30 by 30: making gnocchi

There is a good amount of non-food related items on my 30 by 30 list but it’s pretty clear from my recaps so far where my heart is. I’ve made challah bread and marshmallows so far, have checked off East by Northeast, Foundry on Elm, Sportello and Towne off my restaurant list (posts on the last 2 coming soon) and have hosted a few dinners (like the vegan feast last month). I’ve also attended the volunteer training session at Cooking Matters but no positions have materialized out of that yet. Eventually I’ll get to pushups and building a lightbox (among others) but for now chilling in the kitchen (and enjoying someone else’s kitchen creations while out) is just fine by me.

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I’m going to pat myself on the back for picking the things I did to include on my “to-make” list because these are all kind of basic (almost staples… well maybe not marshmallows) that I’ve purchased numerous times pre-packaged yet had absolutely no clue about what goes in to them or how they become what they do.

Take gnocchi for example. I knew they were made of potatoes. Sometimes I’ve seen the whole wheat variety sold, sometimes the “fancy” sweet potato kind. But what else is in those babies… and how do potatoes (and flour? seriously I had no idea) turn into pillows of goodness? I needed to know… and well, now I do Smile

All right, in case you have been wondering how gnocchi actually becomes gnocchi, here is how it went down for me. Upon Beth’s recommendation, I used Heidi’s recipe for how to make gnocchi like an Italian grandmother (who wouldn’t want that?!!)

All gnocchi is is potatoes, flour and eggs. It never seizes to amaze me how delicious and inspired things are created out of almost nothing. This is all you need to make gnocchi!!

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Boil potatoes…

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Peel those babies…

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… and run them through a ricer (easiest for smooth mashed potatoes).

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[Yes I bought a ricer just to make gnocchi and I am happy with that decision. A ricer is pretty cool.]

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Nice and fluffy!

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Work in egg and flour!

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Kneed lightly

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Mine came together quite easily without a lot of flour. I guess the gnocchi gods were smiling at me that day. Open-mouthed smile

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Mmm, gnocchi dough Smile

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Once I cut these up, I realized they were quite tender inside… so I tossed them in extra flour before shaping.

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Mine didn’t look as perfect as Heidi’s… but I’m not really into perfection these days Winking smile

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Why hello. You look like real gnocchi. Nice to meet you Open-mouthed smile

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SO, this is where I think I made a small mistake. I wasn’t ready for dinner quite yet so I covered this pan with a towel and went on to do some errands around the house for maybe an hour. Then I went to boil them!

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They were really gooey when I went to pick them up. Really gooey. I’m guessing it was too hot in my apartment so they kind of melted. I think I should have put them in the fridge if I wasn’t going to cook them right away.

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A few minutes of boiling produced very light and pillowy gnocchi though. I think we have a winner on our hands!!

In the meantime, I fried some pancetta and grape tomatoes and once they were all ready, added the boiled gnocchi to the pan to give them a quick sear. Some garlic scape pesto to finish and dinner was ready!

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Wow, guys. Just wow. I have never had lighter gnocchi in my life! These were just so airy… so delicate. This meal was ridiculous. Seriously. I can’t wait to do this again. Like tomorrow! Open-mouthed smile

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Have you ever made gnocchi?

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