Look, Ma! No potatoes!

Posted on September 7, 2012

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I have wanted to try making gnocchi for quite some time now. What’s been holding me back? Well, I have no ricer. So when I made potato dinner rolls… It took quite a while to say the least. Not wanting a repeat of that since I can still vividly remember it, I was excited when I found a recipe that didn’t include smooshing potatoes for a long time.

Food52 is an awesome resource for recipes. They have an awesome option to search for the type of recipe you are looking for. I got into searching around on there because I was sent a recipe for chocolate chip cookies from Suzanne the other day after I made a sloppy excuse for cookies.

I’ll admit, it was the picture that got me interested at first. I wasn’t even looking to expand my pasta repertoire, really, but in the end, the more pasta, the better, really. I’m probably going to have to start thinking seriously about joining a gym if I keep this up though.

I doubled the recipe, because:
A) see above ‘more pasta the better’ thought process
B) the recipe said it freezes well
C) it’s almost my birthday, and I can’t remember how many people I invited, but they might all be hungry – freeze it now, feed friends Saturday. Boom. All set.
D) ricotta comes in 2 lb containers.

i like to create a shadow sometimes…

They turned out nice and smooth, and it was almost unnoticeable that they didn’t have potatoes in them, though, I may alter my thinking after I get some better feedback from a larger pool of unsuspecting guests.

I also made this sauce with some roma tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes and “b grade tomatoes” from my csa share and when those had cooked up into something that started to look like real sauce, I threw some of my meatballs that were taking up valuable freezer space.

Grandma DiLaura’s Gnocchi
adapted from cdilaura @ food52

2lbs, fresh [whole milk] ricotta cheese
3 medium eggs (I only used 3 because my “medium” eggs are more like sm-medium…)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup fresh, grated (fine) parmesan cheese
a sprinkle of nutmeg to taste (fresh is always better, but use what you have)
2 cups all purpose flour (sifted)

Step one: 
In a large bowl, mix ricotta, eggs and oil. Mix til combined. Add fresh grated parmesean cheese.

Well, would you look at that… I forgot to take a picture of making the actual dough, and rolling the shape. Damn. Of all the pictures I smeared food all over my poor camera in order to take… they are all over before and after, no inbetweeners. Next time, even though I’ll forget instantly…

Step Two:

Add sifted flour little by little until all the way combined and dough comes together. Pull dough out of bowl and put onto a well floured surface. Knead/work dough until smooth. Separate into slices to roll out into “ropes” that are gnocchi or average-small thumb size around. Line up two in paralell, cut off 1″ slices, and roll over the back of a fork. Put them on non-stick surface and put in freezer.

At this point, if you can’t make heads or tails of what I just wrote, I don’t blame you at all. Look at the original recipe (link above at title) and see if her description is any better. If all else fails, google it, you’ll probably find some youtube video of an old lady bangin’ these bad boys out while chatting and not looking at what she’s doing at all…

Step Three:

Once you’ve put these gnoc’s in the freezer, you can wait until they are all the way frozen, and then put them in a freezer bag so that they can be dinner some other night. If you want to eat them right away, then you should wait at least 10 minutes, so boil your well salted water, and get everything else ready.

I left 2/3 (+/-)  in the freezer for later and only cooked enough for dinner and a lunch the next day. I also took this opportunity to clean all the flour off everything I managed to cover with it, and get my broccoli steaming for a side dish. Cook until the gnocchi floats to the top (just like store-purchased-potato types) this is the indicator that they’ve cooked through.

I still need to perfect my gnocchi rolling techniques, cause by the end I was basically just tossing them everywhere without really focusing on what I was doing —- doubling the recipe means LOADS of space you need in the freezer, and lots of standing around making these little guys.

I was wondering/concerned about the texture of these bad boys, but it turns out that they are really smooth, almost a buttery texture. They went really well with the red sauce, but I was reading on the original posting of the recipe that people prepared them by taking a bit of oil or butter, sautéing them instead of boiling, and then topping with clarified butter and meyer lemon, or some kind of spice, for a more sweet/savory kind of a meal. I want to try that kind of preparation next time.

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