Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gnocchi, family style

Family Style Gnocchi, the way it should be

Remember when I kept going on about Pan Bagna? You know, the French sandwich bathed in olive oil. From Provence. Remember? Well, I had some leftover vegetables: sliced tomatoes, red bell peppers, plus some kalamata olives, and some parsley. They got a little tired in the refrigerator over night. So I decided to make them into a sauce.
You don't need a recipe. Trust me. I heated up some olive oil and sautéed some pancetta (because that's what I do, you can skip it, or substitute chopped up bacon, or skip that as well) and some garlic. Then I through in the sliced vegetables listed above. I let that simmer over low heat, covered for about 3 hours (but you can make this in one half hour if you like.) The vegetables broke down and became a sauce. To sweeten it up a bit, I added about 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and let it simmer for about half an hour more (or 5 minutes will do.)
Then, I made the gnocchi with the help of Noah and Isaac. Pictured below.

Isaac, patiently waiting
Noah, in awe


Serves 6, or so I thought. Let's say: serves 4

1 ½ # baking potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)

¾ t. salt

2 large eggs, beaten

1 ½ c. flour, plus more for dusting     
Bake the potatoes until knife tender. I bake them at 375 degrees on a sheet pan with a layer of kosher salt under the potatoes. Turn them after about 30 minutes and check the tenderness.
Cut each cooled potato in half and press through a ricer. The ricer will do the peeling for you. Nice!
Spread out the potatoes on a cutting board and let dry for 2 -3 hours
To make the dough: mound the potatoes making a well in the middle.
Surround the potato mound with flour.
Add the eggs and salt into the well.
Begin by whisking with a fork the eggs gradually incorporating potatoes and the flour.
Once the mixture is dry enough, continue combining the ingredients with your hands.
Knead, incorporating more flour if needed. But too much flour will make the dough heavy and dry.
Divide the dough into four pieces. Roll each piece into a foot long, 3/4 inch wide log.
Cut each log into one inch pieces.
Roll each one inch piece over a fork to make little indentations.
Cook in simmering water until they float.
Remove cooked gnocchi to a bowl and toss with olive oil. Eat as is or sauté until lightly browned.
Gnocchi making at Kristos Olive Oil, May 2013
Photos by Nick Foster



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