Friday, February 18, 2011

Potato Gnocchi

served with classic pesto
I would love to say this was my first time making gnocchi, but actually that was last week (and a total fiasco). Maybe I shouldn't say total because actually, right up until the end there, it was going rather well. It wasn't until it was time to boil my gnocchi that everything fell apart (and I mean that quite literally). 

I added too much cold gnocchi to my pot of boiling water, which lowered the temperature way too much and caused my gnocchi to completely disintegrate. I'm not kidding. There was nothing left but a cloud of potato dust. When I strained the pot, it slipped right through the holes of my colander and I watched our dinner literally spin down the drain. I wish I had a photo for you, but there was nothing to take a photo of! Plus I felt so dejected, I wasn't really in the mood to reach for my camera.

gnocchi before boiling
It took me a few days to get over it and think about trying again. But I'm glad I did because this time I was very careful not to overload the pot and they came out great. I did make them too big (I didn't realize just how much they would puff up). So they weren't as dainty looking as I'd hoped. But they were still delicious...light and airy pillows of potatoey goodness. 

You'll notice I didn't attempt to roll them with my fork the way the professionals do. I just made a fork print on top for fun. I think next time I'll watch a YouTube video and see if I can learn that technique. For now I'm just satisfied my dinner made it to the plate!

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
1 cup (or more) all purpose flour
1 large egg yolk, beaten to blend
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Special equipment: potato ricer or food mill

1.      Preheat oven to 400° F. 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; spread out and cool to room temperature.
2.      Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer potatoes to large bowl. Add 1 cup flour; toss to coat. Form well in center of potato mixture. Add egg yolk, coarse salt, and nutmeg; stir with fork until mixture is evenly moistened (mixture will look shaggy). Turn mixture out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until dough comes together, sprinkling dough with flour very lightly only if dough is very 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.
3.      Working in batches, cook gnocchi in large pot of boiling salted water until gnocchi rise to surface of water. Continue to simmer gnocchi until cooked through and tender, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, carefully transfer gnocchi to bowl. Drizzle gnocchi with olive oil (or top with sauce) and toss to coat.

Gnocchi can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

recipe by Bruce Aidells
baked potato
putting potato in the ricer
It's basically a giant garlic press.
If you don't have a ricer, you can use the fine holes of a box grater.
adding the flour, egg yolk and salt (it really does look like rice)
rough dough
rolled into a rope and a few pieces cut
making fork impression
up close (before boiling)
Phew! Once they rose to the top, I knew I was home free
(that first time, none of them came up for air).


Andria Crowjoy said...

I want to make this recipe with mashed pumpkin instead... do you think the proportions would be the same or would you adjust something?

Susan said...

You might need more flour, if the pumpkin is more watery than the potato. But keep in mind, this was my first gnocchi, so I'm no gnocchi expert!

Andria Crowjoy said...

The pumpkin will definitely be more watery, I should let it drain overnight as well as add more flour. Does gnocchi freeze well?

Susan said...

You can freeze gnocchi, but you have to be even more careful to boil it in small batches because they might fall apart if they bring the water temp. down too fast.

Andria Crowjoy said...

Cool! I now officially deem you Gnocchi Expert. :)

Andria Crowjoy said...

The pumpkin seems to be working out well! I'm freezing half of this batch. The other half of the pumpkin is roasting now, and when it's drained I'll make another full batch for the freezer. I think I'll add some spices to it for variety.

Tonight's half batch will be served with a sage, garlic and brown butter sauce, with a side of kale. Mmmm.

Susan said...

Excellent...sounds fantastic!!

Andria Crowjoy said...

Another experiment in gnocchi on tap for today. I have Burgess Buttercup squash (mashes so nicely, not loose and watery like pumpkin) but I also want to add goat cheese and pesto to the dough. We'll see what happens!

Andria Crowjoy said...

But NOT this: :)

Susan said...

That is hilarious! Thanks for the laugh.

Andria Crowjoy said...

Man that made a LOT of gnocchi. I need to find something else to do with the rest of my squash. :) The test batch boiled up well though!

Post a Comment