HHDD#14: Potato Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables

August 18, 2007 at 4:25 pm | Posted in events, savory things | 16 Comments

potato gnocchi with summer vegetables

Oh potato gnocchi, why do you torture me so?  Homemade gnocchi has been a bit of sore spot for me.  I’ve made the leadballs, and even worse, the disintegrators– the ones that fall apart in the simmering water, leaving you with a pot full of mess and no dinner.  So why am I even bothering to try again?  First, because I LOVE them (!), and second, because gnocchi is the theme for this month’s Hay Hay It’s Donna Day, hosted by Cafe Lynnylu.  It doesn’t hurt that I finally had one of my restaurant buddies show me a good technique, either.

Bake the potatoes in a salt crust (this helps them really dry out) and rice them while they’re still hot.  Then let them cool to room temperature before adding the other ingredients.  Making the gnocchi dough is definitely a “by feel” kind of thing.  Start with some flour and add more as you lightly knead the dough, until its no longer sticky and you can move it around easily.  Going overboard on the flour, however, will give you dense gnocchi.  Then let the dough rest before rolling and shaping.  I’ve never seen this step in any books, but it my friend swears that this is crucial to avoiding those aforementioned “disintegrators.”

Although R would rather have a heavy Bolognese covering his gnocchi, I decided to slice and dice a few veggies to go with them.  I quickly sautéed matchsticks of zucchini and carrot along with grape tomatoes, minced garlic, snap peas and corn in some butter and olive oil.  Then I threw in a splash of chicken stock and cooked it down to make it a bit saucy.  I tossed through the cooked gnocchi, and after a little s&p and grated Parmesan, my dish was done.  And it was light and delicious.

P.S.  I saw Donna Hay give a live demo in Sydney in June.  R was convinced she didn’t exist, and thought it just a brand-name.  She is in fact very real, is quite funny and cooked a lovely dinner party menu.

veggies for gnocchi

Potato Gnocchi – makes 4-6 servings

3 large baking potatoes
Kosher salt for crusting potatoes
1 1/2 egg yolks
4 oz all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 handful of Parmesan (grated)
salt and pepper to taste

-Scrub potatoes, dry with a tea towel and lightly crust with Kosher salt.

-Place on a baking sheet, and bake in a 400°F/200°C oven until baked though (about 45-60 minutes).

-Peel and rice potatoes while still hot.  Spread riced potatoes over a sheet tray to cool to room temperature.

-Add egg yolks, Parmesan and salt and pepper to cooled potatoes.

-Add in initial amount of flour and combine mixture with your hands.  Add in additional flour as needed until you have a cohesive dough that’s no longer sticky.  (I probably needed another 2 ounces or so for my batch…depends on the potatoes.)  Do not overwork.  Form into a large log and let rest on a floured surface, covered with a tea towel for 15-20 minutes.

-Break off pieces of dough and roll them into ropes on a floured surface.  (If the rope falls apart when you roll it, knead in a bit more flour.)  Use a paring knife or a metal bench scraper to cut the rope into 3/4″ pieces.  Toss in a little flour to keep from sticking together and move aside while you proceed with the rest of the dough.

-Bring a large pot of water to the boil.  Salt it as you would pasta water.  Cook gnocchi in batches to avoid overcrowding, and simmer until they float to the surface.  Remove with a slotted spoon.

**Extra uncooked gnocchi freezes well.  Spread them on a sheet tray in a single layer and freeze for about an hour.  Then put in a zip-top bag or airtight container for freezer storage.

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16 Comments »

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  1. You have done a great job with your gnocchi this time round. And matching them with those beautiful summer veg is fabulous!

  2. This looks fantastic, so colourful and fresh. I would eat it right off the screen if I could.

    I too didn’t realise that Donna Hay was real, until I saw her one time on Good Morning Australia making yummy chocolate cakes.

  3. These look so delish and a great way to use up some fresh summer veggies!

  4. Well done! I am with Anh – I am loving the veggie pairing!

  5. If all my veggie dishes can look and taste like this, I’d be a very happy woman.

  6. Your tips make sense and could even tempting me to try my hand at those lovely little dumplings.

  7. The gnocchi looks so good!
    And I wish I could see Donna Hay in person too. 🙂

  8. It’s dinner time here and your gnocchi is making me hungry.

  9. Wow, that’s a colorful and beautiful dish! Great gnocchi…

  10. I love your choice of the vegie combo with the gnocchi Steph. Looks fabulous. Thanks for joining HHDD.

  11. That looks like wonderful comfort food.

  12. Okay, I’m with you on the lead balls. It’s not my forte but is one of my favourites. I’m going to follow your friends advice and see where that takes me. thanks. ps. love the blog {:-)

  13. What a great way to enjoy gnocchi without a heavy sauce. It looks light and fabulous.

  14. Wow! This dish looks scrumptious. I’m thinking I need to try making it myself.

  15. gnocchi is one of my favourite foods and i wil try to make it myself now that ive seen yours! thanks for the inspiration

  16. NO idea what Gnocchi is but as my wife loves potatoes, thought i’d get your recipe (linked from Gnocchi competition)
    What the heck does ‘rice’ the potatoes mean?
    For that matter how do you Kosher salt crust potatoes?

    Any help appreciated.


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