I've owned a gnocchi board for years (they're inexpensive), but it's sat unused. "I really need to make gnocchi one of these days," I said time and time again. And the gnocchi board would sit in the pantry, next to the pasta machine. (For the record, in Italian the item is called a tagliere riga.) Today, it was going to get used.
I probably should have consulted more than one cookbook, but I checked the Silver Spoon Cookbook and their recipe seemed like a good one. It's a practical and dependable Italian cookbook. And it's a simple recipe. 2 ½ pounds of potatoes. 1 ¾ cups of flour. A egg. A pinch of salt. All of the recipes in the Silver Spoon Cookbook are short; this is not a cookbook with detailed, step-by-step instructions.
|Messy sheet pan|
The recipe suggests steaming the potatoes so that they don't become waterlogged. So I did it. They have to steam for about twenty-five minutes, so I went off to write (specifically, my thoughts about Canto 5 of the Faerie Queene). After about twenty minutes, I realized I'd better look at them. They had that toasty smell of a pot just gone dry, so I tossed some water in. The potatoes were still a bit firm, so I kept steaming them for a bit.
I riced the potatoes onto a sheet pan, mixing in the flour as I went. When my potatoes were well mixed with the flour, I added the beaten egg. There aren't going to be a lot of photos of the process this time. This dough is much stickier than egg pasta. It was clear that while I was going to knead it to be smooth and even, it was never going to be something that only stuck to itself. Or, to put it another way, there are no photos of the process because I had gnocchi dough coating my hands.
|Gnocchi waiting for the pot|
Then the big question: how to sauce them. I decided to go for something easy and classic: sage butter and cheese. I picked some sage leaves from the garden. To chop or not to chop? Nah. I wilted the sage leaves in hot olive oil and butter. When the gnocchi floated, they were done. Into the skillet.
The verdict: These were the best gnocchi I've had. I'm trying to think of a restaurant experience where I've had better, and can't (although I rarely order gnocchi in a restaurant). They were toothy without being gummy; sort of the perfect degree of resistance to the bite. All-in-all, I think that buying gnocchi at the store may be a thing of the past.
You can follow my blog on Twitter (@impofthediverse) or on Facebook. If you like this post, share it with your friends. If you have a comment just for me, e-mail me at email@example.com.
This blog runs solely on ego! Follow this blog! Comment on this post! Let me know that you want to read more of it!