Hey everybody! Here it is; my first food entry of the new year!
On a whim (which is usually how I decide what to cook at any given time), I decided to make potato gnocchi for the first time. It was also a way that I could use up the extra pound or so of potatoes that we had in the house, AND… it was an excuse to finally use the potato ricer that I bought! I’ve had the thing for a while, and my sole purpose for buying it was to make potato gnocchi.
Every time I see the word “gnocchi”, I think of a young man that I went to cooking school with. He was in the culinary arts program with me, but he worked as a waiter at an Italian restaurant. One day, he started talking about all of the different ways that people have pronounced “gnocchi.” One customer one day asked for “gnocchi” and pronounced it like “nooky”. He made a nasty old man face and said “Well… I could give it to you, but it’ll cost you extra…” I screamed and laughed so hard over that! Whether he actually said it or started to say it, I missed that over my howling laughter.
I digress, though. On to the show.
Now, I used a recipe from the Internet for this. Although I have 3 recipe books that have recipes for gnocchi, none of them were for potato gnocchi. Even Julia has a recipe for gnocchi, but it’s a French gnocchi that involves making pâte a choux. Since I wanted it to be an Italian type of gnocchi, I passed over this one… but I’m sure that I’ll come back to it.
this is the recipe that I used: Potato Gnocchi Recipe : Michael Chiarello : Recipes : Food Network
So, you’ll need 1# of potatoes and they need to be put through a potato ricer. A potato ricer is one of those things that you don’t realize its niftiness until you have one. It’s pretty cool! I’m glad I got it. Now, I got mine from TJ Maxx for $12.99 at most. Unless you think you’re going to use your ricer a lot, don’t spend a whole bunch of money. I might’ve even gotten mine from the clearance section in TJs. I got it so long ago that I don’t even remember! I’m glad I finally got to make use of it… in other words, justify my having purchased it.
Ricing the potatoes makes them into fine pieces which will be good for making it into a dough. Since this was my first time making gnocchi, this is the only way I’ve ever done it. After having done it this way, I don’t think I’d ever try mashing them; I don’t think the consistency would be right.
Anyhow, after you’ve riced the potatoes, add large egg yolks, ¼ tsp. nutmeg and pepper, and I believe ½ tsp of kosher salt. I flexed a little because I lacked the gray salt that the recipe calls for. Bring all of these ingredients together into a ball, then gradually add 1 c. all purpose flour.
Sidenote: I couldn’t believe that for such a small amount of nutmeg, I was able to smell it as I brought the dough together! I’m continually surprised by how strong nutmeg is.
Once everything is all incorporated, you’ll have a nice little ball. It should be moist and just come together, but not be too sticky. If you find that it’s too sticky, add more flour. I had to add a little more to my dough, but yours could be different. The recipe says to test the dough by taking off a small piece and rolling it into a ½” diameter rope. If it holds, your dough is ready to roll! (ha! yep, I had to.)
divide it into quarters, and roll the dough out into ropes the same size as the tester. Cut out pieces that are ½” in length. Take freezer bags to freeze what you won’t be cooking at this time, but I recommend cutting it all into pieces rather than freezing a big hunk of dough.
Plop them down into salted and boiling water. Only put in enough so that the water will continue simmering. If you’re making a bunch, you’ll need to make them in batches. They’ll sink to the bottom at first, but when they float to the top (which takes a matter of seconds), they’re all done! How’s that for quick and easy?
Did I mention this was not only my first time making gnocchi, but my first time eating it? Yeah, I went there.
So what are my thoughts? I tasted one by itself, then I tasted one with a sauce. The taste kind of reminded me of a cheese ravioli and a pierogi, to be honest. I found it to be a little blasé. However, if you pair it with a strong flavoured sauce, it’s actually pretty delicious (which is what I did)! Another option would be to flavor the gnocchi itself with something. I have a recipe for spinach gnocchi, so that’s an option. I’m sure you could use herbage too, if you so desired.
Note: This is a kid approved dish. I gave some to my 4-year-old nephew, and he liked it. Now, he didn’t want any more after what I had given him, but he’s a bit of a finnicky eater. I applaud him for trying something new.
Try this recipe and let me know how you make out. I think I’ll mess around with this general recipe and maybe substitute the white potato for something else. What will I use instead? Well, you’ll just have to find out. This was a pretty easy and tasty recipe, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing this again.
Ciao 4 now!