Saturday, May 14, 2011


Gnocchi in Ragu with Italian Sausage
Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen Blogs
I used to buy Gnocchi at Kroger whenever I was hosting an Italian dinner. I usually prepare them with the classic butter with sage sauce and once, I believe as a sweet dish following Giada di Laurentis recipe in her show Everyday Italian. After leaving Atlanta for Knoxville, I forgot about this little piece of gem until I moved back to Bozeman. It was during a rare occurrence when I was the one invited over for dinner and we had gnocchi for the main course. It was then that I remembered how I used to buy this for a lot more compared to the basic ingredients. We either arrived early or the the host was running a bit late but we were able to help him with the preparation and watching him make gnocchi from scratch was both fascinating and a head scratcher on how easy it was to make them.

To prove how easy it is, all you need is to be able to remember your 1, 2 and 3s. 1 is for one egg. 2 are for two cups of flour and 3, for three lbs of potatoes. Still with me? Here's how you do it.

1. Boil potatoes in a large pot until a knife pierces through it. Make sure
    you start with cold water and never overcook your potatoes.

2. When the potatoes are cooked, drain and let them rest for about
    5 minutes. After 5 minutes, peel the potatoes in any way you can
    without scalding your hands. Pass the peeled potatoes through a ricer
    and while still warm, form them into a mound with a well at the
    center on any flat surface.

3. Sprinkle the flour over the potatoes and add one egg into the well
    and start to knead gingerly. You want to keep the volume so do not
    overknead. Sprinkle with flour if the dough gets too sticky. It will
    take about 5 minutes to form a dough that holds its shape and yet is
    still quite soft and elastic.

4. Divide the dough into 8 portions and roll each portion into rods
   about 3/4 inch in diameter and length. To form the ridges, press the
   cut pieces of gnocchi on the concave side of a fork and flick off the
   gnocchi away towards the end of the tines.

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen Blogs
    To cook the gnocchi,
    boil a pot of water
    and season with salt.
    Drop the gnocchi
    one at a time and
    wait for them to
    float. They are cooked
    once they float.
    Transfer the cooked
    gnocchi into an ice
    bath to stop them
    from cooking. Once
    cooled, drop the gnocchi on your choice of sauce or if not using right away, drain the ice water and coat the gnocchi with a generous amount of canola oil.

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen Blogs
There are a few gadgets that will make you life easier if you ever decide to make gnocchi. First is the ricer. I bought mine for $15 at Bed Bath and Beyond. It was pricey but it has proven to be quite useful. Another indespensable/dispensable (depending on how patient you are) gadget is the gnocchi roller. Given as a gift, I have used it once but I still prefer to do it old-school. Go figure. This little piece of contraption allows you to shape gnocchi ten times faster but do make sure that you do not press too hard or you'll end up with a noodle-shaped gnocchi.

No comments:

Post a Comment