How to Make Gnocchi From Scratch
Here's the easy way to make gnocchi
Valtellina: where Italy meets Switzerland. Also, birthplace of East Village bistro Paprika chef/owner Egidio Donagrandi. Making gnocchi from scratch is one of his specialties — and he insists that it's easier than you ever could have imagined.
"When my mom makes gnocchi she starts at 11:30, and by 12:10 she has six orders on the table. When you think about it, how much time does it really take? I think it would take longer to walk to Whole Foods and purchase a package of it," says Donagrandi.
The secret is the way that the potatoes are boiled (or not). Simmer the potatoes with their skins intact, if you simmer them rather than boiling, they won't absorb a lot of water. The more water you have, the more flour you need and the chewier they'll be.
Here's what you'll need:
- 5 pounds of Idaho or Russet potatoes (makes about 10 servings)
- 2 pounds all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting your surface
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 whole eggs, plus one yolk
Boil the potatoes whole in their skins for 20 minutes or until fork-tender. Allow to cool to room temperature, slip off the skins and grate coarsely with a box grater.
Add flour all at once, knead slightly to incorporate, then add the eggs, oil and salt and knead until a dough forms.
Gather dough and knead until it's no longer crumbly, comes together and stops being sticky. Stop kneading here — do not overknead. Form the dough into a ball and allow to rest under a clean, damp dishcloth for 10-15 minutes.
Roll the portions into long, even ropes over a lightly floured surface to keep them from sticking.
Slice the ropes into gnocchi using a sharp knife, refreshing the flour on the kneading surface if necessary. Toss with extra flour to coat and keep them from sticking together.
Lightly boil the gnocchi in abundant, heavily salted water for 30-40 seconds or until they float to the top. Remove immediately to an ice bath if not using right away, or transfer directly to a hot pan of sauce.
Finish cooking the gnocchi for about a minute in a hot pan with the sauce of your choice and serve immediately. We use butter, hen of the woods mushrooms, blanched broccoli rabe leaves and a little Parmesan cheese.
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