3.08.2013

gnocchi of a different color

prep time:  tbd
cook time:  tbd
servings:  tbd

potato gnocchi ingredients (master ingredients):
1 1/2 pounds starchy potatoes
salt
paper
1/2 - 3/4 cup flour + more as needed

potato gnocchi steps:
1.  heat the oven to 400 degrees.  bake potatoes until tender, about an hour.  immediately split them open to let the steam escape.  when you can handle the potatoes, scoop out their flesh.

2.  (see options below if interested)  bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.  pass potato flesh through a ricer or food mill, and season to taste.  sprinkle 1/4 cup flour on a clean counter or cutting board, and knead the potatoes with it, sprinkling in the remaining 1/4 cup flour, until the dough just come together.  pinch off a piece of the dough, and boil it to make sure it will hold its shape.  if it does not, knead in a bit more flour (no more than necessary), and try again; the gnocchi will float to the top and look a little ragged when ready.

3.  roll a piece of the dough into a rope about 1/2-inch thick, then cut the rope into 1/2-inch lengths.  score each piece by rolling it along the tines of a fork; as each piece is ready, put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper; do not allow the gnocchi to touch one another.

4.  add gnocchi to the boiling water a few at a time, and stir gently; adjust the heat so the mixture doesn't boil too vigorously.  a few seconds after they rise to the surface, the gnocchi are done; remove them with a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, and finish sauce.

gnocchi flavor options:

beet gnocchi steps:
1.  peel and grate 1/2 pound beets.  cook in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat, seasoning to taste, until very soft, 25 - 30 minutes.  transfer to food processor, and puree until smooth.  stir into the mashed potatoes in step 2 of the master recipe (mostly likely will need an extra 1/4 cup flour).

spinach gnocchi steps:
1.  roughly chop 8 ounces spinach.  cook in 2 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat, seasoning to taste and stirring, until soft and wilted, about 5 minutes.  rinse under cold water and squeeze dry.  transfer to food processor and puree until smooth.  stir into the mashed potatoes in step 2 of the master recipe (mostly likely will need an extra 1/4 cup flour).

carrot gnocchi steps:
1.  peel and grate 1/2 pound carrots.  cook in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat, seasoning to taste, until very soft, 20 - 30 minutes.  transfer to food processor and puree until smooth.  stir into the mashed potatoes in step 2 of the master recipe (most likely will need an extra 1/4 cup flour).

sauce options:

tomato sauce steps:
1.  cook a small chopped onion in olive oil until soft.  add minced garlic, 3 - 4 cups chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper.  cook at a steady bubble until "saucy."  if the sauce becomes too thick, add a splash of the gnocchi cooking water before serving.  garnish with torn basil and/or grated parmesan.

olive oil and garlic steps:
1.  put at least a tablespoon of minced garlic in a puddle of olive oil, along with (optional) red-pepper flakes and/or chopped anchovies  cook until the garlic is turns golden (but no more than that).  toss with the gnocchi, some of their cooking water and plenty of chopped parsley.

bacon and cream steps:
1.  cook some chopped bacon, prosciutto or pancetta in a bit of olive oil over medium-low heat until nearly crisp.  stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream and a lot of pepper.  let the cream thicken slightly before adding the gnocchi.

brown butter, sage and parmesan steps:
1.  put 4 tablespoon butter and a handful of fresh sage leaves (40) in a skillet over medium heat.  cook until the butter is light brown and the sage is sizzling, about 3 minutes.  toss with the gnocchi, some of their cooking water and loads of grated parmesan.

- new york times, february 2013

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