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It’s Potato Not Pasta!

I’m going to spare a minute for something that isn’t Mac, iPhone, or even Windows… No, this topic is far more important.

Gnocchi!

I had a craving for gnocchi last night. Sunday’s are my designated cooking night, and I usually go all out making a mess and outdoing myself. I like cooking, and I like cooking good meals, so I set out to make gnocchi. I’ve never tried making it before, and after reading the few recipes I found on the net (my stomach is indebted to Google, the only cook book you will ever need), I was feeling a little bit reluctant to try something that sounded so tricky.

So gnocchi is a bit of an art. You need to choose the right potatos for starters, because apparently you can’t just use any potato. I did anyways, using the standard Woolworths washed potatos that we go through. The age of the potato is also important, who would have thought that an older, aged potato, would be the better pick? I had no idea how old my potatos were, although they did look very innocent, however, as I peeled them, and then ignored their screams as I dropped them into that boiling water.

This is where I deviated from the recipe. The recipe said, allow to cool. Yeah, nah, I forgot to do that. Turns out, removing potatoes from the boil, then mashing them, and then going to knead flour into the mashed potato, will result in a burning sensation in your hands.

I persevered, however. I used a cup of flour and kneaded it into the mashed potato, resulting in what resembled pizza dough. The key, is to apparently have a mixture that is still a little sticky. I seemed to have gotten this right.

Once the dough was ready, I rolled it out and cut it up into little gnocchi balls, about 2cm by 1.5cm, or thereabouts (gnocchi doesn’t grow or shrink, so bite size pieces are easily attainable). Getting that gnocchi textured look is a bit trickier… The recipe called for a fork, which you roll the gnocchi ball over. Sounds easy, but it seemed like my thumb was either too heavy and seemed to just elongate the gnocchi, or I pushed too lightly, requiring me to do it over and over again.

That’s about where the art stops. Throw the uncooked gnocchi into the boiling water, and it sinks to the bottom. This was the moment of truth. That blasted recipe, again, noted that not enough flour in the mixture, and the gnocchi will “disintegrate”, where as, too much, would result in a chewy gnocchi (or thereabouts).

My gnocchi raised to the surface. Success! The idea is to leave the gnocchi afloat for a further 30 seconds or so after it floats to the surface, to allow it to fully cook. Then simply remove (a pronged spoon, like a salad spoon, does the job), and serve.

From there I threw my gnocchi into my bolognaise sauce and let it cook for a few more minutes, then served it up and ate. Success!

This morning I grabbed a good link to read over to perfect my next incarnation of gnocchi. I plan on possibly using spinach and parmesan in my mix next time, just to give it a bit more taste. All in all, I was surprised how easy it actually is to make gnocchi, and it turned out pretty good!

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