|This page is linked to the Kenosha Potato Project web pages. See these links for
|Gnocchi (pronounce: Ñok-kee)
My personal greatest comfort dish. Grandma Teresina would whip together a bowl of gnocchi, made from scratch in 50 minutes. Try making them every week for 50 years to beat her skills.
This recipe calls for starchy (extremely low moisture) potato which are traditionally boiled for about 20 minutes with the jackets (not peeled to prevent water logging) - also the peels retain mineral salts in the spuds that would be washed out if the spuds are peeled. Remove the pot from the stove, drain water and cool off the spuds with cold water, peel and press with potato ricer. If you are able to read in Italian - google.it for ricette gnocchi ... nobody bakes potato, nor uses potato flakes in Italy. America is the land of the short-cuts! Bah! There are no short-cuts in good cooking.
Some smart American chef thought that by baking instead of boiling you can keep the potato mash dryer. Why would you bake a potato for 75 minutes if you can boil it in 20 minutes. And it is greener! :O)
Now comes the difficult part:
You need to make the gnocchi dough with white flour. The less flour the better! If the riced potato mash is moist, you will need more flour, which makes the gnocchi heavy and harder to digest. Figure that your optimal dough is made with 25% of flour to 75% of potato mash. Lay out the flour on the table and mix with the potato mash working the soft dough. At this point add one egg to gain harder dough consistency.
Roll out in a long sausage and cut into one inch pieces. Use a pinch of flour to prevent sticking and roll on the back side of a cheese greater to shape. Alternatively you can roll each piece on a fork for a different configuration of the top - but your thumb makes an indentation in the bottom which is supposed to trap the sauce.
You can find frozen gnocchi ... they certainly will not taste the same as freshly made with the correct potato varieties. Freshly made gnocchi are best cooked within a few hours. You can keep them in the fridge for one day if you want to make them in advance.
Boil in salty water for a few minutes. When ready gnocchi will float (2-3 minutes). Drain the water (or remove them with a slotted skimmer) - DON'T RINSE - but keep a small bowl of the drained water to add back if the sauce is too dry (same trick that Italian chefs use for pasta - the starchy water prevents pasta and/or gnocchi to stick together) - many pasta sauces work great with gnocchi.
Skip the egg addition - use whole wheat flour to partially replace the white flour. I found several web pages that claim that the egg (binder) ingredient can be skipped. My grandma never used any measures ... just try to get the hang of how little flour is needed to make a consistent dough. Trial and failures make the master.
For more info and pictures see this web page.
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