First let me start by saying I am not a fan of the mixer. I'm really not a fan of extra kitchen gadgets in general. Okay really I'm just not a fan of doing extra dishes. But for this recipe I actually lugged out my hand mixer, climbed to the highest, darkest corner of my pantry to find a deep enough bowl and attempted homemade gnocchi. I actually had to buy all-purpose flour for this -- that's how un-baker I am.
The other factor in play is my lack of patience. I have no patience in the kitchen. I like shortcuts, I like to cheat; I like few ingredients that produce amazing results. That's not too much to ask is it? Well, fortunately I had Fabio at my back and his perfectly humorous analogies inspired me to go slow. I even let the potatoes cool. (You'll see...)
I was so close to doing Fabio proud.
It started to fall apart when I saw the mountain of dough in front of me and I realized I should've halved the recipe. I could make enough gnocchi to feed a small army. So instead of maybe freezing it or doing whatever you would do with that, I lost my patience and just started chopping the gnocchi into giant-sized pieces like it would somehow decrease the amount of food. Don't ask...
The result: I should've meditated, said a little prayer or whatever I needed to do to zen out like the kitchen ninja I'm not, and cut those little suckers smaller. They weren't bad but they were a little too doughy to take on the other flavors. The rosemary was a great addition in moderation (meaning my first batch I added way too much of it) and it definitely needed Parmesan.
All in all, I learned my lesson: leave the gnocchi to my neighborhood Italian restaurant.
Fabio: He's not raising the bar for a good gnocchi, he IS the bar.
Traditional Potato Gnocchi
Recipe by Fabio Viviani
Yields: 4 servings
3 lbs. russet potatoes, baked
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 ½ tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Bake the potatoes the night before and let them sit in the refrigerator for a few hours, overnight if possible.
Peel and chop the baked potatoes.
Push the potatoes through a ricer or a food mill.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Add the potatoes to the mixer and work for 5 minutes.
Remove the dough and shape into a fist sized ball. Press out any air bubbles. Roll into a tube and cut the gnocchi in about 1 inch pieces with a sharp knife.
Place the gnocchi in boiling water to cook. All the gnocchi is ready when the first pasta rises to the top of the boiling liquid.
Put oil, chopped or minced garlic, and chopped rosemary in a skillet. Place gnocchi in the skillet and cook till slightly beginning to brown. Enjoy!
|Letting my ingredients "date" for a while.|
|You're right, Fabio! No need to add water...I totally would have.|
|This is where I get a very slight thrill (what I imagine bakers feel) when I realize it's looking like it should. |
This feeling is short-lived.
|Oh snap. How much more do I hafta roll?|
|Tonight's dinner will be: more gnocchi! |
I'm going out for Mexican tomorrow night...