Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Homemade gnocchi experiment

What do you do when you get 5 pounds of potatoes and you want something bready, but you have no yeast and you want something pasta but your roller's clamp broke?

Tada! Make gnocchi!

Couldn't be easier to make this stuff. I paired a black truffle oil gnocchi with my love of fat free half and half and came out with a dinner that was delicious, not too fattening, and quite pretty! In future ventures in this recipe, I'd probably add a spicy sausage and omit the truffle oil (as I think when you cook it, you lose a lot of the flavor). Cooking for a vegetarian, though, this recipe worked great.

Serves 5 or 6, unless you have a gnocchi stealing boyfriend like I do
  • 6 Russet potatoes
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp black truffle oil (optional)
I oven baked, skin on, the potatoes at 400 degrees in my baby oven (seriously, it's one small step up from an easy bake). While the potatoes were still hot, I removed the skin and smashed in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until very smooth.

Add in the beaten egg and incorporate with wooden spoon until your potatoes look slightly shiny and the egg is all mixed in.

Salt and pepper to your taste. This is also when I added truffle oil.

Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing with the spoon until just incorporated into the dough. Add until dough is not sticky, but not too much that it becomes crumbly. Do not overwork the dough! It will become sticky and icky and your beautiful pillowlike gnocchi will have the texture of melted asphalt.

Take 1/4 of the dough at a time and, on a lightly floured surface, roll into a long rope, less than an inch in diameter. Cut the dough every inch or so, and smush with the back of a fork. Then roll it up and you have gnocchi! Make sure not to ruin the ridges! They help your gnocchi hold sauce.

Put gnocchi in a pot of boiling water until they rise to the top; about 2 minutes.

I stuck mine in the broiler for a couple of minutes to give them a little bit more texture to stand up to my cream sauce.

Speaking of WHICH:

Thyme-Parmesan cream sauce with wilted spinach
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 pint fat free half and half
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh spinach
  • 1 Teaspoon dried thyme (I was afraid to steal from my sad thyme plant)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Corn starch
Saute garlic in a bit of olive oil until golden. Add in pint of fat free half and half and reduce heat. Add thyme and salt/pepper to taste. Mix about 1 Tbsp corn starch with 1 Tbsp water in a cup, and whisk into sauce. This will eliminate the chunks I had. Add Parmesan cheese and spinach.  

Enjoy! But don't expect leftovers!

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