Easy Home-made Gnocchi
My experience with Gnocchi has always been a positive one, I never really used to make it as I always was under the assumption that it was incredibly difficult and I would have spent all day prepping the potatoes and worrying that I was doing it wrong until I realised you pretty much cannot do it wrong!! It really is one of the most simplest of the pasta families and I have had many a guest compliment me on those beautiful fluffy parcels of delight and wonder at how I managed to make them, well people here is my (not so secret) recipe!
Get your potatoes and give them a quick scrub removing any mud or dirt on the outside, get a pot of water boiling and place the potatoes in the water skin on. The reason we boil them skin on is so the potatoes don’t absorb any moisture and then in turn they keep their starchy potato flavour.
I have tried a few methods here, one was to bake the spuds in the oven, this works but I find that the potatoes actually dry out a bit too much. Once your potatoes are soft, take them out of the water and peel the skin off, they should be ready after about 30-40 minutes of boiling. The skin holds a lot of nutrients so I feel like it’s a waste to throw them away so I usually sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper on them and snack while I continue cooking…. I don’t like to waste anything!!
Place your potatoes into a potato ricer and rice them into a bowl, I have made gnocchi before I had a ricer and it works quite well but you just need to get every little lump so if you have no ricer then mash thoroughly. Once your potatoes are no longer solid clear a surface on your bench and lay your flour in a well shape, now you are ready to make your gnocchi. Crack your egg into the well and place your potato in the cracked egg, sprinkle the salt over the top. With your fingertips mix the potato, flour and egg together until dough starts to form. This will take a little while but make sure you don’t overwork the dough as this will make the gnocchi’s too dense and having light fluffy gnocchi is really what life’s about.
Once you have your dough cut it into quarters and roll each quarter into a long thin sausage like shape, or really into any shape that you want your gnocchi to be, I prefer little parcels about the size of your thumbnail but it’s really up to you. When your desired shape is made place the on a tray and pop them into the fridge for about 1 hour before they are ready to cook. I find that cooling them before boiling them really helps them keep their shape and you end up with uniform shaped Gnocchi. Boil them in salted water until they all float to the top. See Pumpkin cream recipe for a delicious tasty and healthy sauce.