Monday, December 6, 2010


First off, let me apologize that it has been a little while since there has been a new post on here. And apologize again that my posting may be a little sporadic for the next little while. We are keeping pretty busy around here preparing for the impending arrival of kiddo number two, and, being full term pregnant, that is pretty much about all I can manage on a day to day basis...

That being said, of course we have to eat, and we don't want to get stuck in a food-rut, so of course we are still playing around in the kitchen. It just takes me a while to share it here.

I like to let little miss help choose meals, because I find that she tends to eat better if she is a part of the decision making process. Sometimes it is a little thing, like "would you prefer broccoli or cauliflower as your veggie tonight?" or "would you like rice or couscous as the side tonight?" But other nights, I leave it much more open, like "Hey, little miss, if you could have anything for dinner tonight, what would it be?" And more often than not, I try to follow through.

Recently, her answer surprised me. I asked what she wanted for dinner, and she immediately responded "Gnocchi!" We have not had gnocchi in a long time, so I have no idea how this popped to the front of her list, and as I may have mentioned before, often times my attempts at any sort of pasta making become very long, very messy and very frustrating endeavors. But it still sounded good, so I agreed.

I have made gnocchi a few times in the past, with varying degrees of success, but as of yet have not found my "go-to" recipe for it. This time, I loosely based my attempt on this recipe, but found that I had to go by feel to make it work for me.

I started by peeling and boiling my potatoes (russets) and allowing them to cool for a while. I usually mash the potatoes with a masher, but this recipe recommended using a ricer for a better consistency. I don't have a ricer, but this recipe mentioned getting the same result by shredding the potatoes with a fork. It probably took a little longer than actually having the ricer, but it worked really well! I wound up with a mountain of shredded potatoes, which was then crafted into a pasta dough in much the traditional way - an egg was added to the middle, and, once that was incorporated, enough flour was added to turn the entire mountain into a smooth dough.

Once the dough was ready, it was time for, what is for me, the trickiest and most time consuming part of the process - cutting and shaping the dough into gnocchi. To make this more manageable, I cut the dough into several smaller pieces and worked with one at a time, rolling each section into a snake and cutting each snake into gnocchi-sized pillows. While some people stop here, I am always compelled to turn these pillows into the classic, grooved gnocchi rolls. Which is always a big challenge for me. Little miss was more than happy to try to help, rolling the little pillows down her fork. I have to say, she didn't do too badly! Of course, she did really love making odd shapes, flattening the dough into pancakes and making stripes in them with the fork... but hey, this was our gnocchi - I had no problem with letting her add her own style to some of them. As for me? I think I finally started getting the hang of it, figuring out how much pressure I needed to use to get the dough to roll the right way. We soon had a huge tray full of not too shabby looking potato pasta ready to be boiled.

Considering how much effort these take, believe it or not, they were only the side dish for dinner that night, but they were delicious and totally worth it - I think they were the best gnocchi I have ever made myself. I am not sure if that has to do with ricing, rather than mashing, the potatoes, the balance of the ingredients, or some gnocchi karma that decided that it was about time that I made a good gnocchi, but these were light and fluffy, not heavy or gluey like they can sometimes be, and they tasted delicious. So good, in fact, that we all wound up having seconds, and thus not winding up with nearly as many leftovers as I had hoped... because I was really hoping to try this with the leftovers. I guess that means I will just have to make these again!


  1. Oh, well done. I have only tried gnocchi once and it was a soggy disaster. But I LOVE eating it.
    Your little girl has sophisticated tastes - excellent!

  2. I have never tried gnocci, but I hear its very good. Very impressed! I may have to try my hand at this.

  3. These look delicious! Your daughter must have very good taste. That is cute that you try to keep her included in the meal decisions.


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