Sunday, January 8, 2012

Regarding Gnocchi

I just want to say three things:
1. When made correctly, gnocchi are awesome
2. When made poorly, gnocchi are ghastly
3. Gnocchi are generally not photogenic

So, I am going to share with you my favorite gnocchi recipe and provide a stock photo, because it's much better than the photos we took. The recipe is adapted from Daniel Boulud and Alex Lee. It's
delicious, easy, and good with just about any sauce.
Most recently, I used this recipe to make plain gnocchi, and then after boiling, I transferred them to a baking dish with cubes of roasted caramelized butternut squash, shallots, parsnips and carrots, and about 1 cup of left-over cooked farro berries. I drizzled cream mixed with a bit of dijon mustard over, and then topped with some grated
Gruyere. After baking until browned and bubbly, it was a delicious meal, perfect for the darkest days of winter. Lots of textures and flavors, lots of veggies, and lots of comfort.

yield: 4 servings

1 1-pound russet potato

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    Preheat oven to 450°F. Pierce potato in several places with fork. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let stand until just cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Peel potato. Press potato through ricer or food mill or mash in large bowl. Add flour, egg, lemon peel, and salt, and stir just until blended. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface; divide into 4 pieces. Roll 1 dough piece between hands and surface to 15-inch-long rope. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Place gnocchi on lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

    Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add gnocchi and cook until rising to surface, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking 1 minute longer. Drain.

    ***To yield tender gnocchi, you must resist the urge to knead the dough; it will be a little tacky, just use a well-floured surface to roll the dough out and keep it from sticking. If you overwork the dough, you will develop too much gluten and the gnocchi will be tough.

***You can find the original recipe on Epicurious with an accompanying sauce of chicken livers, pancetta, and porcini mushrooms

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