I spend about 4 weeks in Italy every year and each time I am taught something incredible by my Italian relatives in Puglia – literally standing over Nonna Macchitella’s shoulder as she deftly creates incredible Southern Italian classics.
These bad boys will knock your socks off – Gnocchi or ‘little lumps’ are an amazing alternative to a pasta course and there are a few tips and tricks that you need to know in order to make light and fluffy Gnocchi but the first is that Gnocchi is NOT a ‘left over spud’ dish!
The big problem with gnocchi is that they can tend to be heavy but not if you follow this recipe – you will have light Gnocchi every time.
INGREDIENTS – SERVES 2
3 medium spuds – roosters are perfect
1 handful of fresh parsley
1 handful of fresh basil
1 egg yolk
100 grams ’00’ flour
50 grams Parmesan cheese
50 grams Provelone cheese
To make light Gnocchi you need to bake the spuds – if you boil ’em they take on to much water and will make for heavy Gnocchi. First wet the spuds and cover with salt, stab the spuds all over with a sharp knife and sling into a pre-heated oven at 180c for about 60 minutes of until a skewer goes straight through.
Split the spuds in half and scoop out the flesh – do not get rid of the skins, deep fry them and serve with sour cream and sweet chili sauce……but that’s for another time 😉
Next, don’t just mash the spuds you gotta rice them or sling them through a mouli – this is the next step in getting light gnocchi
Combine the spuds with the egg and herbs and season really well – taste the mix and adjust as you need.
Next add in the flour – it HAS to be ’00’ flour or forget about it!! You need just enough to bind everything together and make a dough – it shouldn’t be to wet or dry so you can add water if you need to but add the flour in small batches
Form the dough into 2 balls and sling them in the fridge to firm up for about 20minutes
Roll the dough balls into long sausage shapes about 2 cms thick then ‘clip’ out the Gnocchi with a knife – you’ll end up with little pillow shapes. If you want the traditional round just roll ’em with the back of a fork
Get a pot of salted boiling water on the go and drop in the Gnocchi in a couple of batches – when they float the are ready.
Drain the gnocchi and arrange in whatever dish you are serving in then scatter over the freshly grated cheeses and sling under a grill until the cheese melts and is gooey. Eat immediately!