Monday, May 24
The word gnocchi means "lumps", and may derive from nocchio, a knot in the wood, or from nocca (knuckle). It has been a traditional Italian pasta type of probably Middle Eastern origin since Roman times. -Definition from Wikipedia
I have been curious and dying to see what gnocchi was like. Hopefully after following a detailed recipe, I have made them correctly, enough to say I have actually tried it. Other than the batch I made here, gnocchi is foreign to me! I love to be the one who makes our first try of a food. The mystery of not knowing if it is suppose to taste, feel, or sometimes look like what I have come up with, through a recipe, is kind of exciting! These guys were somewhat difficult to master at first but, once you get the hang of it they were simple enough to say, I probably will make them again. We liked them quite a bit and it was a nice change to normal pasta. I tossed P's with a basil pesto and mine with a vinaigrette dressing (that was lactose free :)) Gnocchi (as far as I know) isn't usually pan-fried but the thought of little crispy pillows of dough was more appetizing to me. I love a crispy texture, so whenever I know that it can be achieved, I always try!
Here is the recipe I followed- Gnocchi from Williams Sonoma.
1 2/3 lb. baking potatoes
Kosher salt, to taste, plus 2 tsp.
2 eggs, beaten
About 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving
Your favorite pesto or pasta sauce
1. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the unpeeled potatoes with salted water to cover by 1 inch, cover the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes.
2. Drain the potatoes and rinse with cold running water until they are cool enough to handle. Peel the potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, shaking the pan often, to evaporate the excess moisture, about 2 minutes.
3. Press the warm potatoes through a ricer or rub them through a coarse-mesh sieve into a bowl. (I used a fork since I have neither of these!)
4. Stir in the eggs and the 2 tsp. salt. Gradually stir in enough of the flour to make a soft dough, taking care not to add too much.
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently a few times until it is smooth, adding just enough flour to prevent sticking. Divide the dough into 4equal portions.
6. Using floured hands, transfer 1 portion of the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Using your palms, roll the dough to make a rope about 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut the rope into 1-inch lengths. Repeat with the remaining dough.
7. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add half of the gnocchi and simmer until they rise to the surface, then cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer, carefully transfer the gnocchi to a bowl and cover to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
8. Toss with your favorite pesto or pasta sauce.
9. I added a step here before tossing in pesto. Transfer to a skillet sprayed with olive oil and pan-fry till gnocchi is crisp on sides!
Just a fore-warning, these bad boys fill you up fast. So, start with a few and see how that goes. I think we over ate the first night- they must have expanded in our stomachs because we were both ready to skip dessert (of course P choose not to!)
Kaepo pretended like he had too many, poor guy...we must abuse him!! :)