I’ve always considered myself an obsessive home cook. So why is it that I’ve never tried my hand at making gnocchi before? I’ve eaten it at many restaurants, although it might not be my favourite dish. But my oh my, if you can find great gnocchi, it can be the ultimate indulgence.
To me, gnocchi should be the lightest little potato cushions, accompanied by the richest and most sinful sauce that you can find. I’ve seen a few chefs prepare gnocchi on tv, but I couldn’t remember the correct ingredient ratios. So I turned to my faithful “Revised and Updated Larousse Gastronomique” for input. Their basic potato gnocchi seemed a little extravagant (they don’t only use mashed potato, but also grated and strained raw potato), so I decided to also check out my new copy of “The A-Z of Food & Cookery in South Africa” by Sannie Smit and Margaret Fulton. This book is very much a local version of Larousse, and I was quite surprised that it also contained Italian food recipes like gnocchi and many other. The recipe was quite simple and looked like a winner. My eye started wandering to the latest edition of Sarie Kos (summer 2010/2011) so I picked it up and paged through it. To my surprise, it also contained a potato gnocchi recipe (with peas and ham) as well as a step by step photographed guide to making it! Now if that isn’t a sign…
I knew I had to try it immediately. Combining the info of all 3 books, I started making my first gnocchi. I was amazed at how easy the process was, and how fast the cooking time was. I made a very simple but decadent gorgonzola sauce to match, and served it piping hot to my husband. Seeing that he is not a blue cheese fan, I cautiously asked him to “give it a try”. To my surprise, he loved it – especially the sauce! I finished my plate and enjoyed every rich drop.
I’m afraid my gnocchi wouldn’t have won a competition for shape and presentation, but it really tasted fantastic. From here on things could just get better. And I’m proud to say that I am not a gnocchi virgin anymore.
My “virgin” potato gnocchi recipe:
- roughly 800g cooked mashed potato ( I pushed it through a sieve)
- 1 cup flour
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 eggs, roughly beaten
Mix ingredients to a soft dough consistency. Cut into four pieces, and roll out individually on a well floured surface to roughly 1 and a half cm thick strings. Cut into 2cm pieces, and softly press each piece with a fork (it makes the sauce stick better). Drop into salted boiling water for a few minutes untill it floats to the surface, and remove immediately with a slotted spoon. Dish up in pasta bowls and drench with gorgonzola sauce. Serve immediately.
- 250ml cream
- roughly 150g gorgonzola (or Cremezola or Simonzola)
Heat cream in a saucepan untill it just starts to boil, and take off from heat. Crumble the gorgonzola into it and stir to melt. It’s as simple as that!