Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Italian Gnocchi

Gnocchi are small dumplings. They are a very old form of food, and there are examples of recipes for Gnocchi that go back to the 13th century. Gnocchi can be made with many different ingredients like squash, bread, semolina flour, even eggplant. But modern Italian Gnocchi is made with potatoes.
  • 3 pounds of russet potatoes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Two dashes of salt
Be sure and use russet, or baking potatoes. Russet potatoes are high in starch and low in water content which will make the dumplings lighter in texture. Bake potatoes in the oven, microwave, or boil them until done. If potatoes are boiled, leave on the skins and remove after they are cooked. Too much moisture in the potatoes will cause excess absorption of flour, which will lead to a heavier dumpling. Run cooked potatoes through a food mill or ricer.

Put potatoes in a bowl and mix in the flour, egg and salt. Mix together until all ingredients are incorporated, and when loose dough begins to form take the dough into your hands and knead it gently for a few minutes until it forms a ball and dough becomes dry.

Roll dough into a long stick about ¾ to 1 inch in diameter. Cut into1 inch pieces. Use a fork and gently flick each piece with the fork to put small grooves in one side of the gnocchi. This will help hold the sauce.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi, being careful not to put too many into the pot at once, and let cook until they float, about one minute. Remove cooked gnocchi from hot water and place into ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Continue until all the gnocchi are cooked. Removed cooled gnocchi from ice water onto a towel to drain.

The gnocchi can now be used like any other kind of pasta. They are especially good with pesto sauce, but can be used with any other type of Italian pasta sauce. Cooked and cooled gnocchi can also be tossed with olive oil and kept in the refrigerator for a day or two.
My Zimbio