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recipe: potato gnocchi

January 26, 2008

zora naki

last night, i went to a cooking class on tuscan food with my friend M. of everything we made (and it was all quite yummy), the potato gnocchi knocked my socks off. it’s fairly straightforward to make (use your potatoes from the garden!), and well worth the effort. here’s the recipe (from chef romy prasad of savoury coast):

potato gnocchi

(fyi – say gnocchi as “nyaw-key”)

Bake approx 3.5 lbs of yukon gold potatoes on a bed of coarse salt (400° F for about 60 minutes). The salt helps to keep the potatoes dry while baking, and you can reuse it. Remove the skin and rice the potatoes while still warm. (a ricer is like a giant garlic press for potatoes – it requires a certain amount of hand strength, but produces lovely little bits of potato. don’t use a food processor because it mucks up the starches and makes everything gummy). Let it cool.

Dump the potato on your counter and make a well in the middle. Add two cups of all-purpose flour and mix gently into the dough. Add 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup of grated parmesan, a generous pinch of salt and the same of pepper. Knead everything together, but do not overmix. Treat it like muffin batter – mix just enough to get it to blend together and become smooth, but not so much that it becomes tough and gummy. Depending on how wet your dough is, you may need to add some extra flour to the mixture.

Cut the dough into smaller sections and roll each piece out to form a snake about 3/4 inch thick. Use a fork to cut off 1 inch pieces. Lightly press each piece against the fork and roll it off the tip of the tines, so that one side of the gnocchi has a nice thumb dent in it, and the other side is imprinted with ridges. Place the formed gnocchi on a lightly floured baking sheet while your water comes to a boil.

Cook the gnocchi in salted water. Remove them after they float to the top (this only takes about a minute). You can either serve them with sauce at this point (pesto, etc.) or (the best way we had them), pan fry them in butter/oil and serve with a sprinkle of salt. Delicious!

If you want to serve them later, cook gnocchi in the boiling water and then refrigerate on an oiled sheet. They will firm up while chilling. To serve, heat them up in a pan (not back in the water).

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