Gnocchi di Patate
Last week my grandchildren 2 and 3 years old came for Sunday lunch. I thought that they would like to try something a bit different: gnocchi al Pomodoro. Since I did not really feel like cooking at the week-end aswell, I bought some from Waitrose. I am a bit embarrassed to confess it. The result was that they all ended up in the bin as they were HEAVY, HARD and STODGY. Even a 2 and 3 year old child, with some Italian blood running in his veins, can understand what is good and what is not!
|Edoardo and Alberto||Alberto enjoying his pasta, Italian style!|
So, I will never do it again. Besides, I do know how to make good potato gnocchi. Here is the recipe.
The main ingredients are cooked potatoes and plain flour. Some recipes suggest to add an egg to help bind the mixture, but I personally prefer not to do it to keep the result much fluffier and lighter. Remember though that potato gnocchi, as soon as are done, do need to be cooked: if you leave them on the tray for a few hours they will soon lose their shape. If you prefer to prepare them in advance, best is to cook them, dress them and then reheat them. They will be perfect.
Please make sure that the potatoes you use are floury ones, not waxy such as salad potatoes. The best choice would be King Edward or Maris Pipers.
1 kg (2 lb) of potatoes
300 g (7-10 oz) of flour (I prefer Italian ‘00’, but regular plain flour will do)
Boil the potatoes in their skin with plenty of water until tender. For medium size potatoes 25-35 minutes should be enough.
Drain and peel them when still very hot. Mash them immediately on the kitchen counter and add the flour. A potato ricer is indispensable for this mashing step, as it leaves the potatoes light and fluffy, with no lumps.
Mix gently with your hands until you get soft dough. You might need to add more flour, depending on the quality of the potatoes. It is impossible to give exact measures as the amount of flour needed depends on how wet the potatoes are.
Shape the dough into long rolls as thick as a thumb and cut them with a knife into 2 cm/1 inch segments.
Place them on a tray or on your kitchen table, sprinkling with plenty of flour, to prevent them from sticking to each other. To move them, use a spatula, as with your hands you might mash them.
To cook gnocchi:
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add salt, and cook the gnocchi in batches. You must not overcrowd your pan, as they will stick together. They are cooked when they come to the surface: it takes less than a minute.
Using a slotted ladle, remove them from the water and put them in a warm serving dish. Now add the second batch and proceed the same way until all the gnocchi are cooked.
To dress gnocchi:
The sauce should always be quite runny;Tomato, Pesto, Bolognaise sauce are ideal.
When the first batch is out of the pot into the serving dish, pour some sauce on them and very gently toss them with a spatula. Continue with the second batch and finish with lots of freshly grated Parmesan. Keep warm in the oven, if you are not serving right away.
|Anna reading with Edoardo, her first grandchild!|
This blog item was published on 23/05/2012