May 16, 2013 by Bloke In A Kitchen
Gnocchi are no more than simple Italian dumplings, basically mashed potato and flour, served with a simple tasty sauce. Like freshly made pasta, it’s definitely worth giving the real thing a go, they take only a little effort, and you can freeze the dough should you have some leftover.
I’ve tried the ready-made ‘gnocchi’ from supermarkets in the past, and they were absolutely vile. (I’ll not mince my words on the matter). The recipe as follows, is the real thing.
Serves 4-6 (This makes quite a large amount of gnocchi, and they are deceptively filling.)
1kg floury potatoes, roughly the same size
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium free range egg
300g plain flour
8 fresh sage leaves
50g salted butter
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
3-4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
First place the potatoes, with their skins on, in a saucepan, almost cover with boiling water, add some salt, then put a lid on and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until tender. You can check if they’re cooked by using a wooden cocktail stick.
Plunge the potatoes into coldwater, and remove the skins. They should come off quite easily by simply rubbing off the skin.
Mash the potatoes well, until smooth and fluffy. (You could use an electric hand blender to make short work of this). Leave the mashed potatoes to cool.
Next, add the sifted flour to the potatoes, along with the beaten egg, season lightly with salt and black pepper and, using a fork, slowly bring the mixture together. Then, using your hands, knead the mixture to a smooth and slightly sticky dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, flour your hands and divide it into quarters. Roll each quarter into a sausage shape approximately ½ inch (1 cm) in diameter, then cut it, on the diagonal, into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces, placing them on a tray or plate as they are cut. Cover with clingfilm, and chill for 30 minutes.
After that, using a fork with the prongs facing upwards, press the fork down on to one side of each gnocchi so that it leaves a row of ridges on each one; at the same time, ease them into crescent shapes. The ridges are there to absorb the sauce better. Now cover and chill the gnocchi again until you are ready to cook them.
To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pan of water to a boil. Whilst the water is on, put a serving dish in a low oven to warm through. Once the water is boiling, drop the gnocchi into the water and cook for about 3 minutes. When they are ready, remove and drain the gnocchi and transfer them to the warm serving dish.
For the sauce, melt the butter with the garlic over a gentle heat until the garlic turns nut brown in colour – about 1 minute. Next add the sage leaves and allow the butter to froth while the sage leaves turn crisp – about 30 seconds – then spoon the butter mixture over the warm gnocchi.
Serve with the Parmesan and black pepper to taste.