Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gnocchi (Potato Pasta)

As a little girl I used to go with my parents to their friend Joanne's house who they grew up with.  Joanne's Mom lived with her and made the BEST home made gnocchi.

When her Mom made the Gnocchi it was a celebration and we all would congregate at her dining room table and eat until we could eat no more.

I love gnocchi and have always wanted to make it.  I have heard so many mixed stories about the difficulty level of making this.  Well, since Christmas Eve was around the corner I decided what a perfect time to try it out.

I did not find this to be very hard just time consuming.

Here is what you'll need:
  • 2 lbs of russet potatoes
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 beaten egg
Boil a large pot of water and add the potatoes and let boil for approx 50 minutes.  You will be boiling the potatoes with the skin on and not cut up, so it will take some time for the potatoes to cook.

When the potatoes are cooked allow them to cool down enough so you can hold them in your hands.  Once cooled, start to peel the potato, you can use a fork to get the peel to move off the potato.  The peel should come off very easily.   

When done peeling cut the cooked potato into quarters and then run through a potato ricer.

This is a potato ricer. 

Yes, you need this.
 I have done a lot of reading to see if I could have avoided buying one. 
There is no avoiding it, you need it!
So I bought it from bed bath and beyond for 20 bucks... plus a 20% coupon.

Put all the potatoes through the potato ricer.  
Place all the riced potatoes into a large bowl.

Now add the salt, egg and flour.  Mix together with your hands into a large ball.

On a floured surface place the ball.  Now take a decent size chunk out of the ball and roll into a long log about 1 inch thick.

Now with a sharp knife you will cut 3/4 inch pieces off.

When all the pieces are cut you will use the back of a fork and roll the small piece down the fork.  The fork will make indentation's on the gnocchi.

(i totally forgot to get a picture of this process)

See the indentations!

Once you are done rolling all the gnocchi you can place the pasta onto a lightly floured plate and put in the fridge for a few hours.

When ready to boil the pasta take out of the fridge.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Slowly drop the past into the boiling water.  
Do not add too many pieces of pasta to the water as it will overcrowd the pot and prevent the pasta from floating to the top.
Once you have added about 15 or twenty pieces stir gently and wait for the pasta to float to the top. 

When floating remove the pasta immediately with a hand held strainer.

There you have home made Gnocchi (potato pasta)

You can serve this with a simple marinara sauce.

You can also serve with a meat sauce or like I served on Christams Eve...
 Mushroom Cream Sauce.

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