I am a good 1/4 Italian. My maternal great grandmother Louisa was straight off the boat from Italy-she supported herself as a dressmaker when she first arrived in this country until she married Oscar Guilliamoni, who was a cordon bleu trained chef. You would think all that fantastic cooking heritage would be genetic, but apparently their daughter, my maternal grandmother Ethel, could burn canned peas. My mom learned to cook in self defense and is an excellent cook-although she learned more from her German grandmother.
Yeah, that’s right, I’m a regular America Heinz 57 mix when it comes to ethnicity!
Anyway, I didn’t get to grow up watching anyone make “authentic” Italian food. As a matter of fact I never even had gnocchi until I was an adult. I taught myself how to make these little potato pasta/dumplings out of a book!
Gnocchi are a bit labor intensive, but sometimes that can be fun! I know Buddy really enjoys helping out with this recipe–it’s sort of like playing with plah-doh except you can eat the result.
- 5 large potatoes
- 1 1/2 C Flour
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 TBS Olive Oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Dash of Nutmeg
-Peel potatoes, then in a large pot of salted water boil and cook until tender. Drain well.
-While hot, mash potatoes with a masher, potato ricer or plain old fork.
-In a large bowl mix mashed potato, egg yolks, flour, olive oil salt and nutmeg.
-When mixture starts holding together turn onto a floured surface and knead a couple of times.
-Roll sections of dough out into ropes, about 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces.
-Bring a fresh pot of salted water to a boil.
-In batches of 10 pieces or so drop gnocchi into boiling water and remove with a slotted spoon when they rise to the top.
(note: you don't want them to be too waterlogged so remove them promptly--I like to place my completed ones in a strainer till they are all done)
-Serve with your favorite sauce!
Optional: After cutting the gnocchi roll each piece down a fork to create "grooves" for the sauce to stick in. This adds a LOT of time to the process.
Variations: You can add some Parmesan cheese or other spices to the mix-however gnocchi are really supposed to be a vehicle for delivering tasty sauce-so don't go overboard with add-ins!