I love gnocchi. I can't tell you the first time I tried it or when it became this obsession for me but I love it. And I got my hubby hooked on it too. Gnocchi is basically a mini Italian dumpling. There are many different types of gnocchi, some are made with spinach, potato, ricotta, just flour. As I understand it, it varies by region and probably by family.
I've been wanting to tackle making my own gnocchi since I saw it in Martha Stewart Living years ago but I was always afraid it was way too involved and time consuming. It does take a bit of extra effort but I am so glad I finally decided to do it. And what was the special occasion for putting in all of this extra effort? The hubby had been gone for the week doing artillery field training with his unit...in August...in Georgia...in the heat...without a tent...and some rain. Needless to say I felt he deserved the extra effort. Oh, the things we do when we are in love.
So this is a basic potato gnocchi that I decided to pair with a simple mushroom cream sauce. Don't get freaked out by the title. The sauce uses some shortcuts to make it easy since I made the gnocchi. I've also done gnocchi with a super simple browned butter sauce which was also super tasty. I think next time I'll try a good light tomato sauce with it.
Don't be scared, just stick with me, and try it. It's so worth it.
Basic Potato Gnocchi
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 pounds Russet potatoes (I used about 4 small and 2 medium potatoes)
1 Tbsp plus 2 1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Put potatoes in a large saucepan whole and cover with cold water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil and add 1 Tbsp salt. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes depending on how large they are.
Drain potatoes and allow to cool until they are cool enough to handle. Peel them (I used a paring knife to peel) and then run them through a ricer into a large bowl.
Courtesy of Wikipedia
Sprinkle with the flour and add the eggs. Sprinkle with the rest of the salt and the pepper.
Stir with a fork to combine well.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and gently knead until dough is soft and smooth. I had some chunks of potato in mine that I had to work out when kneading. Knead for about 3 minutes.
Divide dough into 8-10 pieces. I have a small stretch of counter so this worked best for me. If you have a large work space then divide the dough into 4-6 pieces.
Roll the dough out into a long rope about 3/4 inch thick. Cut ropes lengthwise into 1-inch pieces. I used a bench scraper to cut them. They may not have been perfectly even but it went pretty fast.
Once you have your gnocchi all cut up you could roll each piece against the tines of a fork with your thumb. I didn't do it. Time crunch and its not necessary. They still taste the same. Set aside on a floured baking sheet.
To cook, heat a pot of water to boiling. Working in batches, put the gnocchi n the water and cook until the gnocchi floats. Just a few minutes.
Sprinkle each batch with Parmesan cheese as you place it into a serving container.
Mushroom cream sauce
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 medium size red onion, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 of 10 oz. container Kraft Philly cooking creme Savory Garlic
Saute mushrooms and onion in the olive oil over medium heat.
Continue cooking until mushrooms are browned and onions are tender.
Once they are done lower heat to low and add the cooking creme. If needed add milk to thin it out some.
Pour over the hot cooked gnocchi and toss to combine.
Labels: meatless, pasta