Handmade Italian Gnocchis For Starters

I’ve watched a couple of Italian cookshows and seen many times how those famous chefs could easily manipulate a chunk of dough to work them into small pieces of gnocchi with their very agile fingers. They cut out the gnocchi at an amazing speed and then, with their really skillful thumb and a fork, pressed and rolled the gnocchis down the fork to form a U-shaped pasta with striped patterns. And they don’t seem to have to put their mind to doing it right at all because they are so used to making them. And that was what made me want to try making gnocchis from scratch because it looked so easy and doable.

So when I finally got down and dirty with my hands on the dough, I realised that it was all a bunch of lies. It wasn’t easy at all. The dough wasn’t as easy to knead as it looked on television; the rolling down of the individual pieces to get them correctly shaped wasn’t as simple as it promised to be. So what I eventually ended up with was a tray full of gnocchis (yes, edible ones), they looked small and rectangular (okay, not bad), but they still looked kind of awkward, almost as if they were ashamed of themselves for looking so unauthentically gnocchi-like.

So they don’t look fanciful at all now, but hey, I’m still going to cook them and eat them. I’m going to make a nice recipe out of them in my next post – keep a lookout for it!

Ingredients:

  • Plain flour: 3 cups
  • Mashed potato: 2 cups (cold)
  • Egg: 1
  • Salt: 3/4 tsp

Method:

  1. Combine flour with mashed potatoes, egg and salt. Knead to form a dough and add more flour if required.
  2. Cut into workable sizes. Roll each portion out till 3/4″ in diameter. Then cut into small 3/4″ pieces.
  3. Roll each gnocchi down the tines of the fork or cheese grater to create the ridges. Repeat for the rest of the dough.
  4. To store, place each gnocchi separately from each other on a tray and freeze them first. Once frozen, you can keep all the gnocchis together in a sealed bag for storage. This would prevent them from sticking together.

Tricks:

  • The ridges created by the fork would allow the gnocchi to better hold the sauces and herbs when they are cooked together with other ingredients.
  • Dip the fork or cheese grater in flour so that the gnocchis do not stick to them when pressed against them.

Serving:
2 persons

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