Monday, October 27, 2008

Quick Dish: Gnocchi. Yes Gnocchi.

Ok, I know when you want to throw together a quick meal, your first thought isn't, "Hey, I think I'll make pasta from scratch!" But hear me out. All you need is a potato, an egg and a little flour, and in about 20 minutes you too can be enjoying your own fresh little pillows of heaven.

Here's all you need to remember:
1 large russet potato
1 lightly beaten egg
¼ cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Easy right? That's the basic ratio, and it will give you 1-2 healthy servings' worth of gnocchi. Just multiply this amount by the number of servings you want to end up with.

(FYI - I originally got this no fail ratio from a certain too-skinny, too-smiley Italian Food Network star. I wish I could hate her, but heck, this is a great recipe).

Here's how to make them:

Pierce the potato all over with a fork. Microwave the potato until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Cut the potato in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh into a large bowl; discard the skin. Using a fork, mash the potato well, then mash in the salt and pepper. Mix in 3 tablespoons of the egg; discard the remaining egg. Sift the flour over the potato mixture and knead just until blended – do not over knead.

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece between your palms and the work surface into a 1/2-inch-diameter rope (about 20 inches long).

Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. If you have one of those fancy, ridge-making doohickies that give your gnocchi their trademark ridged look, by all means, now’s the time to bust it out. Rolling the pieces over the tines of a fork works just as well, too. To be honest, though, I usually skip this step: time consuming + unnecessary = not a quick dish.

Cook the gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water until the gnocchi rise to the surface, about 1 minute. Continue cooking until the gnocchi are tender, about 4 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi from the water.

Now’s the time to add them to a pan of sizzling butter and thyme or sage, or you could simply toss them with olive oil and fold in some fresh mozzarella. Crispy prosciutto is also a good addition. So is basil. Oh, I could go on…


Tiffany said...

Thanks for the great tip on easy gnocchi! I've never made it successfully, so this will be a good ratio to remember.

Anonymous said...

That is a very light flour to potato ratio. My great grandmother used to do (pound for pound) a mound of flour to mound of potato and would throw an egg or two in there. I'll definitely be making gnocchi this weekend, but it will be some work given all the research I've been doing-- I typically dislike the gnocchi I've had in stores or in U.S. Italian restaurants because they come out so soggy... I think I vastly prefer a gnocchi with a light chew.