Thursday, August 5, 2010

making gnocchi (a fairly colourless post)

I made gnocchi today. I figured it was time to have potatoes as we haven't all week, but fancied something different! The Silver Spoon had a recipe, it's basically a kilo of spuds, a fifth of that in flour, a pinch of salt and an egg, quite simple! I steamed the peeled potatoes (Queens), mashed them and mixed them with the flour, salt and egg (make sure the mix isn't too hot when the egg goes in!). This mix is kneaded until you have a flexible dough.

I divided it up in two batches, as 600+g seemed quite enough for the three of us! One half I put aside, for Kartoffelklösse tomorrow.

The other half I divided up again, and rolled into thin sausages.

Those I cut up with a pairing knife, into little pillows.

The pillows were rolled into little balls

 ...lots of them! You can see how I started to flatten them a little with the fork (I think too much, I was looking up some other recipes and you're supposed to hold the ball in your hand while pushing on it with the fork, but I left them on the plate! The Silver Spoon says to push them against the underside of a grater.). The other half of the dough I made into 7 Klösse (or Knödel) which I wrapped in cling film.

Emm was fascinated with the process, she probably thought it was playdough! I gave her a little piece to play with, but she immediately tried to eat it, and with the raw egg I reckoned that wouldn't be a good idea!

I didn't get to take pictures of cooking them, as I was too busy cooking them! You put them in small batches (I did seven or eight at a time) into salted boiling water, and when they start to float to the top you take them out with a slotted spoon.

I made a spinach and philadelphia sauce, improvised, to go with it, with some of the perpetual spinach from the garden. (I fried some garlic and chili in a bit of olive oil and butter, and removed them as soon as the garlic started to get golden. I added the washed and chopped spinach and put the lid on, for about 5 minutes. Then I added cream cheese and tomato cubes and seasoned with nutmeg, salt and pepper.)

I know, it doesn't look too appetizing in the photo, but trust me, it was delicious! They were light, soft and kept their shape and didn't disintegrate or dissolve! All in all a quite colourless dish, it could have done without the philly, but I tend to not think much before I throw something together! I might serve the gnocchi with a tomato sauce the next time, or with sage butter and a mixed salad!

By the way, Gnocchi is pronounced something like [n'yog-kee] rather than [g'nok-chee] or [g'no-chee[ as you might often hear, to the confusion or despair of Italian waiters wordwide, depending on the level of their experience!

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