Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

Don't be intimidated to make gnocchi because it really isn't hard at all!! I promise you, after you make it you'll stop buying frozen gnocchi from the store.

This recipe comes from one of Martha's book, Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook. This is a great "how to" book. I find myself going to this book several times a week.

Typically gnocchi is served with pesto basil. I was very close to making a vodka cream sauce but had a lot of fresh basil on hand so decided to go with the pesto. Next time I'll try a different sauce.

2 1/4 pounds of russet potatoes (about 3 large potatoes)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups all purpose flour
coarse salt
basil pesto

Cook potatoes (unpeeled) until tender when pierced with a fork, about 35-40 mins. Remove skin with a paring knife and immediately pass through a potato ricer. Let cool completely. Turn potatoes onto a work surface, then pour egg over the potatoes and sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of flour and 1 tablespoon of salt. Start to work mixture with your hands and bring it together to form a dough. Gently knead 4 to 5 mins, adding more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking , until dough is smooth and elastic. To check, pinch off a piece and roll into a rope; it should not break apart. Pat dough into a rough rectangle, 2 to 3 inches thick. Begin gently rolling each piece under the palms of your hands into a rope then continue rolling until it is 1/2 inch in diameter. Use the bench scraper to cut ropes crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Roll a cut side of each dumpling against the tines of a fork with your thumb.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add a generous amount of salt. Working in small batches, add gnocchi and cook until they float to the top about 2 minutes. Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon and gently shake off excess water. Serve immediately.

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