For the veggie feast we made gnocchi as a main course.
I will use this chance to share all I have learned about gnocchi in our experiments over the last year. We came across a lot of problems and did not always get the best results (more than 10% success though, contrary to real science). We learned a lot in the process, and now we can start writing the protocol. After that I will tell you about the summery tomato sauce, and how gorgeous it came out.
Do’s and do not’s
- Under-cook the potatoes (obviously).
- Add more than 350gr flour per kilo potatoes (weight after cooking).
- Leave the prepared gnocchi mix in the fridge overnight! If you backed the potatoes today, and make the dough today.We tried to make the dough on one day, and prepare the gnocchi the day after, and we got a messy sticky horrible dough, which we saved by cooking in a pot until the dough regained (more or less) its texture. Not recommended.
- If you want a purple signal, use a lot of purple potatoes. We still needto find out the perfect ratio. The purple potatoes are pretty dry, I think they can make good gnocchi even if you use 100% purple ones, but it is expensive…
- Freezing prepared gnocchi works, but not perfectly. You need to put them straight from the fridge in salted boiling water and cook normally. When we did it, the surface of the gnocchi came out softer and messier than in the (perfect) fresh gnocchi. It was still descent, but really not as good as the fresh. Apparently this is one of those things…
We also learned to:
- Use medium-small sized potatoes.
- Use old and dry ones (we don’t know how to recognize those yet). The red ones work great.
- Work with the dough while it is still warm.
- Even if you used potatoes that have too much water do not despair! Try to use as little flour as u can, cook one or two in boiling water as see how they come out and decide how to continue.
- If you want to eat the gnocchi later that week, I recommend to cook all the gnocchi and heat then in the sauce.
- Prefer backed potatoes over cooked ones.
- Don’t forget to add salt if you baked the potatoes rather than cooked in salted water.
4-5-6 dishes (huge, large, normal, accordingly)
Mash the potatoes, preferably using this giant garlic masher thing- like in the following picture.Weigh your potatoes now. To 600-700 Add 150gr flour, To 900gr use about 230-250 gr. If the potatoes were watery, or you boiled rather than baked, or God knows what and you got a watery mash, you will need more flour. Try not to add more than 350gr per kilo potatoes, cause the gnocchi will come out ‘heavy’ and will taste more like spetzle than potato gnocchi. Add an egg yolk for 600-700gr potatoes, or a whole egg for 900gr. It is possible to make it without egg, so there is no need to be too exact with it in bigger potato weight. I feel better when I do put in an egg (in Aharoni’s book he says 2 eggs and Heim Cohen says one egg yolk per kilo, I adjusted from them). Add salt. Mix well and roll a portion of the dough on a well floured surface, to a long snake, the width you want your gnocchi.
Cut only 1-2 pieces 2-3cm long and cook in salted boiling water. Taste, and adjust flavor (i.e. add salt) if needed, and flour if you get something too ‘potetoey’ or too messy. When you get the flavor and texture to your satisfaction, prepare ALL the rest of the dough. The salty water are not enough to make the gnocchi taste good, probably because gnocchi is thick and doesn’t absorb enough of the salt (unlike pasta), so make sure they taste fine even without sauce. I keep the gnocchi on a large tray with plenty plenty of flour, covered with a towel, until I serve (which was always the same day, 1-5 hours after making them). Cook in salted boiling water until they float + one minute. Transfer to the (prepared) sauce, mix shortly (so that the gnocchi won’t become too mushy) and plate. serious YUMMY.
Potato gnocchi with olive oil, smoked duck breast, fennel and fried fresh herbs <Here>
Sweet potato gnocchi with leek, salami and butter<Here>
Purple gnocchi with butter, goat cheese and arogula <to be published>
Seasonal cherry tomato sauce: It is summer time, and the market is overflowing with sexy tomatoes. We had to to something to them.
- colorful (cherry) tomatoes cut lengthwise
- olive oil
- garlic clove
- salt and pepper
- fresh thyme
- fresh oregano
Fry the garlic clove in plenty of olive oil until golden, and take it out (the clove). Add the tomatoes and herbs and seasoning. Let the tomatoes soften a little, but not lose their shape- you want the heterogeneity to be noticeable. If you feel the sauce is too acidic I think a tad of sugar would calm it down. Add the cooked gnocchi, cover them with sauce and serve, covered in plenty of Parmesan. This sauce is supposed to be light and summery and most importantly take advantage of the varieties summer offers.