recipe-ish: potato gnocchi
I was inspired to make gnocchi from an episode of Tyler's Ultimate on The Cooking Channel. He made it look super easy, so I had to try it and my copy of Complete Italian Cooking had a recipe. Lucky me.
We start with the essentials of gnocchi: one egg yolk, 12 ounces of potatoes, 3/4 cup of flour, and nutmeg. Alongside are 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter, white pepper, kosher salt, and my faithful kitchen staple parmesiano-reggiano.
Peel, cut and boil the potatoes until tender and mashable. Drain them, return them to the warm pot and add the egg yolk, most of the flour and a pinch of nutmeg. You might have to do this a little at a time as I did, because it's a lot of arm work to mash these with a wood spoon. When finished, you should have a stiff wad of dough.
Remove from pot and onto a clean, floured surface for kneading. You can do so by hand or with a rolling pin. Then, things get tricky.
Roll an inch or so piece of dough with your fingers into a ball...
... then flatten with a fork...
... then roll the piece back towards the tip of the fork so that you have a rounded noodle with deep lines across.
Repeat until you've used all the dough. It's like making pudgy rotini.
Boil the gnocchi a few at a time in a large pot. I know the old saying goes, "A watched pot never boils," but you'll want to watch these because they don't take long. Plus, the gnocchi kinda dance in the water until they float to the top. When the ridged side bounces to the surface, you know they're done.
Keep the hot gnocchi in a buttered dish until they're all finished. Pour the melted butter over the gnocchi. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Grate the parm over top.
The recipe says to serve with a side of tomato sauce that is either hot or cold. I used cold sauce and it was a great contrast in temperatures with the warm gnocchi.
It's a shame this book seems to be out of print, because there are a host of mouth-watering recipes in here. You can find a few copies secondhand through Amazon and elsewhere.