Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Or, as my wife's Italian cookbook calls them, *Gnocchi di Patate*.
They're not that hard to make from scratch and taste soooo much better than the store-bought variety.
Bake or nuke 2 med-large russet potatoes. Bake for 50 minutes at 375 degrees. Nuke for maybe 6 minutes. Before baking cut a long slit in the skin. Before nuking, poke some holes with a fork. However you do it, the potatoes need to be *soft* to be done.
These babies need to cool. Get the peels off and set aside.
When cool enough to handle, rice them. Or, if you don't have one, just break them up on your hand-held grater like I do.
Combine the potatoes with 1.5 cups of flour, one lightly beaten large egg yolk, and 1 TB salt in a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to get the mixture started - and then your hands if necessary.
When mixed, make into a large ball with you hands. This won't stick so great so here's where the artistry comes in.
Cut the ball into 8 pieces. Halve if three times for precision! Take each one and stretch/knead/gently roll it into a stick as wide as feminine thumb. Then take a knife and chop it into pieces maybe .75-1 inch long. I believe some show-offs will use a fork to make'em pretty. Whatever.
Remove pieces to a wax-papered tray, plate, or whatever - perhaps very lightly floured.
Repeat with the other 7 pieces until the gnocchi are all made.
Obviously, all of the work is working the dough. It does take some practice to get a feel for the process.
You can leave them out for a bit, or refrigerate even overnight I believe.
When ready to cook, boil a large pot of salted water and drop them in. Be ready with a slotted spoon to scoop them off the surface. Pretty much, as soon at they rise up, they're done. Maybe 2 minutes or so.
We serve them with homemade pesto since they are pretty *heavy*. The internet is teeming with recipes for other sauces.
Pasta is indeed my favorite food on planet Earth. Though, IMO, homemade pasta doesn't really taste that much better than boxed Barilla unless one is in Italy.
But outside of the gnocchi, I've never really made pasta myself. I do want one of those rolling machines....and my MIL has maybe four in her kitchen....
BUT she's a total female chauvinist when it comes to food. She won't give me one!
We have about 8 or 9 pasta dishes in our rotation. Just about every Sunday I make a batch (or a sauce). The kids and I both love it and it's pretty easy to nuke for meals in a busy household.