Aug 31, 2009

Sweating for the soul: Potato Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

Its summer, the sky is blue, no cloud in sight.

The kids will go swimming and my hubby is home.
It’s bloody hot in the kitchen and I have the glorious idea to cook.
Not a nice little salad or a refreshing cold soup.
I tell my boys and mother-in-law that I will make them Gnocchi.
The way I always do them. No not the easy ones with quark (curd cheese), I will make the ones with potato.
Heating up the kitchen with a big pot full of boiling potato, starting to make the Tomato sauce I already start to regret it. 
Peeling the hot little sprouts I start to curse and pray. 
While getting into a fight with the potato ricer I am ready to surrender.
But as soon as the first Gnocchi is in the water I smile. 

It will take at least an hour to clean everything and I am no longer in the mood to eat something as hearty as this little Italian dumplings.

I am still smiling as I clean the dishes and put the last Gnocchi away.


1 1/2 kg whole potatoes (the kind you would use for mashed potatoes)
3 eggs 
350 – 400g flour plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons salt
Nutmeg to taste
Your favourite pasta sauce (for example, this basic, delicious roasted tomato sauce)

Place the potatoes in a pan of cold water, bring to a boil, add a bit of coarse salt, and boil until a knife can be inserted easily through their center.
Drain and peel the potatoes while still hot and mash the peeled potatoes into a medium mixing bowl, using a potato masher or ricer. 
Let them now sit for 3 to 5 minutes. There will lose a little moister and the Potato will get a little colder so you can better work with them.
Don’t let them get to cold. Now you should put a lot of water onto the stove, like Spätzle and all the other pasta, Gnocchi need a lot of salted water to cook in.
Now you have to stir in the salt and flour. Add the eggs one at the time. Now its time to turn the dough out on a floured work surface.
Knead it quickly until smooth. Be fast and don’t overwork the dough.
Don’t use too much flour or the gnocchi will be tuff and heavy.
Divide the dough in six to pieces.
Take one peace and roll it with the palms of your hands into long sausages, about 2 cm in diameter. Now with a knife/ palette knife you cut down peaces with a width of 2 – 21/2 cm.

Now if you like it fancy you can shape them with a fork or a whisk giving them the special look. 

To cook just drop them into the pan of simmering salted water, working in batches so they're not crowded. 

When the gnocchi rise to the surface, they're cooked.

Fish them out of the water with a slotted spoon and reserve in a colander while you cook the remaining batches.

Now you have some choices. 

I just reheated them in a little tomato sauce and served them. You can do that or sauté the gnocchi in a little butter and sage. Pile them into an oven proved dish and top them with cheese, fry them and make a salad.

Have a great time. And don’t let it get to hot in the kitchen.


Ramya Kiran said...

Delicious! Lovely fillings to go with the flaky pastry. Good job!

KMDuff said...

I love all your fillings, they are delicious looking. Congrats on challenging yourself with this challenge. :)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Shame you don't like puff pastry! But everything came out great!