full of delicious things, like peruvian chilli paste ...... mmmmmm.... peruvian chilli paste. but she mentioned her trouble with gnocchi.

avid readers of BHG (yeah, right), will remember i mentioned gnocchi last week and how easy it is to make. it seems that this is not the case for all. maybe i have been blessed with some suppressed italian gene, or perhaps it’s just one of those things that people are told is hard, and therefore they get so wound up about it that they doom themselves to failure. Kinda like brain surgery.

anyhoo, this is how i make potato gnocchi,

you’ll need: 1 potato per person, plain flour, an egg, a pot of boiling water, a fork.

  • Peel and dice the potato and boil until well cooked. Drain potatoes and mash well
  • As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, put them out onto a floured surface. Add a handful of flour and mix it into the mash by hand
  • Crack an egg into the centre and mix in. Also add approximately a handful of flour for every potato
  • Continue to add flour while kneeding until you have a dough similar in texture to bread dough.
  • Roll the dough out into sausages. It doesn’t really matter how thick as long as their diameter is consistent. Using the fork cut the individual gnocchi off the sausage (you’ll be glad i told you to get the fork out at the beginning. I always forget and have to rummage around my cutlery drawer with hands caked in potato dough)
  • You can just cook them like this. If you want to get the little stripes on them you can either just press a fork down onto them, or i get the fork, and place it on the far corner of the gnocchi (cutting the gnocchi will have formed little rectangles). i then pull the fork across the dumpling, rolling my wrist up, so that the diagonal corner folds in over the gnocchi. Very hard to explain, but this almost creates little ‘cups’ to hold the sauce.
  • Add the gnocchi in batches to fast boiling water. Once they rise to the surface they’re ready to eat. Make sure the water comes back to the boil between batches. Once they’re cooked scoop them out of the water between batches with a slotted spoon and add to the pot of sauce to keep them warm.
  • You can freeze uncooked gnocchi on a floured baking tray and then transfer to a plastic bag. But once you get the hang of making them, they’re so quick and easy you probably won’t bother anymore. They’re much, much nicer fresh

Buon apetito!

On a personal note i went to a new argentinean restaurant tonight with the brother who is in town from up north. Big pieces of steak! mum ordered the goat leg. and that’s what she got. a whole goats leg. i kid you not (boom boom). i seriously wish i had a camera. we all helped out, but she took at least half of it home. it was truly delicious!

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