Thursday, 23 February 2012

Make homemade gnocchi

The other day we made our own potato gnocchi for the first time, and it turned out really well! We had some beef stew in the freezer and rather than serve it old skool with mash or dumplings (not that I don't have a lot of love for both these ways), we also like to use it as a sauce for pasta or gnocchi. This is really delicious, makes a nice change and can really help to stretch your stew.

Gnocchi with beef stew.
Usually we would buy fresh or vacuum packed gnocchi from the supermarket but we had some elderly potatoes in the cupboard and thought we might try making our own. This turned out to be thrifty, easy and YUM. We followed the recipe from Elizabeth David's Italian Food, which I give below if you want to try it out.

Elizabeth David's Gnocchi di Patate

2lbs potatoes, cooked
2 Eggs
1/2lb Flour
1oz Butter

Puree the potatoes, as dry as possible. Mix in the butter and eggs. Season with salt and pepper and knead to a dough. 

Roll it in to sausage-like rolls of the thickness of the finger. Cut into pieces about ¾ inch. long, and make a dent in each one with a fork or your finger.

Drop them one by one in to a large pan of gently boiled salted water and cook them for about 3 minutes: when they float to the top they are done. Take them out of the pan with a perforated spoon.

My top tips would be that we boiled our potatoes but I think you would get a drier puree if you baked them (as you would make jacket potatoes) and then scoop out the cooked flesh. Mr Cardigan, who made the dough, found he had to add a lot of extra flour to make a dough. Also, we halved that recipe and it easily served two adults and a baby. In fact, the baby seemed to really love them, which was another bonus.

This is a less daunting prospect, somehow, than making your own pasta, but still gives you that feeling that you are living the Tuscan earth mother dream with bambini running around your rambling farmhouse while you swarthy Italian husband gathers olives to make oil... Or whatever.

I hope you enjoy trying this recipe out.

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Amy Xxx