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Recipe for :

Gnocchi di Patate (Piedmont Potato Gnocchi)
 

Cook ItalyThis is one of the recipes that has been provided by Carmelita Caruana from Italy. Carmelita is involved in running cooking holidays in Italy and it is well worth visiting her website - www.cookitaly.com - to find out more.

Ingredients

200g flour, plus extra for the board
A kilo of old floury potatoes, as even sized and smooth as possible
Salt
Optional nutmeg

Method
  • Cover the washed but unpeeled potatoes with cold water, cover the pan and bring to the boil. Cook for about 20/25 minutes from boiling point, or until a thin skewer inserted into a potato encounters no resistance. Drain and peel one potato at a time, leaving the rest in the hot water with the flame turned off
  • Holding each potato in turn on a fork, peel rapidly so that the potatoes are still hot when you push them through the potato ricer. Allow to fall in a pile on a lightly floured wooden pastry board, then with your hands pat and shape the potatoes into a compact mound
  • When the potatoes have cooled, sieve 150g of flour (high gluten content is best) directly on top of them, add a pinch of salt and optional nutmeg if using, and start to knead - add the rest of the flour only if needed (it sticks to your hands or the board or doesn't form a kneadable dough) some potatoes will absorb 250g or more, but generally the less flour the better
  • When the dough feels both soft and compact, cut it into five or six pieces, flour your hands and the board and roll each piece out into a cylindrical sausage. Line the rolled out pieces up next to each other and cut down at regular intervals to form small even sized pellets - if you make them very small you can use them straight away, especially as a garnish for soups
  • Otherwise finish the gnocchi by rolling pellets into a ball in the palm of your hand and forming grooves by pressin and rolling off each peller on the tines of fork or on a perforated grater, making sure you roll them off in such a way that there is a curve in each, to help it absorb sauce and keep the gnocchi light.
  • Bring a pan with several litres of salted water to the boil, drop in all the gnocchi in batches, and cook until they float to the surface - this happens fast! Drain each batch and place it on a layer of sauce in a serving casserole adding more gnocchi and sauce in layers as you go. Avoid mixing as they are fragile, but if necessary cover and give the casserole a shake or two to toss the finished gnocchi in the sauce

Serves 6

Notes

  • Gnocchi must be cooked as soon as they are made, otherwise they get sticky, so you will need to add flour and make them heavier, or worse, they will start to turn an unappetising black colour!
  • A quick tomato sauce or gnocchi : soften a chopped onion in 2 tbsp of olive oil, add a glass or two of passata (or a can of peeled plum tomatoes), a pinch of salt and one of sugar, and let the mixture reduce and emulsify on medium heat for about 10/15 minutes. Turn the flame off and finish with a bunch of torn fresh basil leaves.

Carmelita Caruana

 
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