Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gnocchi gnocchi... Cooking with Mirna part 2

I love gnocchi. I first had it on one of the last few nights before I left for a year in Asia, and it was one of the foods I craved the whole time... It never even occurred to me that it can be made from scratch.  

This made a huge bowl of gnocchi... 3 or four times the amount shown above. 

2 yukon potatoes (John argued for Russet. Maybe next time?)
2 c all purpose flour
1 egg

Cut the potatoes in half, boil them until you can easily puncture with a fork, and let cool.
~ Allow time for the potatoes to cool in your prep time, it sucks grating hot potatoes
Peel the skin off and grate the potatoes on a box grater (yes, it looks like cheese, but its potatoes)

Add the egg, scrambled with salt and stir into the shredded potato with a wooden
(If you want to try other ingredients, I would suggest stirring them in now! Spinach? Feta?)

Stir in the flour, a little at a time until a dough starts to form.

Clean and flour a countertop/surface for kneading and turn the dough out onto the flour, making sure to flour all sides of the dough; it will be sticky and for you to be able to knead the dough properly make sure it is well coated with flour (repeatedly) as you knead. This is a very sticky dough.

Use the heel of your hand to fold the dough toward you, pushing in and outward, turning the dough 90 degrees after each push.

Set a large pot of salted water to boil

Once the dough starts to feel more coherent (the glucose bonds are forming) pull off a fistful of dough at a time and - using as much flour as necessary, but not to much... ya know - roll the handful of dough into a long roll, about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick. 

Use a knife to cut small, 1 inch sections of the dough. Roll these into small balls and use a fork to give them the serrated shape of gnocchi.

Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water without crowding them; for a standard boiling pot I would guess about ten or fifteen at a time? They should all be able to float on the top comfortably. 

When they start to float they are almost done; probably only about five minutes. Lift with a serrated spoon and drop in the next batch.

After all the gnocchi were boiled Mirna whipped up a sauce that was surprisingly easy for the flavor it kicked:

Melt about 3/4 a stick of butter in a frying pan and stir in chopped, fresh thyme. Toss the Gnocchi in the sauce and serve!

Rock on, Mirna. Rock on.

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