So, I take my responsibilities to the interwebs very seriously. When I posted late last week asking for requests for things to make, I was pleased–and a tad overwhelmed–with all the ideas that poured in. My goal is to make ’em all and answer all your questions. Well, except maybe for you, B: I only have so much free time. I am glad I threw this request out there, because I have been feeling a bit in a rut. Thanks, y’all.
HomeImprovementNinja suggested gnocchi, and I was actually relieved to see the request in my comments. It is something I have been contemplating for ages, but have always managed to put off. It seems like so much work for something I feared I would inevitably screw up. I don’t like failure, as we have established.
Prepping these was not nearly as daunting as I expected. The most annoying part was rolling out the tubes of dough; it takes around 45 minutes of repetitive behavior. It is definitely worth it for the final outcome, though. This yields some light, pillowy pasta that went great with a vodka cream sauce I threw together last minute. I am having the leftovers with pesto for lunch today. These would be great made with sweet potatoes and some kind of sage sauce; lots of possibilities lie in this very simple recipe.
This one is for the Ninja.
From Simply Recipes
2 lbs whole baking potatoes (3 large)
2 beaten egg yolks
1 1/2 cups flour
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spear the potatoes with fork tines in several places around each potato to vent moisture as the potatoes cook. Bake the potatoes in their skins until tender, about an hour. Let cool on a rack, cutting them open to help cool and let more moisture escape.
Scoop out the potatoes from their skins. Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer and into a large bowl. (I don’t have a ricer; I pressed them through a mesh strainer.) It is best to work with the potatoes when they are still warm. Add the flour, egg and a pinch of salt. Mix by hand until you have a nice pliable ball of dough. Do not overmix.
Prepare a work area and dust it with flour. Take the dough, a piece at a time, and roll it out gently with your hands until you have rolls about 3/4 inch in diameter. It is very important to keep a light touch while you are rolling the dough. Gently roll the dough with your fingertips while while exerting the lightest pressure outwards, not down, to draw the dough out. Cut the tubes of dough into pieces about one inch long. Using either the tines of a fork or your fingertip, press against a piece of the dough and roll it slightly to form an indentation (good for catching the sauce). As the gnocchi are made, place them on flat baking pan, lightly dusted with flour or lined with wax paper. At this point you can freeze the gnocchi ahead of time. Freeze them first on a floured or lined tray, then once frozen you can put them into a freezer bag for more easy storage.
To cook, just put the frozen gnocchi into the simmering water for the next step. Bring at least 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in a shallow saucepan. Gently drop the gnocchi, a few at a time, into the water. As soon as they rise to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon, draining well. Arrange on a warm serving dish. Continue cooking the gnocchi in the same manner.