Saturday, October 31, 2009

#12 Make gnocchi from scratch

It is almost November and the list is alive and well... I think I have crossed out half of the items on it, and another 5 are being planned and executed sometime soon!

As I said before many of these things I want to do, others are dreams I like to fulfill. Some of them were easy to do, others are not going to be done. Many exciting things that are not on the list have sneaked into my life. All in all, I am happy with the way things are.

Of course, I would like to be true to myself and find the time to make the things on the list that count the most, of course these are the most difficult to do. Step by step I am getting there. (I know I am rambling, and I know I must have lost many of you, but I also know that sometimes I need to talk to myself, even if by blogging)

So, if you found this post by googling Gnocchi recipe, and you have not left in frustration yet, your patience will pay. This is by far my favorite Italian recipe, easy, tasty and versatile.

Ennia, my sweet Italian cooking teacher taught me how to make these beauties. I hope to be able to put into words her ability and talent.

1 kilo red potatoes (these Italian potatoes remain dry and sturdy after cooking)
400 grams hard wheat flour or farina di grano duro
Salt to taste

Cover potatoes with water, add salt and boil until tender.
Peel potatoes when cool enough to handle, then extrude them with a potato ricer.

Add some flour to a working surface and knead the potato with flour and salt until you get a soft dough that is easy to shape and handle. Roll it so it is as thick as your arm.

Cut wide slices, then cut these slices in four or five pieces. Roll them into thin rolls, as thick as your index finger.

Roll the pieces with additional flour, and then cut into small pieces (as wide as they are thick).

Gnocchi could be boiled at this point, but Ennia is from the Venetto region of Italy and she works her magic with a fork to give the gnocchi their particular shape (it holds more sauce this way, you see?)

To shape the gnocchi like this, you will need to press the small piece of dough lightly into the fork, your finger leaves an indentation on one side, the fork leaves its own indentation on the other side. Beautiful, aren't they?

Add some more flour to prevent them from sticking to each other.

Bring salted water to a boil and drop the gnocchi gently into it. Raise the heat so the gnocchi raises to the top. Once the gnocchi floats, it is ready, so take it out with a slotted spoon and serve onto plates accompanied with your favorite sauce.

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