Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What's up, Tuber?

Tonight, I thought I would jump on the box-grater gnocchi bandwagon, considering the buzz started by Smitten Kitchen. I have suffered for my gnocchi... the last time being many years ago, and I don't even think gnocchi was made.. I think I gave up and was left with a bowl of sticky, floury potatoes. Yuck.

With so many great comments from people that have actually made gnocchi with their very own hands... and having just had stellar gnocchi at dinner (at Grapeseed Bistro) with my family, I had to do it.

After the jump, you'll find two recipes: Smitten Kitchen's Grater-Box Gnocchi, and a recipe I adapted from an Everyday Italian recipe.. I swapped out the pancetta for the sausage, and gnocchi for the orecchiette. Reason being, this is how my husband had it at Grapeseed.

Does this count as making it my own?

PS: A shoutout goes to Ruth at Once Upon a Feast - I couldn't make my very own gnocchi, successfully, without sharing! Go go Presto Pasta Night!!

1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork, and bake them on a baking sheet for 45 minutes to one hour, or until they are fork-tender. For best results, turn the potatoes over halfway through the baking time. Let the potatoes cool slightly.

Peel the potatoes, and then pass them through a potato ricer, food mill or grate them over the large holes of a box grater into a large bowl. Add the lightly beaten egg and the salt to the potatoes and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Add the flour to the potatoes a little at a time, using only as much as you need so that the dough will not stick to your hands. When the flour has been incorporated, bring the dough together with your fingertips.

Dump the dough and any remaining floury bits onto a slightly floured surface. Knead the dough as you would bread dough. Press down and away with the heel of your hand, fold the dough over, make a quarter turn, and repeat the process. Knead for about three or four minutes. Form the dough into a ball and then divide it into 6 smaller balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the six pieces using your fingertips into a long rope about ¾ inch thick. Cut the dough into 1 inch pieces.

You can cook the gnocchi as it is now, but traditional gnocchi has ridges. To create the ridges, press each piece of dough against the tines of a fork. With your finger, gently roll the pressed dough back off the fork. This takes a little practice. If you find the dough sticking to the fork, dip the fork in flour before you press the dough against it.

Place the gnocchi in a single layer on a lightly floured or parchment-lined dish. If you'd like to freeze them for later use, do so on this tray and once they are frozen, drop them into a freezer bag. This ensures that you won't have one enormous gnocchi mass when you are ready to cook them.

To cook the gnocchi, place them into a pot of boiling and well-salted water. After a few minutes the gnocchi will float to the top. Continue to cook for one minute then remove and set aside.

Used to make:

Gnocchi with Pancetta and Broccoli Rabe
Adapted from:,,FOOD_9936_25588,00.html?rsrc=search

1 bunch broccoli rabe, stems trimmed
1 pound gnocchi
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound pancetta, medium-sliced (about 6 slices)
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Cook the broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp tender, about 1 minute. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a large bowl of ice water to cool, saving the cooking water. Bring the reserved cooking water back to a boil.

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until browned and juices form, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

To cook the gnocchi, place them into a pot of boiling and well-salted water. After a few minutes the gnocchi will float to the top. Continue to cook for one minute then remove and set aside.

Strain the broccoli rabe and add it to the pan with the pancetta mixture and toss to coat with the juices. Add the gnocchi to the skillet. Stir in the Parmesan and serve immediately.

1 comment:

Ruth Daniels said...

They both sound delicious. Thanks for joining Presto Pasta Night and sharing them with the rest of us.