Making Gnocchi
Making Gnocchi
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Gnocchi are a varied family of pasta in Italian cuisine. They are made of small lumps of dough, such as those composed of a simple combination of wheat flour, egg, salt, and potato.

INGREDIENTS

Potato Gnocchi Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • All-purpose flour

Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi Ingredients

  • 1 lb full-fat ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 oz parmesan cheese, grated
  • Nutmeg (optional)
  • All-purpose flour 
  • Brown Butter Sage Sauce Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 handful shallots, minced
  • Sage leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
  • 3 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • 4 oz parmesan cheese, grated

Pesto Sauce Ingredients

  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 ½ cup basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese, grated
  • ⅓ cup oli
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup green beans, sliced

Gorgonzola Cream Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream 
  • 4 oz gorgonzola dolce
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg, grated
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Parsley

DIRECTIONS

Potato Gnocchi Method

  1. Start by poking the potatoes all over using a fork. Place them in a preheated 375°F oven for about an hour. After this, the skins should be crisp and the interior should easily pierce with a knife. 
  2. Using a clean dish towel, grab each potato, and remove the skin from the potato. This will allow more steam to escape. Less steam means less moisture, and less moisture means lighter, fluffier gnocchi. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool for a few hours. 
  3. Once they have cooled down, pass them through the fine holes of a cheese grater (for an easier and faster method use a potato ricer). Once the potatoes are grated down to fluffy little bits, place them onto a rimmed baking sheet and measure to 500 grams. Add one beaten egg yolk spread evenly across (1 beaten egg yolk for every 500 grams). Then sift 100 grams of all-purpose flour across the potatoes. 
  4. Bring the potatoes into a ball of dough using a bench scraper (or the desired tool) to chop and mix everything up to make sure the egg and flour are evenly distributed. Start using your hands to press it into one cohesive mass. 
  5. Once the mass has formed, start kneading for about 90 seconds for slightly toothsome gnocchi. A phrase to remember, “The more you knead the tougher they’ll bead, but if early on you surrender then they’ll be tender”. 
  6. Once the dough is smooth and no egg or flour streaks remain, roll it out into a fat little log and cut into four even pieces. Sift some all-purpose flour onto a work surface then roll each piece of dough into a 1” thick rope. Press down any pudgy spots until it is nice and even.  
  7. Then using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut into little dumplings or into the desired size. 
  8. For different shapes other than the pillow-like shape, roll a piece of dough between your hands until round or simply make a dent in the center using your finger. For a classic gnocchi shape, press down against the tines of a fork using your thumb down and across the fork. 
  9. Once all of the dough has been cut and shaped into the desired gnocchi shape, place onto a rimmed baking sheet and cover with a dusting of all-purpose flour. For non-immediate cooking, place in a freezer to solidify for 1 hour, then scrape off and place in a bag and back into the freezer. For immediate use, cook with one of the sauces below!

Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi Method

  1. Start with 1 pound, or 450 grams, of full-fat ricotta. Drain using a cheesecloth set in a colander, set in a glass bowl, wrapped in plastic wrap, topped with a smaller bowl and filling that bowl with something heavy to apply nice even pressure. Place in the fridge for at least 8 hours. 
  2. After dumping the drained whey out of the bowl, dump the drained ricotta into a large bowl followed by 1 large egg, 3 ounces grated parmesan cheese, a little grated nutmeg (optional) and then beat together until nice and smooth.
  3. Then sift 150 grams of all-purpose flour over the mixture. Gently fold using a rubber spatula until it becomes a cohesive mass. If it feels a little too sticky add in a little more flour. 
  4. Once the mixture is no longer sticky and sticking to your hands, go ahead and knead it until no dry streaks of flour remain. 
  5. Once the dough is smooth and no egg or flour streaks remain, roll it out into a fat little log and cut into four even pieces. Sift some all-purpose flour onto a work surface then roll each piece of dough into a 1” thick rope. Press down any pudgy spots until it is nice and even.  
  6. Then using a bench scraper or sharp knife cut into little dumplings or into the desired size. 
  7. For different shapes other than the pillow-like shape, roll a piece of dough between your hands until round or simply make a dent in the center using your finger. For a classic gnocchi shape, press down against the tines of a fork using your thumb down and across the fork. 
  8. Once all of the dough has been cut and shaped into the desired gnocchi shape, place onto a rimmed baking sheet and cover with a dusting of all-purpose flour. For non-immediate cooking, place in a freezer to solidify for 1 hour. Scrape off and placing in a bag and back into the freezer. For immediate use, cook with one of the sauces below!

Brown Butter Sage Sauce Cooking Method

  1. Into a large saucepan melt and brown 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Do this by continuous swirling until the milk fat separates and turns a light toasty golden color.
  2. At which point, add in a handful of finely chopped shallots and let those sweat for about a minute until they develop some color. Then add in a big handful of freshly torn sage leaves, as well as 3 cloves of garlic (chopped or crushed). Remove from heat once everything is soft and fragrant. 
  3. At which point, drop the gnocchi into a pot of boiling water for about 90 seconds (if fresh) and know that they’re done when they start to pop up to the surface. 
  4. Fish them out using a mesh strainer and dump them directly into the saucepan with some pasta water then give them a toss in the pan to ensure they are coated in the brown butter and herbs.
  5. Once that is done, kill the heat and 3 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter, 3-4 ounces of grated parmesan cheese, and ¼ cup pasta water then give a few tosses to help emulsify the sauce. 
  6. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and adding more cooked pasta water if necessary before serving and eating. 

Pesto Gnocchi Cooking Method

  1. Start by making a fresh pesto using ¼ cup toasted pine nuts, 1 ½ cup packed basil leaves, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 2 ounces of grated parmesan, and ⅓ cup of olive oil along with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Place into a food processor and process on high speed until it is a nice and creamy pesto. Taste for seasoning. 
  2. On the stovetop, into a boiling pot of water goes a cup of sliced green beans for about 2 minutes before retrieving and placing in a warm saute pan off the heat. 
  3. Follow this by cooking the gnocchi in boiling water for 90 seconds (if fresh) then add to the saute pan along with the green beans and pour the pesto on top. 
  4. Hit it with ¼ cup of pasta cooking water and toss the whole thing together until fully mixed together and creamy. 
  5. Place into a bowl along with some grated parmesan and enjoy!

Gorgonzola Cream Sauce Method

  1. Into a medium-wide saucepan pour 1 ½ cup of heavy cream and bring to a rolling simmer and stir frequently for 15-20 minutes, or until it is reduced by half. 
  2. Turn the heat down low and add 4 ounces of crumbled gorgonzola dolce with 2 ounces of grated parmesan (optional) and a ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg and whisk together over low heat until fully mixed. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and keep warm while cooking the gnocchi.
  3. In a pot of boiling water goes the gnocchi. Also place 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a nonstick frypan over medium-high heat until the oil starts to shimmer. 
  4. If timed correctly, the gnocchi should rise to the surface after 90 seconds, at which point fish them out while shaking off as much excess water as possible and dump into the preheated frypan. Try to dump the gnocchi into one even layer.
  5. Leave undisturbed for 2-3 minutes so the bottom develops a nice brown crust. Right before flipping, drizzle vegetable oil over them to ensure no sticking. Give the gnocchi and pan a few tosses. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  6. Fill a small bowl with the fried gnocchi then drizzle the gorgonzola cream sauce over the gnocchi. Top it off with a little grated nutmeg, a little extra grated parmesan, and a sprinkle of parsley.  

 

Homemade Gnocchi with Peas and Parmesan - Gordon Ramsay

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