(and occasionally) food
Sunday, 10 June 2007
This is my first food post! And what did I decide to do? Gnocchi. Something easy. Simple. Yet intriguing. After looking through various cooking books and seeking words of wisdom from my partner, I settled on a recipe based from “Made in Italy” by Giorgio Locatelli. And they worked! Not perfectly shaped cookie cutter, mirror images of one gnocchi after another but a huge number of individuals. Like us. My better half tells me that gnocchi in Italian means “little lumps” and mine certainly were! But what lovely soft delicate lumps they were.
Ingredients 500g Desiree potato 1 egg 160g flour tipo 00 Pinch of salt. Pinch of ground nutmeg
Method Pack the unpeeled potatoes into a steamer and steam for about 30 minutes. They are done when a skewer slides easily into the potato. They should be tender. Do not over cook the potato, otherwise they will become water logged and you may as well start again. Remove the potatoes from the heat and peel them using your fingers. Please be careful as they are hot. The Gourmand may have cast iron hands, I do not. Pass the potatoes through the finest disk of a mouli. Add the egg and about ¾ of the flour. Combine the mixture quickly so that it comes together. Work the mixture swiftly but lightly so that you don’t overwork the gluten. The dough should feel slightly tacky like the sticky surface of a Post-it note. Add more flour if needed. You have to be careful with the amount of flour: too much and the gnocchi will end up as dry lumps, not enough and they will disintegrate. Using your hands, roll small amounts of the dough on a floured surface into the form of a rope. The thickness should be about 1cm (1/3 inch for the non-metric population). With a knife cut the rolls of dough into 2.5cm sections (1 inch). Lightly flour the newly formed gnocchi and place on a floured surface till you are ready to cook them. Bring a large pot of water to a gentle simmer and add plenty of salt. Poach the gnocchi in batches. They are ready when they float to the surface. This will take seconds. Do not allow the water to boil rapidly as this will destroy the delicate gnocchi and you will be left with a rather insipid potato soup. Remove them with a slotted spoon to a buttered serving dish. Combined with a sauce that The Gourmand made, this will serve about 4 or 5.