Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Potato Gnocchi

I have seen so many talk about gnocchi yet I have never tried them. I have heard them called pillows that melt in your mouth. After some research, I decided to try the potato gnocchi. They seemed like a lot of work, but I thought I would take an afternoon and tackle the task.

There are a lot of steps involved to make the gnocchi, so this is not a spur of the moment dish to put together.

I was honestly not impressed with the gnocchi. I do fully believe it was cooks error and not the gnocchi. I believe that I did not cook them long enough therefore resulting in a heavy and rubbery gnocchi and not the light melt in your mouth gnocchi that I had hoped for. I will definitely try them again. I also paired it with a simple bolognese sauce. This sauce was not my favorite either. I believe it was to heavy for the gnocchi. I have pictures of my process in with the recipe listed below.

I will definitely try this again. Page over at From My Teeny-Tiny Kitchen made ricotta gnocchi. You should check hers out and decide which version you would like to try. Enjoy!

Potato Gnocchi

Printer friendly recipe

Source: Food Network

Ingredients:

5 large Idaho potatoes
2 eggs
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano
3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 or 400 degrees F.

Bake the potatoes until they are fork tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check them!

While the potatoes are still hot peel and pass them through a food mill or ricer. (I find that the food mill works just as well as a ricer and is much easier to handle) onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. When doing this pay careful attention to keep the potatoes as light and fluffy as possible. This will aid in keeping the gnocchi light. Refrigerate the potatoes on the sheet tray until cold. This is also a very important step. If the potatoes are warm while adding flour they will require more flour which will result in a much heavier finished product.


When the potatoes are absolutely cold, transfer to a clean work surface. Beat together the eggs and cheese and pour onto the potatoes. Season with salt. Cover generously with flour. It should look like snow on the mountains.


Crumble the potato flour mixture between your fingers. Begin to knead the dough until it is a dry homogeneous mixture. The dough should feel slightly moist, but not tacky. If too tacky, repeat the snow on the mountains stage.

Form the dough into a large log. Cut slices off the log and begin to roll into long ropes that are about 1-inch in thickness. Cut the ropes into 1/2-inch lengths. Cover generously with flour. Place the gnocchi in a single layer on a sheet tray dusted with flour. DO NOT PILE ON TOP OF EACH OTHER!!




Use or freeze the gnocchi immediately. If freezing, place tray directly into the freezer. Once frozen, the gnocchi can be stored in plastic bags, in the freezer, indefinitely. When cooking gnocchi they can go directly from the freezer into salted boiling water.


Note: It is a general practice to take gnocchi out of the water when they float. This is a big mistake. Gnocchi need to be cooked in boiling water until they float and get nice and puffy. Not cooking gnocchi long enough will also result in heavy gnocchi.

P.S. These are Chef Anne "Secrets" to great gnocchi, use them and you will be successful every time.

Simple Bolognese Sauce
Printer friendly recipe

Source: Giada De Laurentiis Food Network

Ingredients

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 pound ground chuck beef
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano

Directions

In a large skillet heat the olive oil. When almost smoking, add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until the onions become very soft, about 8 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and saute for 5 minutes. Raise heat to high and add the ground beef. Saute, stirring frequently and breaking up any large lumps and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley and basil and cook over medium low heat until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper. This will take approximately 1/2 hour. Finish bolognese with Pecorino Romano.



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