Gnocchi... most of us have tried to make it, most of us have failed. Most of us will try again, and this time we shall succeed!! And once we do, then we can mix things up a bit with sweet potatoes and flavourings. But for now, the basics.
The 3 Cardinal Rules of Gnocchi:
1. No water!!! Gnocchi is so often ruined because there is too high a water content in the dough; the main cause of this is waterlogging the potatoes when boiling. Put the potatoes in the oven people!
2. Do you like the taste of raw flour? No? Then use as little as possible!!
3. Don't give me that saucy look. Choose your sauce wisely. Gnocchi goes better with sauces with a high oil count, and the heaviness of the potatoes does not lend them to 'summery' sauces like oil and chili. Go for gold with carbonaras, sage and burnt butter, or if you must go tomato, go a ragout.
This recipe will make 3-4 serve of gnocchi.
1kg of starchy potatoes like desirees
2 cups of flour MAXIMUM
1 egg Method:
Put the potatoes into the oven at 180 degrees for an hour or so until they're easily pierced with a fork. Remove and leave to cool enough to handle (these are hot potatoes after all).
Peel the potatoes (you should be able to do this with your fingers) and either push through a ricer or grate using a block grater so that a fine consistency is achieved. Mix through one lightly beaten egg. Gradually add flour to the mix until you can handle the dough without it sticking everywhere (don't add any extra as more will be incorporated as you knead). Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or so.
Split the dough into 4 balls.
Roll the first ball out on a board until it's a log around 3cm thick.
Then cut the log into pieces around 3cm each. You should end up with... a 3cm cubed cube. Get it?
Roll the first piece into a ball, and then press lightly onto the prongs of a fork to create a ridge.
Roll the ball along the ridge so that it goes around able half of the ball. This is not just for presentation; the ridges will grab your chosen sauce better.
You may have noticed, you no longer have a ball. You have an oval, or a log. That's okay, just lightly press the gnocchi into the shape below. Set the finished gnocchi piece onto a floured surface or a sheet of baking paper.
Repeat for the remaining pieces, and then for the remaining balls of dough.
You can then freeze the gnocchi on a baking tray; when solid you can throw them in a freezer bag to save room. Else you can boil them up straight away!
To cook, bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Drop in the gnocchi and as they float up to the top, scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Tomorrow i'll put up a sauce to have with the gnocchi.