Friday, June 19, 2015

First Solo Attempt at Homemade Gnocchi (+ Sauces)

A few months ago, my Italian friend Stefania taught me how to make homemade gnocchi.  It was so easy and fun with her!  I didn't write anything down (she just did it my memory) so this is my attempt at recreating the recipe.  I also made it about three months later.  It was a lot harder without her!  I had my kids helping me roll everything out though, and they cut it, too.  Then I cooked batches on the stove and they were able to choose from a butter/fresh sage sauce, or tomato Parmesan (Grana Padano).  I took some pics I'll share. I'm no expert at this, so the recipe isn't exact.  Just like making bread dough, you may have to add more or less flour.

Homemade Gnocchi
from my friend Stefania

2-3 pounds yellow, waxy potatoes, cooked, peeled
1/2 cup flour; may need more
1 egg
salt and pepper
olive oil

1. Boil potatoes whole, let cool a few minutes, and peel the skin off.  (May use a pressure cooker; cutting up potatoes first, but I won't include instructions on that since I am not familiar with them.) 

2.  While still warm, run peeled potatoes through a ricer or spaetzle maker (what we used).  Add the other ingredients and mix with your hands until the dough is smooth, like playdough, and a little tacky still, but not sticky.  (The dough needs to hold together in boiling water but not be tough.  If you're unsure if it will hold together, boil one piece in a little pot and see if it holds. We had to add a LOT of flour to ours.)

3.  On a floured table, board, or cloth, roll into ropes, as big or little as you want.  I like little ones. Cut into bite-size pieces.  If desired, you can roll pieces on a fork or special board to make ridges. (Look this up on Youtube if interested).  

4.  Cook batches in boiling, salted water until they float.  Lift out with a slotted spoon.  Serve with favorite sauce immediately. (Ideas below.)
Butter-Sage Sauce

Salted butter
Fresh sage leaves

1.  In a small saucepan, melt butter (I used 1/2 cup).  Add fresh sage leaves and cook a little until the sage gets a bit crispy and the butter is infused with sage flavor.  Spoon over fresh cooked gnocchi and top with freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese.  

Tomato-Grana Sauce
adapted from Yea Dad's Home

2 x 14.5 ounce cans crushed tomatoes (or 1 big can)
1/3 cup cream
1/2 cup Parmigiano or Grana Padano cheese, shredded
a few fresh basil leaves, cut into strips

1.  Combine in a medium saucepan and heat until it starts to bubble.  Serve over fresh gnocchi with extra cheese on top.  If sauce is too thick, thin with some pasta water.
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