Potato gnocchi pasta

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PRESENTATION

Potato gnocchi pasta

Have you ever sunk your hands into the dough to make these soft potato buds? Gnocchi is the undisputed ruler of Thursday lunches, at least in the capital and certain regions of central Italy. It is so simple yet insidious to get the right consistency. There are several tricks to bear in mind for perfect gnocchi, those that only grandmothers know. We had the secrets for perfect gnocchi whispered in our ears, and since we don't like to keep recipes to ourselves, we thought we would share them with you! Discover how to prepare potato gnocchi with and without eggs, soft pads with a delicate flavor perfect with any sauce!

INGREDIENTS

Potatoes 2 ¼ lbs (1 kg)
Flour 00 2 ¼ cups (300 g)
Eggs 1 - medium size
Fine salt to taste
Remilled durum wheat semolina to taste
For the version without eggs
Potatoes 2 ¼ lbs (1 kg)
Flour 00 3 cups (350 g)
Fine salt 1 oz (15 g)
Remilled durum wheat semolina to taste
Preparation

How to prepare Potato gnocchi pasta

To prepare potato gnocchi, start by boiling them: place the potatoes in a large pot and cover them with plenty of cold water 1. From the moment the water boils, cook 30-40 minutes, depending on their size; do the fork test and if the fork reaches the middle without any difficulty, then you can drain them. Peel them while they are still hot and immediately mash them on the flour spread on your work surface 2. Then add a lightly beaten egg with a pinch of salt 3

and knead everything with your hands 4 until the dough is soft but firm 5. Remember that if they are handled too much, gnocchi will become hard during cooking, so limit the kneading to only the necessary. Take a part of the dough and roll it out with your fingertips to obtain strands 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick 6; to do so, occasionally flour the work surface with semolina. In the meantime, cover the remaining dough with a cloth to prevent it from drying out.

 

Then cut the strands into pieces 7 and use light pressure with your thumb to drag the gnocchi over the gnocchi board to obtain their classic shape 8. If you don't have a gnocchi board, you can use a fork and slide them over the fork tines; use semolina flour to prevent them from sticking. As you prepare potato gnocchi, place them on a tray with a lightly floured cloth, well spaced from each other 9. If you intend to cook them, you can place them in boiling salted water; as soon as they float to the surface they are considered cooked, and then ready to be drained and seasoned.

 

For the version without eggs

Mash the potatoes while still hot on the work surface with a potato masher, add the flour and salt  1 and knead with your hands 2 to obtain a soft but compact mixture 3.

 

Take one portion of dough at a time and roll it out with your fingertips to form 3/4 inch (2 cm) 4 thick strands. Cut the strand into pieces 5 and drag each one over a gnocchi board or the tines of a fork, pressing lightly with your thumb 6. Cook the egg-free gnocchi in plenty of boiling salted water, and drain them as soon as they float to the surface.

 

Storage

Potato gnocchi can be kept raw for a couple of hours at most, though cooking time will be slightly longer due to their drying in the air.

You can also freeze gnocchi: put the tray in the freezer, then after about 20 minutes put your potato gnocchi into a food bag, and continue until they're all frozen.

To cook them, simply throw them in boiling salted water without thawing them first.

Tips

Color, color, color... if you want to make your potato gnocchi more special, use coloring ingredients such as turmeric for a yellowish color or a bit of tomato paste. If you prefer a more noir style you can use cuttlefish ink! What's the secret to perfect gnocchi? It's all about the potatoes! White, yellow, red... the color of pasta does not matter: the important thing is that the potatoes are not new potatoes, as they contain too much water. It is preferable to use aged potatoes, as they are rich in starch and low in water, requiring less flour to be kneaded.

 

Interesting fact

Gnocchi are perhaps the first version of homemade pasta. Potato gnocchi, as we know them today, were first described in the second half of the 1700s, since they had previously been made using only water and flour, shaped by hand, and then cooked.