Crystal (crystalstarr) wrote in cucina_italiana,
Crystal
crystalstarr
cucina_italiana

Gnocchi, my favorite

* 2 pounds of potatoes (2 large russets)
*1/4 cup egg, lightly beaten
* 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour
*fine grain sea salt



Fill a large pot with cold water. Salt the water, then cut potatoes in half and place them in the pot. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender throughout, this takes about 40-50 min.

Remove the potatoes from the water one at a time with a slotted spoon. Place each potato piece on a large cutting board and peel it before moving on to the next potato. peel each potato as soon as possible after removing from the water BE CAREFUL!! work quickly so you can mash the potatoes when they are hot.I mash my potatoes and beat the tar out of them. Don't over mash though,you are after an even consistency with no noticable lumps.

Save the potato water.

Let the potatoes cool spread out across the cutting board - ten or fifteen minutes. Long enough that the egg won't cook when it is incorporated into the potatoes. When you are ready, pull the potatoes into a soft mound - drizzle with the beaten egg and sprinkle 3/4 cup of the flour across the top. I've found that a metal spatula or large pastry scraper are both great utensils to use to incorporate the flour and eggs into the potatoes with the egg incorporated throughout . Scrape underneath and fold, scrape and fold until the mixture is a light crumble. Very gently knead the dough. This is also the point you can add more flour (a sprinkle at a time) if the dough is too tacky. I usually end up using most of the remaining 1/4 cup flour, but it all depends on the kind of potatoes you are using. The dough should be moist but not sticky. It should feel almost billowy. Cut it into 8 pieces. Now gently roll each 1/8th of dough into a snake-shaped log, roughly the thickness of your thumb. Use a knife to cut pieces every 3/4-inch . Dust with a bit more flour.

To shape the gnocchi hold a fork in one hand and place a gnocchi pillow against the tines of the fork, cut ends out. With confidence and an assertive (but light) touch, use your thumb and press in and down the length of the fork. The gnocchi should curl into a slight "C" shape, their backs will capture the impression of the tines as tiny ridges . Set each gnocchi aside, dust with a bit more flour if needed, until you are ready to boil them.

either reheat your potato water or start with a fresh pot (salted), and bring to a boil. Cook the gnocchi in batches by dropping them into the boiling water roughly twenty at a time. They will let you know when they are cooked because they will pop back up to the top. Fish them out of the water a few at a time with a slotted spoon ten seconds or so after they've surfaced. Have a large platter ready with a generous swirl of whatever sauce or favorite pesto you'll be serving on the gnocchi. Place the gnocchi on the platter. Continue cooking in batches until all the gnocchi are done. Gently toss with more sauce or pesto , and serve immediately, family-style with a drizzle of good olive oil on top


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