sage & parmesan gnocchi, cauliflower cream, white pepper oil
How to win the battle against gnocchi.
For many people making gnocchi falls well into the - my god no, that is way too hard basket. I hear stories all the time of attempts wrought with upset and disaster. A real shame in my opinion as if I were to be given the choice of only one pasta for the rest of my life - it would be potato gnocchi - the king of all pasta (settle down haters, this is only an opinion).
I’ll admit straight up that there is a bit of technique to making gnocchi, but I assure you it falls far short of that needed to conduct say - an open heart procedure with your left hand tied behind your back - the consequences of failure are arguably more acceptable also.
So naturally I suggest you try it sometime - this is how I do it.
Sage & Parmesan Potato Gnocchi
- 10 Desiree Potatos
- 500gm flour
- 8 egg yolks
- 200g shaved parmesan
- 1/2 cup chopped sage
- salt & pepper
Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil, plenty of salt and oil in it. Prepare a large ice bath.
1. Roast your potatoes well in the oven, rather go over than under here, you want them to be quite dry. Run them through a drum sieve, potato ricer etc etc. You want to work with your potatos quite quickly because as they cool the starches will begin to set - this is bad when trying to create something fluffy and delicious.
2. In a bowl mix your mashed potato, herbs, cheese and a generous amount of seasoning - mix in eggs, and 1/4 of your flour.
3. On a well floured bench, turn out your potato dough, working quickly for the same reasons as before, work in the rest of your dough.
This is the tricky bit - even if it does not seem so. Your dough will be sticky and hot to work with, but you need to mix in all the flour (and perhaps some more) without working it too much, otherwise like bread you will work the starches and your gnocchi will become chewy.
In a typically scientific manner as it was explained to me throughout my culinary training, you are trying to create pillows of potato.
So the technique I use is one of rolling the dough over a floured bench to pick up the flour off the bench, and folding it over itself only when absolutely necessary.
4. As the dough is now complete - you would do best to test it in your large pot of boiling salted oily water. Roll a small piece and throw it in. When it rises to the top, take it out and eat it. Check for seasoning and texture. If it falls apart in the water - your mixture could use more egg or flour. Egg for elasticity and flour for firmness.
You can begin shaping it however you like. I like to cut portions off, and again on a floured bench, rolling it out into long cylinders and cutting squares or diagonally for diamonds or something like that.
5. Working in batches so as not to stop your water boiling, cook your shaped gnocchi, removing it as they rise and throwing them immediately into an ice bath till completely cool.
6. Once cooled, remove to dry on paper towel/teatowel and oil so as they do not hug each other too much. Reserve for pan frying, re-blanching, or however you like to use them.
And thats gnocchi in a nutshell. Good luck.