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gnocchi

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dimsumgirl Feb 8, 2008 07:59 PM

I have had gnocchi many times before. Always thougt okay what is the big deal? and then last night I had the real deal: a light and heavenly gnocchi! What is the secret to this mysterious item? I had alwasys thought of this as a pasta version of a dense meatball. For the first time last night I had a light and delicate gnocchi. Does anyone have any hints? I am inspired to ry to make this.

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  1. l
    Lisbet RE: dimsumgirl Feb 9, 2008 06:09 AM

    Here is Lidia Bastianich's recipe:

    http://wondertime.go.com/life-at-home...

    Have never had the courage to try and make them, but have watched her make gnocchi on her cooking show. Most all that I have read and seen about making gnocchi advises using a "light hand" in the mixing process. Potatoes need to be thoroughly dry! Think baked baking potatoes should be ideal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lisbet
      JoanN RE: Lisbet Feb 9, 2008 07:04 AM

      I'm just comparing the Bastianich recipe to Batali's, and hers has nearly double the flour and eggs of his recipe. It's my understanding that, in addition to a light hand, the lesser the amount of flour, the more tender the gnocchi. I also recall reading, although I've never tried it, that the lightest gnocchi are made without any egg at all, but that the dough is very difficult to work with and requires a great deal of practice.

    2. LNG212 RE: dimsumgirl Feb 9, 2008 06:14 AM

      I've had mixed success making gnocchi. Sometimes it works and they are lovely little pillows; sometimes it doesn't and they are just leaden. I've used potatoes and I've used roasted squash, which I actually prefer. Either way, the "light hand" is essential. You have to handle it as little as possible. I don't know if it has to do with gluten or what have you with the kneading; but whatever is the reason, over-handling and over-mixing is what results in the leaden little blobs.

      The other thing I've noticed ... one of my recipes calls for some Parmigiano Reggiano to be added to the mixture. Whenever I've used this recipe they come out heavier than when I just use potato/squash, flour, eggs, salt/pepper/nutmeg. So I'd say go with the Lidia recipe.

      1. m
        Mr_J RE: dimsumgirl Feb 9, 2008 07:16 AM

        Be sure to "test" the gnocchi by cutting off a little piece from the dough and cooking it. It will tell you a lot about what the dough needs without cooking the whole batch. If the dough starts to break apart while boiling, add some more flour. Also, try some cake flour in the recipe too.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Mr_J
          iL Divo RE: Mr_J Mar 25, 2010 09:26 AM

          Wonder about he addition of corn starch or corn flour. Like tge inclusion of it in shortbread cookies makes for a more tender cookie. Could it work if you added a little to the flour content in gnocchi?

          1. re: iL Divo
            Emme RE: iL Divo Mar 25, 2010 08:52 PM

            lots of gluten free recipes use cornstarch like these two:

            http://www.examiner.com/x-13910-SF-Gl...

            http://www.celiac.com/articles/605/1/...

            1. re: Emme
              iL Divo RE: Emme Mar 28, 2010 08:30 AM

              Hi Emme, I don't need gluten free anything but thanks for including for link for those who do. I guess I didn't word that correctly. If you put some corn starch in the mix when making shortbread cookies, the cookies are more tender, the way I like them. Just wondered if it'd do the same thing when doing gnocchi is all.

              1. re: Emme
                JEN10 RE: Emme Mar 29, 2010 02:19 PM

                I CAN NOT WAIT to try these Gnocchi. Since I have been gluten free I have a deep seeded need for gnocchi, this may be my answer. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

          2. b
            Bigley9 RE: dimsumgirl Mar 25, 2010 10:53 AM

            The meyer lemon gnocchi recipe from Food and Wine http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/me... always turns out wonderfully and I have begun using their proportions, but also the technique of ricing the potatoes onto a baking sheet when making any gnocchi. Also ricotta gnocchi are light as air!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bigley9
              iL Divo RE: Bigley9 Mar 25, 2010 06:51 PM

              Is there a ricotta recipe you could recommend?

              1. re: iL Divo
                Emme RE: iL Divo Mar 25, 2010 08:57 PM

                http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/pa...

                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            2. Perilagu Khan RE: dimsumgirl Mar 28, 2010 08:47 AM

              Coincidentally, I had gnocchi al pesto at a new restaurant in my town last night. The texture of the gnocchi was just fine, but the taste was a bit sweet for my palate. The chef must have used a rather sweet type of potato.

              As to the secret of making your own delightful gnocchi, I haven't a clue. I attempted to make them once, and once was more than enough! I'm afraid I'll just have to settle for store-bought and/or restaurant gnocchi.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Perilagu Khan
                iL Divo RE: Perilagu Khan Mar 28, 2010 09:18 AM

                I took a gnocchi class and the lady teacher showed me all the how to's of doing it. Even had the complete recipe printed out for me to take home. I now have a kitchen digital scale where I can measure it all correctly and I was very grateful for her efforts and ability. I will say they were light and wonderful. She was kind and sweet as could be also. Honestly a fun & very WEIRD experience.

                But...........................................................................................................................................................

                The thing that "weirded out" the whole experience for me [easily] was the appearance of her teaching area. Mold growing all around the sink, visible black mold, where I was to retrieve the water from, food bits all over the stove top, with splats of dried sauce or "blech". She served me the gnocchi finished product in a chipped bowl with her leftover tomato sauce [that she took out of the fridge in a plastic like margarine container] gawd only knows when that was made or the conditions of the kitchen that day when I wasn't there. Good news is I didn't get food poisoning and I did learn that day anyway, how to make it. Since that day though, I've not attempted it again, the memory is still too current.

              2. a
                amazinc RE: dimsumgirl Mar 28, 2010 10:03 AM

                The Cook's Illustrated ricotta gnocci is the best I've ever made. Always comes out light
                and tasty. I don't remember the issue, but someone else probably will. Just be sure to
                get the ricotta really creamy. That's the only foul-up I've ever had and have made this
                recipe too many times to count.

                7 Replies
                1. re: amazinc
                  iL Divo RE: amazinc Mar 28, 2010 08:33 PM

                  it's not published on the web right? cause other than tivo'ing that show, I don't have the paid version

                  1. re: iL Divo
                    v
                    Vera RE: iL Divo Mar 29, 2010 03:59 PM

                    The ricotta gnocchi mentioned on the Cooks Illustrated website said it's from the September 2007 issue. I'm missing a few from 2007 and that's one of them - darn.
                    If you have back issues or perhaps your library has it, you can look it up. Good luck.

                    1. re: Vera
                      iL Divo RE: Vera Mar 29, 2010 08:33 PM

                      yep, went online, can't find the recipe, maybe I'll just look for one using ricotta and go from there.............

                      1. re: iL Divo
                        h
                        hummingbird RE: iL Divo Mar 29, 2010 09:00 PM

                        Here's the ingrediant list:

                        Gnocchi
                        1 container whole-milk ricotta (15- or 16-ounce), see note above*
                        2 large slices white sandwich bread , crusts removed and bread torn into quarters
                        1 large egg
                        2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
                        2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
                        Table salt
                        1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
                        6 tablespoons all-purpose flour , plus additional for work surface
                        1 ounce Parmesan cheese , grated (about 1/2 cup)
                        Sauce
                        4 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 4 pieces
                        1 small shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
                        2 teaspoons minced fresh sage leaves
                        1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
                        1/8 teaspoon table salt

                        However, since I'm headed in for the night, I won't be able to add the directions. para phased I best I can tomorrow night at some point. This is the one from 2007, I think it was with a brown butter sage sauce.

                        It did mention to drain the ricotta in a lined sieve in the fridge for awhile, and also mentioned a particular brand, which I will also mention when I post the directions if needed for anyone.

                        1. re: hummingbird
                          iL Divo RE: hummingbird Mar 29, 2010 09:33 PM

                          You didn't have to do that for me/us but I'm sure glad you did. See, I thought it had potatoes in it too for some reason and here I see no potatoes. That honestly looks quite easy. Only thing I don't yet have is the basil as mine hasn't started peeking it's little heads up yet out of the dirt they're all planted in, I can wait though. All else I do have. Bought the ricotta yesterday in prep for this and also for a cookie recipe using ricotta.
                          Only do the rest if you have the chance, don't push it, it's ok. But if you do post the rest, thanks a ton.

                          1. re: iL Divo
                            h
                            hummingbird RE: iL Divo Mar 30, 2010 06:39 PM

                            I' ll post the ingredients again so it will be easier to cut and paste if it is all together. I'll try and shorten it up as best I can.

                            RICOTTA GNOCCHI WITH BROWN BUTTER SAGE SAUCE

                            Here's the ingrediant list:

                            Gnocchi
                            1 container whole-milk ricotta (15- or 16-ounce), see note above*
                            2 large slices white sandwich bread , crusts removed and bread torn into quarters
                            1 large egg
                            2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
                            2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
                            Table salt
                            1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
                            6 tablespoons all-purpose flour , plus additional for work surface
                            1 ounce Parmesan cheese , grated (about 1/2 cup)
                            Sauce
                            4 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 4 pieces
                            1 small shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
                            2 teaspoons minced fresh sage leaves
                            1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
                            1/8 teaspoon table salt

                            The ricotta used by CI was CALABRO due to no stabilizers
                            .1. strain the ricotta using either 3sheets of paper towel or 3coffee filters, cover and refrige for for at least 1 hour or overnight if using another brand.

                            2. adjust oven rack to middle of oven and heat to 300º.

                            3.Using food processor grind bread until finely ground, about 10 seconds. Spread crumbs on baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown, and about 1/2 cup of crubs. Cool to room temp.

                            4.Once ricotta is drained well useing a food processor pulse at 1 second intervals until it apears to be of a grainy texture. Combine ricotta, egg, basil,parsley 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper gently in a large bowl. Add flour, Parm and crumbs still again gently til well combined. The dough should be moist and a bit tacky, only a few crumbs should stick to your fingers, if it feels too wet, using 1 tablespoon of flour at a time stir in. Put in fridge for about 15 minutes. Once again check texture and if needed you may add a little more flour.

                            4. Prepare work surface by dusting with flour lightly, and with floured hands, take a lemon sized piece and roll into a 3/4 inch thick rope, make sure to then roll from the center out, when done with that cut rope into about 3/4 inch pieces and as you finish put onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Remember to dust the rolling area as needed, lightly.

                            5. Make your sauce now. You may use brown butter sage or also a tomato cream, porcini cream or pesto or one to your liking, all suggested by CI.

                            6. Cooking the gnocchi - bring 4qts water to boil, add in the tablespoon of salt. Then reduce it to a simmer, once it reaches the simmer start to add the gnocchi, as they float to the surface, simmer about 2 minutes the carefully take out with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce you have prepared and kept warm. Cover until you have added all the gnocchi. Make sure you have the serving platter or bowls/plates warm. Gently toss all the gnocchi in the sauce and serve.

                            I haven't done a spellcheck, and if something dosen't seem clear enough I'll come back and recheck what I've just typed.

                            After typing all this I don't know if I'll ever feel confident to make this recipe or any gnocchi. I have been to a class from at a restaurant that I used to go to, and twice I believe gnocchi was demonstarted both potato and pumpkin, but I still have never done it. Pasta I don't mind making, actually enjoy, but gnocchi scares me epecially since her's were always light puffs of heaven. One way she made them it was called Al la bava, with tons of cheese dripping off,pure ecstacy! I won't tell you what tht above means, as it will completely take away that vision. Of course those that do will laugh.

                            Maybe I'll come back and post lter and tell, just not in this post.

                            Well iL Divo, if was/is as a slow TV night so here it is. You are quite welcome. Enjoy and good luck with the recipe.

                            The Calabro cheese is from CT, and I guess it should be in alot of New England groceries, but not sure if I have ever seen it, just checked their website again, and they distrubute to a much larger area than New England.

                            http://www.calabrocheese.com/

                            1. re: hummingbird
                              iL Divo RE: hummingbird Mar 30, 2010 08:07 PM

                              gad you did a great job for all of us. how kind of you to do this. thank you so much. if I get time or the chance, I'll do it this weekend and if not it'll be next week for sure. been making bolognese all day today, it's finally finished and smells like heaven. so, may favorite sauce on little pillows is so intriging :)
                              about the Calabro, I should be able to find it at a good Italian deli no?
                              otherwise I have precious brand I bought from my market should be ok yes?

                2. Chocolatechipkt RE: dimsumgirl Mar 31, 2010 08:58 AM

                  I haven't tried this recipe yet -- just discovered it the other day -- but I plan to make it this weekend: potato gnocchi with tomato-porcini sauce
                  http://www.chow.com/recipes/28218

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