Friday, August 28, 2009
I had some baby potatoes I needed to cook, but I didn't want to have the usual roasted veggie kind. I've seen several recipes of this potato pasta concoction floating around the blog-o-sphere, that I had to eventually give it a try for myself. Gnocchi (knee-okkee). These little pasta dumplings of deliciousness are made from potato and the usual pasta ingredients of egg, flour and salt. I've had this before at restaurants, but have never made them at home. After my first experience with making pasta (here), I wasn't sure I would never try making anything related since. You can view the little history of this on its wikipedia page.
I searched the interweb for a good recipe. Most that I saw were nearly identical. So I mixed and matched to fit the amount of baby potatoes that I had. Peeled, boiled, then mashed the potatoes by hand, but I was left with tiny bit chunks that I missed. (Note to self: add potato ricer to Christmas list.) Mixed in the egg and salt, then added the flour. It still held a dough form, which was good. Molded the dough into round sticks then cut them into little bitty pillows. I made two sizes - fifty-cent piece and nickle sized, give or take.
You cook these like you would with regular pasta. Boiling salted water and just dump them in. At first, they'll sink, but the great thing about these is that they will float to the surface when they are ready to come out.
You can serve this with which ever sauce you desire. At first, I couldn't decided what kind I would make. I tweeted my semi-dilemma on twitter and got some pretty good suggestions. I decided on a simple browned butter garlic sauce and right before eating I sprinkled some grated parmigiano reggiano. I have to work on shaping these little guys, but I'm happy with the way they turned out. Not bad for my first try, eh?
Gnocchi with Browned Butter Garlic Sauce
1 large potato or 10 small baby potatoes
1 c flour plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
note: recipe for the sauce below
Note: To make a wheat version replace with 1/2 c white and 3/4 c wheat flour.
Peel and cube the potatoes. Remove any blemishes it may have.
Boil the potatoes in a pot of salted water until they are cooked through and tender. A fork should easily piece it.
When the potatoes are ready mash them in a bowl with a ricer. If you don't have one, you can mash them with a fork or by hand.
Mix in the egg and salt, then slowly add the flour. Turn out the dough onto a well-flour surface and knead it a few time.
Cut a small chuck of the dough and mold it into a long stick. Take a knife or fork and cut the stick into little dumpling. Place them on a floured tray and keep separated. They will stick to each other.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Season liberally with salt. When the water is ready, place in the gnocchi. They will first sink, but when they are ready they will float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain off the excess water.
Serve with your choice of sauce.
Browned Butter Garlic Sauce
1/3-1/2 c butter
1 garlic clove (minced)
In a sauce pan, melt the butter on medium heat. Bring it to a slight boil and remove any foam that forms on top. Stir or shake the pan on occasion until the butter has browned. Turn off the heat and season with a little salt and pepper. Let the butter cool slightly before adding the garlic or it will cook and burn.
Spoon the sauce over the gnocchi or pasta.
(You can omit with garlic to make a regular browned butter sauce)