Today, besides completely barraging you with blog posts, I decided to make gnocchi.
What is gnocchi, you ask?
Gnocchi are any type of little dumpling, usually made with a potato and flour base, but you could also use bread crumbs or other delicious things. They are a traditional Italian dish and the word gnocchi is derived from the Italian word nocchio (meaning a knot in wood) or from nocca (meaning knuckle).
Before I take you through my gnocchi adventure, let me start you with these warnings:
1. You will make a huge mess of your kitchen.
2. Hear anyone say “my Nana is Italian and she makes gnocchi by hand all the time”? Guess what? Nana is built like a tank because mashing potatoes with no moisture added will definitely give your biceps a run for their money.
Here’s the long and short of gnocchi-making.
Put some potatoes in water. Whole potatoes. With the skins. Moisture is the anti-gnocchi. If you don’t learn this now, you will learn it when you try to clean sticky potato mash off your coffee maker, faucet, floor, and cat.
Bring those babies to a boil!
When they are done, take ’em out and let them cool so you can handle them. Heard of the game “Hot Potato?” Yeah, an appropriately named game. I made lunch and ate it and danced and they were still too hot.
Mash ’em. This is gonna be tough. If you are ambidextrous, you just saved yourself at least one pitiful cry for mercy. But, don’t forget… THERE IS NO ADDING WATER OR CREAM, WEAKLING! MASH LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER MASHED BEFORE!
Tell your co-chef he is a pussy for not mashing anything and then laugh yourself silly at the pun while you let the mash cool to room temperature.
Make the dough by adding stuff. Mostly flour, but also olive oil, egg yolk, and salt.
Now you take baseball sized hunks of dough and roll them out. Then cut the little dough snakes into squares. This is an incredibly flour-filled, sticky, messy process. So there are no photos.
Then, put your lil gnocchis on a bake sheet. You can imprint them with a fork or not (I did a few of both). Or, if you are a real asshole you have a gnocchi roller that imprints them for you, all professional-like. If you have one of those, I probably don’t think you are an asshole, actually. But really, you bought a gnocchi roller?
I decided to freeze most of mine, since I wasn’t hungry anymore because I had to eat lunch in the middle of the gnocchi-venture because it took so long. Plus, there were like a million lil gnocchis. I can’t eat all that.
But! I did treat myself to a small handful, pan fried in butter with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar.
And they were delicious!
I think, somewhere deep inside me, is a sweet Italian Nana with biceps of steel.