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  • Traditional Gnocchi de Patate

    When I was little I would sit and watch my mother make gnocchi from scratch. Being Italian she learnt how to make this dish from her mother in the small Friuli village where she was born. She never measured out the ingredients and never used a bowl. The mashed potato would be dished out onto the wooden table, flour was then added, a bit of salt, a couple of eggs and away she would go kneading the mixture into dough.

    As kids we absolutely loved this dish and so looked forward to seeing it served up at dinner time. These thoughts have stayed with me even today and whenever I see gnocchi on a menu at a restaurant or for sale in those unappealing plastic containers at the supermarket I generally have to try it to see if it matches my mother's recipe, but invariably it is never even close.

    Of course what this means is that there is nothing like making it yourself and fortunately gnocchi is easy to make. There are not many ingredients and there are very few steps to actually making it. The problem with gnocchi however, is that these little dumplings can turn to mush if they are not prepared correctly and it may take a little bit of practice to get the dough just right

    So what is potato gnocchi?
    Potato gnocchi is essentially dough that is shaped into small dumplings and most often served with a sauce or simply melted butter and cheese. It is made with flour, eggs, salt and potatoes and is more commonly eaten in Northern Italy.

    Gnocchi is one of those traditional Italian specialties that is known the world over. A staple on many restaurant menus this Italian dish is so versatile that it would be almost impossible to count the number of ways to serve it.

    How is gnocchi made?
    The potatoes are first boiled and then mashed and turned out onto a bread board or wooden table. A well is formed in the centre and eggs, salt and flour are then added and kneaded together to form a dough.

    The dough is cut into pieces and each piece is rolled into a long sausage shape which is then cut into small dumpling size pieces. Each dumpling is then rolled along a fork to form ridges.

    The gnocchi is then placed into boiling water, one serving plate size at a time. Once the gnocchi rises to the surface, usually about 2 minutes, it is ready and should be removed using a slotted spoon to avoid damaging the gnocchi.

    It can be then placed on a plate and served with your favorite sauce.

    Tips and Hints

    • Use russet potatoes, Idaho potatoes or any floury potato high in starch. Any other variety could cause your gnocchi to break up when it hits the boiling water.
    • Don't add too many dumplings at the one time to the boiling water as they could stick and break up.
    • Don't overwork the dough - the less you work it the lighter the dough will be.
    • Ensure the water is boiling rapidly before you place the gnocchi into it.

    Article provided courtesy of Only Cookware a resource for cookware, stainless steel cookware and cast iron cookware.

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