Gnocchi 101

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Gnocchi, one of my all-time favorites!  Always loving to learn and expand my cooking experience, gnocchi recipes and techniques are forever a part of my discussions about food.  I love to talk and listen to people, read cookbooks, watch videos, all in an effort to perfect this heavenly passion of mine!  Gnocchi are essentially a potato pasta.  I use both russet and sweet potatoes, just depending. I pair them with different sauces, from a quick cream sauce, to a sage and butter or cinnamon and butter combination, to a vodka sauce, a pesto and even a basic cracked ground pepper sauce.  They are just delicious, any style and so easy to make!  Enjoy!

Lessons that I have learned!

  1.  Russet potatoes work best.  Moisture is the enemy of these light, heavenly pillows.
  2.  Oven roasting the potatoes is key.  Boiling just adds to the moisture content,        resulting in  the use of more flour than necessary.  I roast them on a bed of sea salt  to draw out even more  moisture and it adds flavor.
  3.  Mix the flour into the potatoes in stages and do not over mix or knead the dough.  You do not  want to have tough gnocchi.
  4.  Letting the gnocchi dough sit for a bit in the refrigerator allows for a little resting and  makes the  dough easier to handle. I have even let it rest overnight with good  results.

Special Equipment Needed: A potato ricer, kitchen scale, and gnocchi board (optional), but good to have.

Ingredients:

2   lbs russet potatoes, 3 or 4 (weight, after cooking)

2   cups unbleached all-purpose flour (this is approximate)

 

Preparing:

Pierce your potatoes with a fork and place on a sheet pan (I make a bed of sea salt for the potatoes to cook on) and bake at 400 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes depending upon the size of the potatoes.

When slightly cooled, remove the skins and run potatoes through a potato ricer.

Weigh potatoes on a kitchen scale.  If the potatoes weigh 1 1/2 lbs, use only 1 1/2 cups flour.

In batches, mix the flour into the potatoes until a smooth dough is formed.  Do not over flour, Let rest in the refrigerator for a bit.

On a floured surface, cut the dough into 4 – 6 pieces.  Using your hands, roll out the dough into sausage like links to about an inch thick.  Cut the slices into pieces that are about 3/4″ long.  Run over a gnocchi board or fork to get the ridges that hold the sauce.

Add to a large pot of salted, boiling water.  Gnocchi are done when they float to the surface (I always give them a second more before scooping them out).

Immediately upon scooping out, put gnocchi into the heated sauce, stir and serve!

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