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Vegan Potato Gnocchi

2009 March 1
by brannyboilsover

Remember last Christmas, when you went to that Italian Restaurant that was oh-so-fancy?  And you saw it on the menu: gnocchi.  And, oh!, how you wanted to order it.  You’ve seen recipes for it and read all about it online.  You knew from the descriptions that you would love these little pillows of potato-y-pasta-y-goodness.  But you were paralyzed.  How do you say this word?  

Is it…  Ga-notchie?  Not-chee?  Know-Chee?  Know-Shee?   Knock-Chi?  Ga-no-shee?  Scratch that last one, it sounds to Asian, we’re talking Italian food here.  

It is confusing.  I admit it, I was confused.  Giada on Food Network said it one way.  Mario Batali said it another.  Neither of which sounded like the above, very American, pronunciations.  I can’t even bring Emeril LeGasse’s method of saying the word into this.  Oh, vey.  

So, off to our friend google so that I can give YOU a proper lesson so that you may finally enjoyed what so many others have indulged in.

According to this website:

The “gno” makes a “nyo” sound with a silent “g”.

The “cch” is pronounced as a hard “k”.

The “i” is an “ee” sound as in “tree”.

“nyo kee”

So that’s how I say it.  But, just in case you need more evidence, turn up your speakers and Click Here.

Homemade Gnocchi (source: Vegan with a Vengeance)

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Traditional potato gnocchi calls for an egg.  I didn’t know this until after I attempted this recipe.  Since I am not vegan, I think I will try a recipe that includes egg and compare the two at a later date.

2 lbs russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed

1/2 tsp salt

2 T olive oil

1.5 to 1.75 cups all-purpose flour

imgp09601I busted out this old school food scale to weigh my potato.  I was scaling down the recipe to serve two as a side dish.  This baby was right at 3/4 of a pound.

Preheat oven to 400*  Poke holes in potato and bake them directly on the rack for 45 minutes (or more, depending on size) until tender. [I actually stuck mine in the crockpot on high and went shopping.  When I got home 2 hours later, they were perfectly cooked].  Let cool.

Remove skins from cooled potatoes and place them in a large mixing bowl.  

imgp0965And because any self-respecting woman NEVER weighs herself with her clothes on, I weighed my potato again after removing the skin.  Just UNDER 3/4 lb.  Yep, that’s what I thought.  

Add olive oil and salt and mash very well.  There should be no major lumps but the potatoes should not be pureed – this will result in sticky gnocchi.  Incorporate the flour by handfuls until you have used half the amount called for in the recipe.  At this point, you can need the dough on a floured surface.  The end results should be a smooth, unsticky, dry dough.  

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Roll the dough in portions into ropes about 1/2inch thick.  Cut into lengths 3/4 inch long.  Then, using a fork, roll the dumping from one end of the tines to the other.  The end results should be a notched side and a dimpled side.

slide1 I have labeled the essential features of the gnocchi in this photo.  Take notes.  TYVM.

At this point, sprinkle any gnocchi you would like to save with flour, place on a baking sheet, and freeze 30 minutes.  Then place them in a zip-log bag.  When ready to cook at a later date, just follow the subsequent directions for cooking fresh gnocchi.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add salt.  Boil gnocchi in small batches (if making full recipe, 3 batches is sufficient).  Within 2 minutes, the gnocchi will rise to the top.  Boil LESS THAN ONE MINUTE once they have risen.  I boiled just over a minute and over-cooked my dumplings :( .  Transfer them to a large plate so that they are not bearing weight on one another and sauce as desired.

I sauteed mine in butter with oregano and basil:

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Tip: Before forming your dumplings, bring a small pot of water to a boil and drop in one formed gnocchi.  Test it for proper flour/potato ratio by letting it rise to the top and simmering in water (not rapidly boiling!) for just under a minute.  If it disintigrates, add more flour to your batch before forming remaining gnocchi.