Gnocchi Recipe Needed
I've never tried to make gnocchi, and i'd like to. i'm fairly adept at doughs....pasta, bread, pie, dumpling wrapper, cookie. but the recipes for gnocchi seem so cautionary, and one recipe contradicts another (boil the potatoes/oh my god, boiled potatoes are the death knell of gnocchi; eggs/just yolk/no egg. anyone care to give me a recipe with tips and hints? I am willing to try potato or ricotta gnocchi. Ideally I'd like to sauce it with a tomato sauce. But not opposed to brown butter/sage or pesto.
I use Marcella Hazan's, with good success - light, without dissolving in the water.
1.5 pounds boiling potatoes
1 cup all purpose flour
Boil potatoes in their skins, try not to poke them too much. Peel while still hot, puree through a food mill or or ricer (I use a metal strainer and a dowel), mix with the flour until you make a dough that is smooth but slightly sticky (don't add all the flour at once, as different potatoes require different amounts).
Adding egg makes the dough easier to handle, but tougher. You want the potatoes fairly dry (hence the boiling in the skins, and not poking too much) and I think mixing in the flour while still hot makes a difference in the final texture.
Mixing in the flour by feel is important, though, and may be what takes more than one try - too much flour and they are tough, too little, and they dissolve in the water. I find it helped the first time keep a pot of simmering water on hand. Then I could stop slightly before I had finished adding flour, and make one and test it to see how it cooked up.
Then there's the Parisienne gnocchi made with pate a choux. I've seen Jacques Pepin and Joanne Weir make them. Here's a link to the one Weir made. They're very light. My problem was keeping them from getting soggy in the boiling water. Never tried again, but maybe I will give it another shot based on this inspiring post!
Just thought I'd provide the link FYI since others are talking about variations on the Italian version.
I took a cooking course in Italy and we learned gnocchi, the best tips I took away from that are, always bake your potatoes whole, on a bed of rock salt. Do not peel, steam or boil. Peel once cooked through (yes this will be hot), use a food mill or rice for tender texture. Wait for potato to cool before working in the rest of your ingredients.
here is the ratio we used:
1 kg of old white flesh potatoes
200 g of flour (approximately)
1 Medium size egg
I could never make a light potato gnocchi. Last month I threw together some ricoota gnocchi because I had some leftover ricotta. My recipe was 2 parts ricotta to one part grated parmigino plus an egg for each cup of ricotta. Whirred that in the FP with salt and pepper and then transferred to bowl, adding half the amount of flour as parmigiano, mixing softly by hand and then adding tablespoons of flour until I could form the dough into ropes. Cut into small sections, rolled on a fork and then quickly boiled until they floated to the surface. Great with a light tomato or other sauce. Now I make them regularly.
Here is my recipe for Malfatti a/k/a Ricotta Gnocchi:
1 cup shopped cooked spinach, drained (1 10 oz. frozen)
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (full fat is best, but can use low fat)
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs, unseasoned
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/4 cup minced green onion - green part only
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 clove garlic, crushed
Drain spinach as dry as possible by squeezing, and then place on paper towel. Combine spinach, ricotta, bread crumbs, eggs, Parmesan cheese, green onion, salt, basil, nutmeg, and garlic. Form by rounded tablespoonfulls into 3 inch fingers. Roll lightly in all purpose flour and place in a single layer on baking sheet that is lined with wax or parchment paper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill for several hours.
Bring about 2 inches of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a wide mouth pot. Reduce heat to simmer and add half of the malfatti. Simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Malfatti will sink when placed in water, but will rise to top when cooked. Remove gently with a large slotted spoon and put on a heated serving platter. Keep warm while poaching the remainder of the malfatti. Cover with spaghetti sauce and additional grated cheese. Serve additional sauce on the side.
I think the egg is a mistake. If you want light little delicate pillows all you need is potato and flour.
1 russet potato
1/2 cup flour plus extra for rolling
Peel and chunk potato. Boil 20 minutes. Drain and put through food mill or ricer. Cool potato a little and add flour 1/4 cup at a time mixing together. Do not over mix the dough. Roll into half and inch rope cut rope into inch pieces and roll each piece over the back of the tines of a fork to create ridges for the sauce. Boil water, add gnocchi with a slotted spoon. They are done when they rise to the top.
Drain and serve with desired sauce.
Although this recipe doesn't recommend it, if you don't use an artisan ricotta (which isn't easy to find or cheap), I recommend putting the ricotta in a cheese cloth or coffee filter lined colander to "weep" out excess whey for 4-6 hours in the fridge. It allows you to use less flour, and get a better flavor.
After you make it once, and feel confident to drop $15 on cheese, try to find an artisan ricotta if you are in an area that has such cheese, it makes a difference
Gnocchi in our family strives for lightness, delicacy and flavor, not blandness. Use Mario as a starting point and make at least a batch or two to get the feel of the process and to build up you taste / texture memory of your starting point. Then work on refining your ingredients and start incorporating the flour by feel of the dough rather than by measure. When you an turn out a soft, silken, pliable dough, you are onthe path to delicate clouds that dissolve rather than require teeth to chew.
So what techniques work in our kitchen based on Noni's recipe? We use about 50/50 sweet potatoe with Russet or Yukon Golds. The older and drier the potatoes the better. You can bake or boil the potatoes; keep skins intact and avoid at all costs getting the flesh waterlogged......more water requires more flour which kills the path to lightness. Peel the potatoes while still burning hot (use a towel or BBQ gloves) and use a very fine ricer immediately.....this recipe completely justifies owning a good potatoe ricer. Lightly Spread the potatoes out on a cookie sheet to cool at room temperature (and dry out by releasing steam) for maybe 10 minutes.
While lukewarm mix in a couple beaten egg yolks both for richness and as a binder. We add in fine fresh ground pepper as well as fresh grated pecorino and parmesean that has been grated until it is a light powder texture (no lumps or chunks) and some very very finely diced parsley or basil or spinach or you can substitute a couple dollups of fresh pesto if not too wet.
Lightly and gently incorporate those ingredients and start to add in flour......as little as possible to come together as a dough and when it is silken it will roll out into 'ropes' that will allow you to cut then form the gnocchi. This silken stage is a very brief window of time as the dough returns to being sticky pretty quickly so you have to battle that tendency by keeping utensils and unformed dough lightly dusted in flour (and covered with a cotton towel.
Keep the formed gnocchi separate from each other on floured cookie sheets. Freeze each tray lightly while you finish using all your dough. Cook them uncrowded in batches in a simmering stock or water. Dry them coming out of the simmer in clean cotton tea towels quickly and roll them out into a heated casserole lined with a delicate tomatoe cream sauce so the actual flavor of the gnocchi comes through.
The learning curve is really not that long to go from Mario's commodity version to something so light, delicate, flavorful and sublime that it belies its earthy roots.
Here is one from Mario Batali's old TV show:
2 lbs. russet potatoes
1 1/3 cups flour
1 large egg
1 large pinch salt
Boil the potatoes whole until done. Peel and rice them onto a clean board or counter, making a well in the center. Sprinkle the flour all over the potatoes. Put the egg and salt in the well. Beat the egg with a fork, then start drawing in the flour and potatoes. Mix into a soft dough and knead for about 4 minutes until smooth; add flour if needed.
Roll into 3/4-inch wide ropes. Cut off small pieces.
Cook in salted boiling water until they float, 2-3 minutes. Drain. You can chill them down in ice water for later use, or put them in your sauce right away and eat.
Here are ATK's proportions:
16 oz. of riced potatoes (from 2 lbs. baked)
4 oz. flour
1 large egg
1 t. salt
Yes, good gnocchi is both somewhat light and toothsome.
Hope this helps. Like bread or pasta, you have to learn how the dough should feel and adjust the flour accordingly.
Here's Anne Burrel - which is likely very similar - sense she worked for him. I was looking for a video from her show and couldn't find one - I've seen it a number of times - the key is the less flour the better as the others have said. It's more of a proces and a feel. I don't think you get this one right the first time.
On another note - Did anyone see Emma Hearst make Gnocchi on Iron chef (against Mike Symon) she can do it perfectly 5 minutes - impressive