|Gnocchi with a chorizo tomato sauce...|
I was a bit unsure what the texture the "dough" should be like but since it needed rolling into a sausage shape before cutting, I guessed it shouldn't be too soft. I needed more flour than the original recipe stated but apart from that it was straightforward. The great thing is that you can freeze gnocchi - simply put on a lined baking sheet in the freezer overnight and pop into a freezer container/bag the following morning. When ready to use, there is no need to defrost - just put into boiling water and when they rise to the surface, they are done. Self-timing dumplings - perfect :-) We had one batch "fresh" with another in the freezer and I will definitely be making these again. The recipe is below as well as a link to a video that shows the method and a little trick I picked up from "Masterchef".
Italian Gnocchi (serves 4)
1kg potatoes in their skin (use a floury potato or baking potatoes)
1 large egg
300g plain flour (added in stages, according to how sticky the dough is)
salt to taste
polenta or maize flour for dusting
To serve: a creamy or tomato pasta sauce, some grated cheese for sprinkling on top
Have a look at this YouTube video I found which explans the method rather well.
Bring some water to the boil in a large saucepan, add the unpeeled whole potatoes and boil until cooked through - 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of your potatoes (the skin keeps the potatoes from absorbing any water).
Drain the potatoes and peel the skin off while they're still hot - use a tea towel or fork to help hold them.
Mash the potatoes straight away while hot, then season with salt. Try to make your potatoes as smooth as possible.
Add 1 egg and some plain flour to the mash - keep adding the flour and mix to form a malleable dough. Taste the dough and add more salt if necessary. .
Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil.
Dust your work surface with flour and roll your dough ball into a long sausage shape (you might need to do several smaller ones) - the thinner/smaller the better. Take a knife and cut the dough into small pieces of approx. 1cm.
Dust a couple of large baking trays with polenta/maize flour and place your finished gnocchi onto them (using polenta/maize stops them from sticking together - they'd just "absorb" flour if you used it instead). At this stage you can put them in the freezer overnight or continue to cook now.
Place in batches in the boiling water and cook for 1 - 2 minutes...the gnocchi will rise to the surface when done (very handy :-)). Remove with a slotted spoon.
Tip from "Masterchef": to stop the gnocchi from cooking after you have removed them from the boiling water, simply drop into a bowl of iced water to "shock" them.
Add the cooked gnocchi to a pasta sauce (tomato, cream - whatever you fancy) and coat liberally whilst heating through.
OPTIONAL: To make colourful gnocchi, simply add 2tsp tomato puree (if you want to make some red ones) or 50g of finely chopped cooked spinach or rocket salad (for green ones). Simply split the dough into 3 bowls, add the tomato purée to one of the potato mixtures and the finely chopped rocket into another batch of dough and knead through till it's evenly distributed. Leave the final batch plain. Proceed as above with the shaping, cooking or freezing.
(recipe adapted from Channel 4's Simply Italian)