Serves 5-6 people
Preheat oven 350 degrees
4 medium to large russet potatoes
2 egg yolks
AP flour (around a cup)
salt and pepper
Sur la Table Pastry Scraper
Large slotted spoon or Chinese bamboo strainer
A Pot of salted, boiling water (use this for your fist time making this gnocchi)
1. Prick potatoes with a fork to release steam. Place directly on oven rack and bake for around 45 minutes, or until cooked so that a fork pricked into the potato comes out quickly.
Always bake, never boil potatoes for gnocchi.
2. After potatoes are cooked, peel as quickly as your tender human fingers will allow. They will be very hot, but the hotter the potato, the better the gnocchi.
3. Once peeled, slice hot potatoes into sixths and puree through a food mill (on the medium to fine grater disk) directly onto a large, clean countertop surface covered lightly with sprinkled flower. I mill directly onto my kitchen island. Let cool.
4. Make a well in the center of the potatoes. Lightly sprinkle flour over the bottom of the well and over the layer of milled potatoes. Then, generously sprinkle salt and grind fresh pepper over the potatoes. Place the egg yolks into the well and stir with a fork or your fingers until yolks are broken.
5. Gradually mix the floured potato mixture into the egg yolks. Use your fingers and the pastry scraper to combine all ingredients on the counter surface.
6. Continue mixing ingredients together for two to three more minutes, until a uniform, fluff potato mass develops. As potato dough becomes too sticky to mix successfully, sprinkle more flour over mixture to loosen from your fingers. Note: use the pastry scraper to help mix together from the counter surface in order to utilize as little flour as possible. If too much flour is used- aim for 1/2 to 3/4 a cup, total- the gnochhi will be too firm. After your uniform mass develops, knead lightly for one more minute.
76. Cut the potato mass into quarters. Roll one quarter into a long, snakelike tube. Then, use the pastry scraper as a knife and slice a piece off from the end of the tube.
8. Stop. Test run. Drop the end piece into your medium boiling, salted test water. It's ready when it floats to the top- in about a minute. If it falls apart, its too mushy and needs (just) a touch +more flour. Go back to the mix, unite the quarters, add little flour and knead lightly for around 30 seconds more or until flour is fully incorporated in each section. Most times you will have added sufficient flour already by the test run, but if you didn't by the first time, your second flour run will be fine with a small flour addition.
9. Then cut again into quarters and roll each section into a long, snakelike tube. Then, use the pastry scraper as a knife and slice the tube into 1/2 inch pieces. Set aside the bits on a floured sheet pan and continue until all tubes are portioned into gnocchi.
7. Next, press the back of your fork lightly into each potato piece to make an indentation for sauce to nestle in later.
8. After finished with indenting the last pillow, refrigerate the gnocchi. When ready to eat, drop in salted, boiling water in three batches. Once a batch of gnocchi rise to the top of the pot, remove from boiling water with a small strainer or slotted spoon and place in large colander so water can be used for all gnocchi batches. Drizzle with olive oil. Repeat until finished.
P.S: Here are some links to articles on Chef Dante Boccuzzi's, whose gnocchi recipe inspired this one, and one to his website. Pretty cool guy.
Saturday, January 19, 2008