Monday, November 16, 2009

Homemade Basil Gnocchi

You asked for it, you got it! I received a request via Twitter for gnocchi, so now I'm going to teach you how to make it. I got so carried away with this recipe that I forgot to take photos until the very end. I promise I'll make gnocchi again with more pictures, but this might actually make it easier to learn. Gnocchi isn't hard, it's just involved, so follow these steps and you'll be making this unique pasta in no time.
What is Gnocchi? [NYOH-kee] is Italian for "dumplings". Gnocchi can be made from potatoes, flour or farina. Eggs or cheese can be added to the dough, and finely chopped spinach is also a popular addition. Gnocchi are generally shaped into little balls, cooked in boiling water and served with butter and parmesan or a savory sauce.

1-1/2 C. Instant Mashed Potatoes*
1 C. Basil
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 C. Parmesan, grated
1 C. Flour
Kosher Salt

*You can use fresh mashed potatoes for better flavor, but you have to remove all the skin first and make sure that you thoroughly whip ALL of the lumps out. For brevity's sake I'm using instant potatoes for this blog.

Mix the potatoes with 1 cup of hot water and set aside for about 3 minutes so the potatoes can absorb all the water. In a processor or blender, puree the basil with 1/4 cup of cold water. Stir the basil, cheese, egg, and 1 Tbsp. salt into the pots.

Place 3/4 cup of flour in a mound on your work surface and place your potato mixture in the middle of the mound. Knead all the ingredients together, slowly adding the last 1/4 cup of flour. If needed, you can add more flour to your liking. It should be similar to the consistency of pizza dough.

Cut the dough into manageable portions and roll it out like you're making a snake with "Play-Dough" (I know, weird analogy). Roll the dough across your work surface until it is long and cylindrical, about 1/2" thick. Then cut into 1" segments and lightly toss in flour to prevent them from sticking to one another and place back in the fridge until you're ready to eat.

To cook, simply boil in water for about 1 minute and toss in sauce.

No comments: