Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gnocchi from Baked Potatoes

This is the recipe I read on the show yesterday, and by last night at least one listener, Janice, had made it and posted photos to the Facebook fan group page.(And I want to thank her for use of the photo to the right.) Most gnocchi recipes call for boiling the potatoes but I think the secret to great gnocchi is baking the potatoes. I gave out a recipe for serving 4 on the show, so the portions here are little bigger, figuring you'll want to feed more people. This recipe will serve about 6.

Six potatoes, about medium size Russet.

3 cups of flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten.

1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons ground black pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake potatoes for about 75 minutes.(Prick holes in them to let out steam). When cool, after about 15 minutes, cut them in half and scoop out insides right to the skin with a spoon into mixing bowl.

Get several baking sheets out and flour them lightly. They are where you will put your gnocchi until you cook them.

Add eggs, flour and pepper and Parmesan to the potatoes and mix thoroughly (hands are best)until you create a dough. Separate into five or six balls (you'll have to account for your space), and roll it out until it's about an inch in in diameter. Then cut into two inch pieces. and put each piece on the baking sheets.

Put up a large pot of hot water, bring to a boil. Cook about 20 gnocchi at a time, and scoop them up when they float to the top of the water. Put them into another pot in which you will have made your sauce or topping and just keep warm, ready to serve.

For a sauce/topping, you can use butter (a stick or two, however you like it) or butter substitute with fresh sage and Parmesan cheese (you can put some sage into the pot but then garnish each dish with sage and cheese). Or you can use a light -- very light -- marinara tomato sauce. I make my own by putting about a tablespoon of olive oil in a pot on medium heat. Put a half an onion and three cloves of garlic in the oil. When browned, put in about 12 chopped soft tomatoes, a can of tomato paste, a tablespoon and half of sugar, plus some basil, salt and pepper. You can use any other sauce, but my preference with gnocchi is to keep it light.