Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Gnocchi, a food that I can not pronounce.

Well it all started at 4:30 when I decided that I wanted to make dinner. But what shall I make? I offered to make soup, but my family has this thing, where they don't consider soup to be a meal, which I totally don't get because soup fills me up just fine. So the quest was on to find something that would be deemed suitable for dinner. About a year ago I remember wanting to make Gnocchi, just because I like to work with dough. So I found the recipe and started! Of course, when i told my mom what I was going to make, she had no clue what it was, and we both didn't know how to pronounce it lol. That gives me the advantage of surprise ; ) So I began by baking my potatoes, two pounds of them. I am always baffled when a recipe calls for pounds because, I don't have a weigher in my kitchen. So I weighed myself of a scale then put a bunch of potatoes in my arms and weighed myself until my original weight had two pounds added to it lol. So wile the taters were baking, I made some basil pesto to go with it.Then I got out my extra shiny grater!Now I must tell you that using a grater, food mill, or food ricer is completely essential!! I have learned from Smitten Kitchen, that Potatoes are 85% water! Yes! I know, impossible! But it isn't. So if you puree the potatoes, you will end up with tater soup, and we all know that there is nothing worse than a broken potato. So, since I don't have a food mill, I used a grater. I peeled my baked potatoes, then grated them on the side with the largest holes.Then I dumped out the potato contents, and prepared my lightly beaten egg.Then I mixed it all together with a cup and a half of flour and formed it into a dough.Yeah, this is a messy project, yet strangely satisfying! So i cut the dough into 6 pieces, then rolled the piece until the rope was 3/4 " thick, then I cut pieces 1" wide.Then if you want, you can make little ridges in them, but they are yummy either way. So you take your pieces and lay them out on a sheet, then cook them.I decided to cook them in a pan, then add my basil pesto.It was really yummy! Next time I make these I will try boiling them, then having spaghetti sauce and maybe meatballs or sausage. Or I could pan cook them again, but add veggies! The possibilities are endless.

Gnocchi
From Smitten Kitchen

2 pounds Russet potatoes
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork, and bake them on a baking sheet for 45 minutes to one hour, or until tender. For best results, turn the potatoes over halfway through the baking time. Let the potatoes cool slightly.
  2. Peel the potatoes, and then pass them through a potato ricer, food mill or grate them over the large holes of a box grater into a large bowl. Add the lightly beaten egg and the salt to the potatoes and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the flour to the potatoes a little at a time, using only as much as you need so that the dough will not stick to your hands. When the flour has been incorporated, bring the dough together with your fingertips.
  4. Dump the dough and any remaining floury bits onto a slightly floured surface. Knead the dough as you would bread dough. Press down and away with the heel of your hand, fold the dough over, make a quarter turn, and repeat the process. Knead for about three or four minutes.
  5. Form the dough into a ball and then divide it into 6 smaller balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the six pieces using your fingertips into a long rope about ¾ inch thick. Cut the dough into 1 inch pieces.
  6. You can cook the gnocchi as it is now, but traditional gnocchi has ridges. To create the ridges, press each piece of dough against the tines of a fork. With your finger, gently roll the pressed dough back off the fork. This takes a little practice. If you find the dough sticking to the fork, dip the fork in flour before you press the dough against it.
  7. Place the gnocchi in a single layer on a lightly floured or parchment-lined dish. If you’d like to freeze them for later use, do so on this tray and once they are frozen, drop them into a freezer bag. This ensures that you won’t have one enormous gnocchi mass when you are ready to cook them.
  8. To cook the gnocchi, place them into a pot of boiling and well-salted water. After a few minutes the gnocchi will float to the top. Continue to cook for one minute then remove and set aside. You can also pan cook them by adding a little oil to the pan, and letting brown over low heat.

22 comments:

Bellini Valli said...

You remind me of myself at your age, enjoying cooking it up in the kitchen. Unfortunately my own family are a group of very fussy eaters and not much fun to cook for. Can you imagine being told the food is terrible :D But they didn't break my confidence and I am still learning every day :D Keep up the great work..I am enjoying browsing through your blog :D

daphne said...

Hi jessy, thanks for dropping by my blog! =) Come back soon.
Gnocchi is one of my fav pasta! And even so when it is baked rather than boiled! Yummy!

liz said...

Mmm -- Gnocchi is delicious. It was one of my mom's favorite pastas -- so much so that she named our cat after it, which was kind of funny when she said we were having gnocchi for dinner. :P I tend to cheat and make the dough with leftover mashed potatoes, which works just fine, but the version you posted here looks even better.

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Hey thanks! Thats so funny your cat was named gnocchi lol.

Jessica said...

Wow, that's impressive. I would never be able to take on something like that for a week night dinner.

giz said...

YOWZER - great job on the gnocci - just drop the g to pronounce it :). Thanks for visiting our blog.
Winnie is adorable but my "killer" can kick butt (see blog for pix) he he

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Giz, Omg your dog is soo cute!!

Aran Goyoaga said...

hey jessy! thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a nice comment. you have a fun blog as well! love the twinkies!!!!

Pixie said...

Hi Jessy, Well done on making gnocchi- it's on my very long list of things to make. Keep up the great work!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great job on this gnocchi! I have tried and not been as successful...maybe i should take some tips from you! Thanks for dropping by my blog!

Irene said...

Gnocchi!!! I've tried (and failed) to make my gnocchi taste flavorful. I must be missing some essential Italian gene! :) Love the picture of the shiny grater and then the contrast with the grater full of grated potato! So funny and so real, it's exactly what happens in my kitchen (i.e. "ooh, shiny" to "argh, don't look").

Elle said...

Hi Jessy! I'm so impressed with your baking, and especially the gnocchi, something I've always wanted to try. My kids would LOVE it it we made Twinkies...maybe I'll have a look at Amazon. thanks for your comment on my blog--your dogs are adorable! We've had 2 German Shepherds and they're wonderful dogs!

Clay said...

How fun! These look great. I'll have to try them.

Priscilla said...

Hi Jessy! Those look delicious...that word is a hard one! And I think Winnie is one cute dog!:)

Kitt said...

That's ambitious! Hats off to you. I have yet to make them myself, but maybe I'll do it this weekend. Maybe.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Oh, that looks wonderful! The first time I tried making gnocchi, I boiled the potatoes. Then I had to keep adding more and more flour and it was awful! I am definitely going to bake my potatoes from now on!

Sarah said...

Wow, I would definitely not try to start gnocchi at 4:30 in the afternoon...I'd leave myself at least 4 hours to clean up all the mistakes I made along the way!

I've never had pan cooked gnocchi but I'll have to try it sometime soon!

Anonymous said...

jess, u never cease to amaze me.
P.S. Italians in the solarium

NuJoi said...

These look great! Sweet potato gnocci were my first attempt at gnocci. Not the smartest move I've ever made.

Mary Coleman said...

Jessy,
I am so impressed with your blog and especially jumping into gnocchi on a weeknight! I really got into cooking when I was your age. Winnie and Bear are adorable and your photography is great.
Thanks for stopping by my blog as well.
Take care,
Mary

My Sweet & Saucy said...

That looks delicious! I love gnocchi! I found your blog from Cannelle et Vanille and really like it!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

Although I love gnocchi, I have never made it myself. Your illustration makes it look so simple - thank you!