I had a phase this year where I read about gnocchi.
Ok, “Read” is an understatement. I inhaled information about gnocchi.
I read so much about making gnocchi, different types of gnocchi, design styles, accompanying sauces, varieties of flours for gnocchi, that I just about made myself dizzy.
and then, I never made the damn stuff.
And then something happened last week. I made the most basic and boring starter recipe for gnocchi. I also got the recipe from the chef I like almost least of all (because, let’s all be honest, does not everyone harbour feelings of bloodlust for Emeril?)
Martha Stewart’s potato gnocchi was so easy I felt like I had not made it properly.
I felt like there must be something missing, some step or ingredient, because there was no way it could be as simple as boiling potatoes, mixing them with eggs and flour, forming them with a fork, and then boiling for 5 minutes?
Martha’s stint in jail must be affecting my level of trust.
Justice obstruction aside, these gnocchis are tasty.
Although I can not say that these gnocchis are outstanding (my conscience just wont let me enjoy white flour and potatoes the same way anymore) these make a great stepping stone on the path to gnocchi wonderland. Recipes like: Sweet potato gnocchi, Ricotta gnocchi, Gnocchi with Semolina.
Gnocchi, I think I love you.
- 4 large (about 2 pounds) Idaho potatoes, scrubbed
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 large eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place unpeeled potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover by 2 inches with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high, and cook until tender, about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill another large saucepan with cold water, add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. (These are for cooking and cooling the gnocchi.) Drain potatoes, and peel while still hot, holding them with a clean kitchen towel. Pass potatoes through a potato ricer or a food mill fitted with the finest disk onto a lightly floured work surface. Make a well in the center of the mound of potatoes, and sprinkle flour evenly over the potatoes. Break eggs into the well, and add 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and the pepper. Using a fork, lightly beat eggs, and incorporate the remaining ingredients to form a dough. Knead lightly on the work surface until the dough is soft and smooth.
- Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Divide dough into four balls, and shape each ball into a rope 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces. Shape the gnocchi: Hold a dinner fork in one hand, and use your index finger to hold a cut edge of a piece of gnocchi against the curved back of the tines of the fork. Press into the center of the gnocchi with your index finger to make a deep indentation. While you are pressing the piece against the tines, flip it away over the tip of the fork, allowing the gnocchi to drop to the work surface. If the gnocchi becomes sticky, dip fork and index finger into flour. The finished gnocchi will have ridges on one side and a depression on the other. At this point, gnocchi can be refrigerated on a lightly floured baking sheet for several hours before boiling and serving.
- To cook gnocchi, drop half of them into the boiling water, and cook until they float to the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and place in the ice bath for about 20 seconds. Transfer from ice bath, to a colander, and repeat process with the other half of the dough.