The first gnocchi dish I've ever tried was in Boston at Taranta Cucina Meridionale, a fusion Peruvian-Italian restaurant. It was a yucca root gnocchi with spicy green lamb ragu topped with shaved parmesan. It stands out as a dish I'll remember FO-EVA. It's unfortunate that my first experience with gnocchi was so unforgettable. Since then, I've come to accept that gnocchi isn't droppings from the gods. The texture is chewy and without a sauce, gnocchi is pretty damn bland. Forgive for drawing yet another comparison between the two cuisines, but does anyone else think gnocchi tastes similar to tteok 떡?
Anyway, I decided to make some gnocchi because I had a few guests over and it seemed like a fun dinner food that we could all make together.
WELCOME TO THE GNOCCHI FACTORY
The gnocchi dough is fairly simple. Just three ingredients - potatoes, flour and eggs. Shaping the gnocchi is a bit more labor-intensive.
1 kg potatoes (2.2 pounds)
4-5 cups of flour
The recipe I used was from allrecipes.com, but it called for two potatoes. Wuh? Potatoes come in all sizes, and in Korea, the size is small (go figure). I just weighed my potatoes on my bathroom scale, and after I got over being jealous, I boiled them (with their skins on to limit water intake) until they were tender but still firm. I think it took us about 20-25 minutes.
After the potatoes are done, run them under cold water. Then peel off the skin, and remove any weird nubs and imperfections.
Ideally, I would have used a potato ricer. I don't have one so I used a fork laced with anger and mashed away. Try to get it as fine as possible. Then add in the egg and work in the flour until you have a stiff, workable dough. Don't be concerned if you're adding more flour than the recipe calls for; just get yourself a ball of dough.
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Then slice the snakey up into 1/2 inch sections.
From here, you can lightly score them with a fork so the sauce will cling better to the gnocchi. I learned another method from watching the Godfather III (worst movie ever, which is why I was watching the gnocchi-making rather than the baby-making).
Take the fork and press down with moderate pressure about 3/4 up on the gnocchi. Then drag the fork down as the gnocchi curls over the fork.
Salt a pot of water and swirl some olive oil in. Bring it to a rolling boil, and boil the gnocchi for 3-4 minutes. When they rise to the top, they're ready. Take them out.
We served our gnocchi up with an Italian sausage sauce, and topped it with homemade ricotta salata.
For something more simple, try a brown butter with sage.