The Mrs tore out this recipe from The Sunday Times Magazine and left it hanging around where I would obviously find it. My previous attempt at gnocchi was ‘challenging’, but I seemed to suffer a bout of forgetfulness (as in I couldn’t remember why I didn’t like making gnocchi) and went ahead and did it again.
The problem with gnocchi is you need a bit of luck. Combining flour and potato, if you add too much flour they end up like pencil rubbers. Too little and basically you are trying knead mashed potato. You cannot knead mashed potato.
Most recipes say you should combine 1kg of potatoes with a third of a kilo of ’00’ grade flour. But I needed to use nearly twice that amount of flour just to get the dough in a useable form. But then they are too solid and tough – not light and bloody fluffy like the bloody recipe says the should be!
The problem is the potatoes. If you boil them as suggested they get too waterlogged. You need to bake them. But even then you need a specific type of potato. I don’t know – dry and fluffy or something, not too waxy.
Anyway here are the ingredients (from The Sunday Times)
- 1kg potatoes
- 2 beaten eggs
- 300g ’00’ flour (although I ended up using twice that)
- 300g butternut squash, cubed
- 100g parmesan, grated
- 1 egg, 1 egg yolk
- 150g breadcrumbs
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
- 100g butter
- 1 pack fresh sage
- 50g parmesan, grated
First pop the squah in a pan and bake for 40 mins, covered with foil at 180 centigrade.
Remove the foil and then bake for another 15 mins. Put in a bowl and cool. Put the other filling ingredients in the bowl and combine to create a paste.
Set aside. Put the potatoes in boiling salted water with the skins on and simmer until cooked through. If its possible don’t boil them too long, but at the same time you need them properly cooked!
Peel them while still hot (ouch) and then push through a seive (this is supposed to put some air into the potato.
Add the egg and half the flour and combine with a wooden spoon.
Put the remaining flour on a work surface in a pile.
Make a well in the flour and put the potato in the middle. Now things get really messy.
You’re now supposed to draw the flour into the potato, gently combining to create a ‘firm dough’. Lets see how that worked out…
But hang on a minute…what’s happening…
Its going all wrong…
What the hell?
How can I roll this? More flour…twice as much in fact. Eventually the dough is just about rollable (with a lot of flour on the surface, the rolling pin, the chairs, floor, sink, walls….etc.
Roll out as thin as you can get it…
Now put the filling in a piping bag and run a thick sausage of filling down one edge.
Now fold over the dough to form a sausage roll. Using a blunt wet knife cut the dough away and then slice the sausage into equal sized peices. Set aside and repeat.
The recipe stated you could make between 90 and 100 of these things. Come on seriously…
I got bored. I also ran out of filling. 26 it was. Now get a pan of water simmering and drop some of the gnocchi in. Cook for 2 mins until they rise to the surface.
Get the butter bubbling, add some of the sage and then coat the boiled gnocchi in the butter.
Keep warm in the oven while you finish off the remaining gnocci. Now remind yourself why you won’t be doing this again.
Serve. To be honest they were pretty tasty.
But not quite the way they looked in the magazine. Surprise, surprise.