Potato Gnocchi July 25 2014, 1 Comment

Potato Gnocchi

Homemade gnocchi blows any store-bought stuff out of the water. Some recipes call for an egg to be added to the dough, but if you know your taters and use the right variety, the dumplings won’t need any help sticking to- gether when cooked.

1kg toolangi Delight or another high starch, low water- content potato. (also, use mature, rather than young potatoes — even old ones that have been sitting in your pantry a while drying out are great!)

425 – 450 g type ‘00’ or plain flour

Boil your spuds till cooked, drain off the water and put the tubers back in the empty saucepan on the hot stove. Leave them here for a minute or so to dry them out, removing as much excess water as possible. this is a good tip if you are simply making mash, too.

Once just cool enough to handle, peel them. Mash the cooked potatoes, or, if you have one, put them through a potato ricer for a much smoother consistency. Season this mix with a little salt. turn the mash out onto a floured work surface, and knead in the flour a little at a time. alternately, do this in a stand-mixer. The measurements for flour are approximate; they can always dif- fer on any given day. Just keep adding until you have a nice light-feeling, smooth dough. the ratio of potatoes to flour is generally two to slightly less than one, if you want to change the quantity you cook.

Divide the dough into thirds and roll into a ‘sausage’. Chop the mix with a sharp knife into gnocchi-sized chunks, and roll in a little flour to stop them sticking together. at this stage you can either leave them ‘rustic’ style, or roll a fork over each one for the traditional gnoc- chi shape. (there’s a nifty contraption called a gnocchi paddle you can get for this purpose.)

Have a pot of salted water ready at a low simmer to drop the dumplings in. they will only take a minute or so to rise to the surface, and then you know they’re cooked. Scoop them out and dunk straight into sauce that’s waiting to embrace them.

Like any pasta, gnocchi lends itself to experimenta- tion when it comes to the accompanying sauce. I tried creamy blue cheese most recently, simply placing 
1⁄2 cup milk, 
80 g blue cheese, 
20 g butter, 
1⁄2 cup cream, 
black pepper, 
some chopped chives and asparagus in a saucepan and heating.

But how about burnt butter and sage? Or wild mushroom and leek? Or a simple fresh tomato and basil?

One last tip I’d like to pass on: invest in a potato ricer for your kitchen. It will give you the ultimate creamy, smooth mash with the least effort. 

From The Humble Spud
By Madeleine Delaney
Earth Garden no 156

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