Project Gnocchi

Reading a post by Connie the other day reminded me of something I've been meaning to do for a while now. Several months ago, my neighbor, Ines, invited me to a gnocchi-making party that she has every year or so with some of her friends from her church choir. I was a bit skeptical about the get together, but was eager to learn how to make one of my all-time favorite foods. It turned out that the party was tons of fun - you can't go wrong with a bunch of silly Italian and Irish Catholics getting together to eat and drink. I also learned (or so I thought) how to make the delicious dumpling-like pasta. However, when I attempted to make gnocchi several weeks later for my brother and sister-in-law, the results left something to be desired. I'd been meaning to try making it again, so last night, I visited Ines and asked for a few tips. Like many good cooks, Ines doesn't measure anything, and she had no idea about timing ("You just boil it until it's done"). So I also consulted my kitchen bible:

What would I do without Mark Bittman's book?

Ines told me to boil three potatoes (NOT waxy ones). Mark suggests doing so for 30 - 45 minutes. While they're still hot, using a towel to protect your hands, peel the potatoes and run them through a ricer:

Make a little bowl out of the potatoes and break one egg into the center.

Grate a little less than half of a nutmeg (is that how one refers to one of them?) over the bowl. Add approximately one half cup flour ("I don't know how much, just enough") and start kneading. Add more flour, using about one whole cup in total, and keep dusting your hands and the board on which you're kneading until the dough is no longer sticky. Break off a portion of the dough and roll it into a little snake, about a half inch thick. From this, cut off half inch long portions using the side of a fork dusted with flour, and roll each piece over the tines of a fork for texture, and drop them in boiling water:

Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon when they rise to the surface. It only take a few minutes. Add your favorite sauce to the pot, heat, and return the gnocchi top the pot. Serve!

Ines was so sweet - when she heard that I was trying to make the gnocchi again, she ran to her fridge and pulled out a jar of homemade pesto sauce that she had whipped up a day earlier. Delicious!


julieree said...

that looks so delicious. i don't really think i've ever had gnocchi (gasp!) It certainly sounds good though. potato in pretty much any incarnation is good in my book.

and ps those earrings from a couple posts back are gorgeous!! i'm repiercing my ears. i'll make my sister do it--she'll love that!

Lesley said...

Those look very tasty! I've been wondering how to make gnocci for a while. Thanks for posting the recipe. I might give it a go in the next week or so.

cynic the lamb said...

That looks deeee-lish! Funny, Matt swears by the Bittman book, too. He calls it his "kitchen bible," also.

cccavicch said...

Yum!! I'll come over for home-made gnocchi anytime!


Mary Contrary said...

YYUUUMMMMM!!!!! nice job!!

connie said...

I'm so glad it worked out! way to go! and that pesto, oh dear me, it looks fantastic

erin said...

you are making me hungry!