gnocchi (fresh or frozen)
This is a quick home-made pasta to make. Goes really well with pesto (https://crichtonscoop.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/pesto-on-my-mind/) or anchovy and onion tomato pasta sauce (https://crichtonscoop.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/fish-in-the-dish/). For a vego and vegan version of this sauce – remove the anchovy, but keep capers and add olives if you are a salty flavoured foods fan. Both these sauces are not complicated so are good to have with a home-made pasta. I have trialled the amount of flour to make sure (when cooking fresh) it is the perfect melt in your mouth gnocchi. Unfortunately a small amount of flour does not work well when cooking frozen gnocchi, so 2 flour quantities are given (fresh + frozen).
My mum came up with the name for this one. We went to see Ab Fab and the actress from Gimme, Gimme, Gimme made an appearance. I had been tossing up a few names for this post and this one was better than all of them.
Driest possible potatoes as this will mean that you don’t have to use as much flour and this will make a lighter pasta. I used Ruby Lou potatoes.
500g potatoes. Skins on.
60g plain flour (125 g if wanting to freeze the gnocchi) + extra for rolling out the dough
Fill a medium saucepan with water, lightly salt and add potatoes. Put on the heat and boil the potatoes on a slow simmer until tender. About 20 minutes.
Drain and peel.
If cooking fresh, fill a large saucepan with water and salt. Bring to a boil in preparation for cooking the gnocchi.
Pass potatoes through a fine sieve or potato ricer. After years of going through fine sieve after fine sieve we finally bought a potato ricer. It was worth it! You can do this into a bowl or directly over a clean working surface.
Sprinkle potato with small amounts of flour with one hand. Using the heel of the other, work it in. Work lightly and quickly. Stop once all flour is incorporated.
Now you are ready to roll and form into little pillows:
Flour your surface and pull off and roll the dough into 4 balls.
One by one, roll each dough ball into a long sausage – about 1.5-2cm thick. Move your hands along and spread your fingers out so that the thickness is consistent.
Add more flour to the bench as necessary.
Once all dough balls are transformed into long sausage shapes, you are ready to make the little pillows:
Flour a baking tray well.
Using a floured fork (I find a fork easier so I can mark the grooves at the same time), slice off a 1.5-2 cm length of the rolled dough.
To make the groove marks, press the base of the fork down lightly on the side closest to you and roll forward. I am no expert with these, but with practice you get better.
Add more flour to the fork as necessary.
As you finish the gnocchi, place on the floured tray. They can sit close together, as long as they are not touching.
From here, if cooking fresh, bring the water in the saucepan organised for the gnocchi down to a simmer.
Add the gnocchi to the saucepan from the tray.
They need about 3 minutes to cook – they will float to the top when ready. I do like to use as little flour as possible, the quantities here give a very delicate gnocchi, so watch them like a hawk. But it is totally worth it – they melt in your mouth! Rather than draining in a colander, I remove with a slotted spoon.
To serve, place into a bowl and top with desired sauce.
If freezing, place the tray in your freezer overnight. In the morning, place the gnocchi into snap lock bags. Put back in the freezer.
When you want to cook the gnocchi, fill a large saucepan with water and lightly salt. Bring to a boil. Get the gnocchi out the freezer, bring the water down to a simmer and pour the frozen gnocchi in.
Cook for about 5-10 minutes. They take longer than fresh gnocchi, but will still float to the top when ready. Rather than draining in a colander, I remove with a slotted spoon.