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Gnocchi on parade

Posted by Jeanne on May 18, 2010

Packaged gnocchi always seem like they should be good, don’t they?  They’re convenient but good lord – they don’t taste very good.  Which is sad, because if they were tasty we would eat them more often, but since they suck we are forced to wait for the stars to align and for me to actually make gnocchi.

Which is bit of a pain and also takes quite a lot of time.  Woe is me.

But we had good dinner!

Potato gnocchi, adapted from this recipe posted on 101 Cookbooks in 2007.

3 large russet potatoes, halved (skins still on)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 C flour plus additional for dusting

Fill a large pot with cool, salted water.  Add potatoes and bring to a boil.  Boil until potatoes are tender all the way through – about 25 minutes after the water begins boiling.

Remove the potatoes and set aside.  When they have cooled enough to handle, peel the potatoes with a paring knife.  Run the potatoes through a ricer into a large bowl (if you don’t have a potato ricer, you can use a fork – that’s what Heidi of 101 Cookbooks does.  You just don’t want a lot of lumps).

This is the sole picture of the gnocchi-making.  I suck at this “photo” game.

The potatoes should still be warm but not hot – you want to be able to handle them, and you do NOT want them to scramble the eggs.  Add the eggs and about half the flour to start.  Knead gently to combine – slowly add more flour if the dough is too sticky.

Separate the dough into small balls and roll into tubes about 0.25 inch in diameter.  Cut into pieces about 0.5 inch long.  Dust with a bit more flour.

If you like, you can cook them at this point – they’ll taste fine.  If you want the gnocchi to have little ridges, hold a fork in one hand and place a gnocchi pillow against the tines of the fork, cut ends out.  Use your thumb and press the dough in and down. The gnocchi should curl into a slight “C” shape, and the side that was against fork will have pretty little ridges.  Sauce likes to hang out in the little ridges, so ridges are a good thing.  Dust with a bit more flour.

Bring a pot of salted water to a hard boil.  Drop the gnocchi in a few at a time – don’t add so many the water stops boiling.  Watch them carefully as they cook very quickly.  The gnocchi are done when they start popping to the top of the boiling water – remove them with a slotted spoon.

Add to your serving bowl and sauce gently. I used the French Laundry tomato sauce (the open book in the background of the photo is the FL cookbook), which is the essence of tomatoes and fresh herbs and little else – simple.  The gnocchi are delicious on their own so the sauce doesn’t need to be something crazy.

Enjoy as soon as possible.  And next time I’ll take some pictures.


2 Responses to “Gnocchi on parade”

  1. rosamanda said

    Did you ever meet Matt Stamp? He just got a job at the French Laundry as a sommelier!

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