Cooking with Arlene Part 1: Gnocchi2015-01-08T18:59:09-04:00

Home Forums Recipes Cooking with Arlene Part 1: Gnocchi

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  • AvatarThe Quacker Factory
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    Arlene Pomonte has become such a warm & wonderful friend to not only me, but also to Patrick & the rest of our Quacker team! Periodically she opens her home to us for a home cooked Italian meal– that rivals the best Italian restaurants!! She had given me a recipe years ago for wine chicken that I love, and now I plan to make these lovely recipes too! Although I am still hoping for a personal session from her on how to make her “homeades”. Enjoy! ~Angel xo

    Gnocchi!


    My Grandfather decided that I would be the one in my family to whom he would pass on his cooking knowledge. He taught me the art of making fresh pasta, “homemades” as we call them in our family. In part 1 I’m sharing with you how to make homemade Gnocchi and next Chicken Cacciatore.!

    OK, just a few tips for making dough . . .

    – NEVER mix dough when it’s raining or damp (you’ll have to adjust the amount of flour if it’s a humid day)

    – Don’t over work the dough because it’ll make it tough & the pasta will be chewy

    This dough will be soft but not tacky, if it’s tacky add small amounts of flour at a time untill
    you get the desired touch. When you press on the dough with your finger it should come
    right back up (like when you press on your skin, it ‘bounces’ right back)

    Ingredients:

    – About 1 pound of All Purpose Potatoes (I use a ricer on the potatoes after they are
    boiled to get a creamy consistency & no lumps)

    – 1 3/4 cups sifted Flour (All Purpose flour)

    – 1/4 tsp Salt

    – 1 Egg

    – Cornmeal

    Directions:

    – peel potatoes & cut into cubes, put in a pot covered with salted water & boil for 20 minutes (or until fork tender).

    – drain potatoes & return them to the pot to help with removing any excess moisture.

    – measure out 1/2 cup of sifted flour into a large mixing bowl (or onto your counter or
    mixing board).

    – while the potatoes are still hot (but able to handle them), make a well in the center of the flour & rice the potatoes into the well.

    – add the salt to the potato & flour pile.

    – OK here’s a tricky part . . . the potatoes have to be hot when they are mixed but they can’t be too hot or they will scramble the egg . . .

    – SO, start to combine the 1/2 cup of flour & the riced potatoes & salt – this will help to cool the potatoes, once they feel just warm (remember the potatoes CAN’T be completely cool but they can’t be hot either so you’re looking for a luke warm temp) once they feel warm add 1 egg and continue to mix adding in the remaining flour as needed. (the amount of flour you’ll use depends on A LOT of factors – the amount of humidity in the air, the amount of water in the potatoes, the size of the egg . . . as you knead the dough add flour in small amounts to make the dough soft & elastic).

    – once the dough is all combined & it’s smooth, soft, and elastic to touch; bring it into a ball. Set it aside covered with a towel to rest for about 20 minutes.

    MAKING the GNOCCHI:

    – once the dough has rested, slice off a piece of the dough about 1/2 thick.

    – sprinkle some cornmeal onto a baking sheet (you’ll put the gnocchi onto the sheet pan after you form them, the cornmeal keeps them from sticking together. You don’t need a lot).

    – put flour on your counter top & your hands.

    – use the palms of your hands to roll the dough into a long ”snake’ a little thicker than a pencil (you don’t want them too thin or they’ll fall apart when you’re cooking them).

    – once you have the right thickness, cut the dough into little pillows about 3/4 of an inch long (the length from the tip of your thumb to the first knuckle).

    Now the tricky part . . .

    – take a fork & put flour on the tines, take a dough pillow put it at the base of the fork tines & roll it off the fork – shaping the gnocchi by pressing lightly with your thumb. (it’s a ‘flicking’ motion, don’t do it too slow or you’ll squash the pillow, so put the pillow at the base of the fork and in a quick flicl

    – with gentle pressure roll the pillow down the fork tines to make a little shell & roll it so the ends come together.

    – continue that till you’ve gone through the entire dough ball – adding flour as needed especially if the dough starts to feel tacky add of little more flour on your hands as your rolling it into a snake.

    – Once you’ve filled the sheet pan up you can put it in the freezer to freeze the gnocchi, leave them in for about 20-30 minutes & then put them into a zip lock bag for storage in the freezer.
    You can double or triple the recipe if you want to make more but I would stick to these amounts until you have a feel for the process & you’ll know approximately how many gnocchi you get from 1 recipe.

    To cook, simply bring a big pot of water to a boil, salt the water liberally, add the gnocchi & boil rapidly until the gnocchi float to the surface & are tender – approx. 8-10 minutes. Drain and mix with your favorite sauce. And Voilà, you have it!

    Be sure to check back next week to learn how to make our special homemade Chicken Cacciatore!

    Arlene Pomante

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