Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You Do The Gnocchi Pokey and You Turn Yourself About.

Gnocchi are tasty little potato bundles of Italian dumpling goodness. I have had them in both in Italy and in local restaurants. In Italy I remember soft, pillowy dumplings that seem to go with any sauce that has been served with them. The gnocchi I ordered at a local establishment here were kind of tough and chewy so I didn't enjoy them as much as I thought I should have.

Therefore, I have been wanting to try making gnocchi for quite some time so I figured, why not today? I browsed through my cookbooks but everything with the word gnocchi in the tittle was basically a recipe for the sauce to go with already made gnocchi. Well, Food Network came through for me! More precisely, Mario Batali! The recipe itself is really so simple, the most trouble I had was forming them. I did end up with some pretty funny looking gnocchi but they were darn tasty!!

Ok, maybe I had one more bit of difficulty, I don't have a food mill or a potato ricer. I looked at the store for one but I really didn't feel like buying one just to try one recipe. I am sure I will eventually graduate to wanting one and using one, but right now, I am okay without it. I adapted and was able to push the boiled potatoes through a sieve with a wooden spoon and it worked!!

Gnocchi
By: Mario Batali on Food Network
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • large pinch of salt
  • canola oil
Scrub and boil the potatoes with the skins on until tender.

Put a new pot of water on to boil so you can cook the gnocchi as you make them.

You will also want to put a large bowl of ice and water nearby to shock the gnocchi and stop the cooking process.

While the potatoes are still warm, pull the peels off and pass through a food mill, potato ricer or through a sieve. Make a pile of the potatoes on the counter.

Make a well in the centre of the potato mound.

Sprinkle with all of the flour.

Add the egg and the salt to the well.

Using a fork, beat the egg, slowly incorporating the flour and the potatoes.

Once you are able to, use your hands to finish mixing all of the potatoes and flour into the mound. Knead with your hands for about 4 minutes. The dough will be soft but should feel dry. I found I had to add another 1/3 cup flour to the dough as it was too sticky to work with.

Roll a fist sized ball of dough into a 3/4 inch diameter snake and cut into pieces.
Funny shaped gnocchi

Use a fork to roll the dough pieces to get some funky lines & grooves onto the gnocchi.

Carefully place the gnocchi into the boiling water and boil until they float to the surface.

Transfer the floaters to the ice bath.

Once cooled, transfer the gnocchi to a baking sheet with some canola oil on it to keep the little tasty bundles separate.

These little tasty bundles of gnocchi goodness are tasty straight from the baking sheet!! Of course a little sauce never hurt either!

The book I got my inspiration from for the sauce is "The Italian Way, Cooking with the Delucas" Deluca's is an the Italian place to buy all things Italy. They run a deli, a cooking school, a restaurant....all done with a love and enthusiasm for food! I really do need to make time to head over there soon! (Sounds like a blog field trip is in the works!!)
I didn't follow the recipe exactly as stated in the book (shocking, I know) but I still wanted to tell you where this idea came from.

Gnocchi with mushrooms and sausage
Adapted from The Italian Way, Cooking with the Delucas

1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small onion, diced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for garnish

If you are using a packaged gnocchi (with is perfectly alright) put a large pot of water on to boil so you can cook the gnocchi before you add it to the sauce.

Heat up your favourite skillet and add the sausage meat, breaking it up. Scramble fry the meat, crumbling as you go.

Add the diced onion and cook for a couple minutes longer.

Add the sliced mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes or so.

Add the diced tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes. Let it get all bubbly and allow the flavours to get all happy, happy.

Add in your already cooked gnocchi and stir to cover everything in sauce.

Serve up heaping portions with some Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

I must say that these gnocchi were so soft and pillowy and tasty to boot!! Very reminiscent of the ones I had in Italy! Sooooo incredibly tasty!!!

Until next time, stay warm and eat well!

But wait!!!

Here is episode 3 of Little Kitchen on the Prairie.


video

6 comments:

  1. So pretty and delicious. I've never tried making gnocchi before....which is shocking given how incredible it looks. :)

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  2. When I hear the gnocchi word, I instantly remember my granny and her perfect gnocchi with wild mushroom sauce. Thank you for sharing with us your beautiful plate of Italian goodness :)

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  3. the video is such a great tutorial. I've never made gnocchi but after seeing the clip I feel inspired. thanks for sharing

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  4. Hi Lo-Mo-You can't go wrong with Batali! I love making gnocchi. The kids have fun doing it too! Yours look wonderful and I bet they tasted sooo good!

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  5. i have been scared to make ganochi... it looks so intimidating. your video and pictures are very helpful.

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  6. I love love ganochi. Although I have never actually made my own. This inspires me and I love all the combinations. So hearty!

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