Monday, July 30, 2012

Gnocchi - Picture Tutorial

I make gnocchi quite often, mainly for three very good reasons: they are super cheap to make; they are ready in no time; they only require two ingredients that I always have in the house.

Plain Flour

Now, the measurements here are quite difficult. Let's say that for 4 adults eating you will need 1 kilo of potatoes. The amount of flour I could really not tell, because you have to keep adding it to the mix until it feels right. The amount of flour mostly depends on the type of potatoes being used. So far, any potato has worked fine for me.

Now, here is the procedure step by step:

Boil the potatoes until cooked, just as you would do if making mash potatoes. If they are quite big, cut them in cubes before boiling.
Once ready, drain and place 2 cups of flour on your clean worktop. Don't worry, it won't stay that clean for too long :)
Place the potatoes on top of the flour:
Mash them with a fork:
This is what you have now:
Start folding in the flour, your hands will get stickier and stickier:
Keep kneading the mix until it becomes a ball like this. Also keep adding flour as needed.
Keep working and adding flour:
Add the flour until you can actually press with your fingers into the mix and this does not stick to them anymore:
Now that you have the mix ready, cut a piece from it and roll it into a long sausage, the thickness should be a bit more than your own finger.
Start cutting pieces out of it with a plain knife, and throw them in a tray with flour in it:
Make sure that you have all sides of each gnocco covered in flour so they don't stick to each other:
Have ready a tray where to cover them in flour and another tray where to settle them:
And this is the final result:

Now, gnocchi are easy to cook. Boil a big pot of water with salt, if you wish, and just toss them in. Turn them gently once or twice just to ensure they don't stick to each other. Once they start surfacing, they are ready to drain and dress with your favorite sauce.

A very simple option is to add butter on top of them and some sage in leaves or powder. They are magnificent this way.

Another option is to prepare a very simple tomato sauce, just basil and garlic and use that one. Make sure the sauce is quite liquid by adding water to it while it's cooking: gnocchi tend to absorb a lot of sauce.

Try it out, once done never forgotten, like the bicycle story. And it's not a lot of work at all.

If you want to make more than necessary, or if it just happens that you make more than necessary, they can be frozen. Place them well separate from each other on a tray, cover with a plastic bag and in the freezer. Once frozen, they can be "reunited" without any problem and kept for a good while.

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