Sunday, 8 May 2011

Making Gnocchi

Gnocchi are soft pasta/dumplings made from only flour and potato.  Most recipes out there will call for an egg or two, but true Italian gnocchi originally have no eggs.  These gnocchi were made with the help of my grandmother. I used her suggestions and techniques to make the perfect pot of gnocchi with fresh homemade tomato sauce.
As per Nonna, Yukon Gold potatoes are the best for making gnocchi because they have the least moisture.  I have also used Russet potatoes, which are easy to find in Ontario, and they came out just as good!  You should boil at least 1 medium sized potato per person.  Once the potatoes are boiled and strained, peel their skin off using your hands while they are still warm - try not to burn yourself :)

Mash the potatoes while they are still warm using a potato masher; even one little lump will ruin your dough!  Add flour, 1 cup at a time and knead into a dough.  If you do not add enough flour, your gnocchi will dissolve in the pot when you are boiling them, so make sure the dough is still soft, but not sticky.  If you add too much flour, your gnocchi will be hard and heavy - so just be careful!

Next, roll the dough out into long snake-like pieces and cut them up into nickel sized squares.  Poke your finger into each gnocchi and drag it a little to create an impression in the dough.  Lie them out on a table cloth sprinkled with flour and sprinkle more on as needed so the gnocchi do not stick together.

As per Nonna, you should either cook them or freeze them within 2 hours for the best tasting pasta! 

 Here's the finished product... yummmm!

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