wine varietals

Gnocchi!

So people had been asking for cooking posts and I had some time today and I made gnocchi! Gnocchi is a kind of pasta that is usually made with potatoes, but can be made with really anything you can form into a dumpling. 

You start with some potatoes. You want them to be cooked all the way for this dish. The recipe I used called for roasting two potatoes, but if you already have cooked potatoes then just use those. You want the potato to be very smooth, so if you have a potato ricer this is a good time to use it. If you don’t have one, it’s fine. Just put in some elbow grease and mash the potatoes. 

Next you add in ¾ flour, ¼ cup of ricotta cheese, and salt and pepper. Just as a reminder potatoes need a loooot of seasoning, so use way more salt and pepper than you think you need to. Many recipes call for adding some kind of herb into the dough as well. Thyme is quite popular, but you can really use anything and flavor it to your pallet. Once you’ve got the dough combined pretty well, make a well in the middle of it and then mix in a beaten egg. The dough is pretty thick so using your hands is probably the easiest way to actually mix it here. 

Once you have the dough made you want to break it into chunks and roll it out into a long cigar shape, then cut roughly bite sized pieces off of it. Once you’ve got them cut press your thumb into the top of them lightly to make a little dimple. Supposedly this is so whatever sauce you serve it with can sort of pool into it and be absorbed into the potato. 

Now that you’ve got all of your pieces made it’s time to cook them! Bring some water to a boil and then dump them in. Be sure to give the pot a shake so that they don’t stick to anything. Let them cook in the boiling water until they start to float. Once they have wait a moment more then drain the water from the pot and take the gnocchi out to dry. While they are drying heat up some olive oil in a pan. I really recommend a non stick pan for this part since I had some trouble with them sticking to my stainless steel pan. Once the oil has heated up and the gnocchi are dry put them into the oil. All you are trying to do here is saute them and add some color to each side since they are already cooked through. 

Let them cook on each side for a few minutes or until they are golden brown. It only took a few minutes when I did it, but every stove top cooks differently. Once they are browned on one side, flip them over and let them cook on the other. You’ll want to use a bit more oil than you think you need for this part since the gnocchi will absorb quite a bit of it leaving very little left in the pan to brown the other side. Once you’ve got them browned on both sides, throw in a know of butter, some peas, and the zest of a lemon. If you are using frozen peas like I did you just want to warm them through in the butter and bring everything up to a nice hot temperature. 

And now you’re done! Dish the gnocchi up and serve it with fresh Parmesan cheese. This recipe didn’t have much going as a sauce other than some butter and oil with lemon zest. The gnocchi is pretty much a vessel for sauce and whatever herbs you make it with, so once you’ve figured out how to make the gnocchi you can do whatever you want with it. Maybe you want to use a heavy cream sauce, maybe a nice white wine and butter sauce, maybe some kind of tomato sauce. They all would work, and you’d just have to alter the spices slightly to make sure that it all tastes well together. I think bacon, or since this is an Italian dish, pancetta would go quite well on this. 

Anyways that it’s for today. I hope y’all learned something about how to make gnocchi! It’s a tasty versatile pasta that is a nice recipe to have in your arsenal. I would say it’s of medium difficulty. It has quite a few steps and if you’re not familiar with how each ones goes it’s possible to go really wrong. But if you have solid fundamentals then it’s a walk in the park to make. 

Also if you’re making for just 1-2 people I would half the recipe. I had so much gnocchi that I had to cook it in 2 batches, and it seemed like enough to feed 4 or so.