p Picks and Pecks: recipe: mushroom gnocchi

Saturday, November 16, 2013

recipe: mushroom gnocchi

I don't really know what made me attempt to make gnocchi. Honestly, I hardly ever order gnocchi in restaurants, because I tried it once - and I got leaden pellets, instead of fluffy mouthfuls of potato. So maybe the motivation was, if you want it done right, you just might have to do it yourself!

Which is a dangerous thing. Having never had good gnocchi before (and not much bad gnocchi either!), it was a little like learning to drive without a destination! However, this was a do-or-die-trying moment for me, so I took the plunge!

I figured that roasting the potatoes made more sense than boiling - I wanted to use as little flour as possible so my potatoes had to be quite dry. I poked holes through the skins before putting them into a hot Dutch oven, and only removed them once a knife went through a potato without much resistance.

I don't have a food mill or a ricer, so I used the brute force method and passed all the potatoes through a sieve. This required some patient smushing so that I didn't waste any of the potatoes!

This yielded about two cups of smushed potatoes. To this, I added salt and enough flour to bind it all together - I did this by feel, so I'll try for more exact measurements next time! 

I then rolled the mixture out into logs in small batches, trying to handle the "dough" as little as possible so it remained light. Then I cut them into pieces about the size of the top of my thumb and blanched them quickly in boiling water. As soon as the gnocchi rose to the surface, I skimmed them off and let them dry out on a paper towel.

To go with the gnocchi, I just sauteed some mushrooms in butter for a really simple finishing touch.