I spent an entire afternoon making gnocchi, a few weeks back. It only took that long because I stopped to watch a film half way through cooking the potatoes. As you do.
I've never made gnocchi before, not that I can recall at any rate. If I have made it before it would have been when I was at Catering College and I was so busy partying "back in the day" (Oh My God I Feel Old Never Using That Sentence Again... Ever), that I was lucky if I remembered to turn up to class, let alone what I cooked when I was there.... though I do remember making a cassoulet and dropping it on the floor. It was in my shoes for weeks.
Back to the gnocchi... by the time I'd finished, I had a ton of the stuff - reminiscent of the quantity of marshmallow fluff still sitting in my kitchen cupboard (though I have attacked at least one jar of it with a spoon (and my finger when I couldn't find a spoon quickly enough)). I'm digressing again. Aren't I.
THE GNOCCHI... was actually pretty therapeutic to make, and even though it felt like it took forever to do it, the end results were well worth the effort. It was a bit like mucking about with a sticky, starchy play dough, and I'm not sure that I didn't find some on the back of my neck and in my hair later on that day. The only frustrating thing - for someone with mild OCD tendencies - was the lack of uniformity in each little dumpling. But they all tasted the same when cooked, so for a first (remembered) attempt - it's all good.
I saw an Italian/Welsh girl on the TV a while back, putting stripes in her gnocchi and I couldn't remember how she did it, so I just attacked a few of mine with a fork rather randomly until I realised I was sabotaging my potato pillows... and stopped.
Then I did it again. Because it was fun.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Homemade Potato Gnocchi Recipe
Makes enough to feed 5000 (freeze the excess)
or 8 - 10 (based on 9oz/250g per 2 people).
Potato Cooking time - 30 - 40 minutes
Potato Cooling time - 20 minutes
Prep time - 20 minutes
Gnocchi Cooking time - 3 minutes (maximum)
Total time - 1 hour 25 minutes
You will need
A potato ricer/masher
A baking sheet (or three), covered in baking parchment/greaseproof paper
2lbs/1kg potatoes (skin on)
10oz/300g plain flour
1 egg yolk
1tbsp corn flour
generous pinch of salt
- Boil potatoes in salted water until tender - 30 - 40 minutes, drain and leave to cool slightly.
- Once cool enough to handle (but not cold), peel and put through a ricer, or mash them.
- Add the salt, corn flour, egg yolk and half the flour to the mashed potatoes and mix it all in - you can use your hands, or a spoon or a passing pigmy.
- Stir in the remaining flour and form the dough into a ball.
- Cut the dough into 6 similarly sized pieces and roll each one out until 1cm (1/2 inch) in depth.
- With a sharp, floured knife - cut through the strips of dough at 1 - 2cm intervals, to form your dumpling.
- Gently flour your gnocchi to prevent it from sticking and place on the lined baking sheets.
- At this stage you can pop the baking sheets in the freezer to freeze your gnocchi before bagging it up, or you can cook them...
- To cook - drop into a pan of gently boiling salty water (not all at once, it's a huge quantity - the gnocchi needs to be able to move around the pan).
- They're cooked when they float to the top (literally minutes, maybe three maximum).
- Remove with a slotted spoon and serve any which way you like it :)
NOTE:You can cook gnocchi from frozen. Just drop them straight into boiling water and it takes a tiny bit longer for them to float (be cooked).
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