For this week’s blog we are going to talk about one of the fantastic activities we offer in our destinations: cooking classes. When travelling to Rome, our guests can get their hands dirty by making home made potato gnocchi, a traditional dish that all Italians are proud of.
Today we’ll share the recipe, and trust us, once you start making them at home you won’t buy again those ready made fake-gnocchi.
Boil potatoes: In a large pot with just enough water to cover them, boil potatoes with their skins on. The skin helps the potato not too absorb access water. (Dry potatoes are good. Water potatoes are bad.) Boil for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Over-boiling will cause potatoes to become mushy and too wet.
*General rule of thumb: 1 medium-sized potato per serving or person. For every potato, you want to use approximately 1/2 cup of flour.
Drain well: Remove potatoes and drain well. Allow them to cool in a colander or over cheesecloth.
Peel potatoes: Peel boiled potatoes, removing any brown spots that might be below the skin.
Rice potatoes: Using a potato ricer, rice peeled potatoes. If they appear watery at this point, allow them to rest on a dishtowel to absorb excess water.
The foundation: Mound riced potato on the middle of a wooden board or a clean, dry countertop. Top with flour and sprinkle with salt.
Make a well: Using your hands, scoop out the center of your mound.
Add egg: Break egg into the center of the well. Beat the egg with a fork.
Incorporate ingredients: Using the fork, slowly start to pull in flour and potato to mix ingredients.
Begin to form: Use your hands to combine ingredients, beginning to form the dough.
Knead dough: Pull together ingredients and knead to form dough. Be careful not to over-knead. Be weary of adding flour at this point. Too much flour will give you hard gnocchi.
Shape dough: Shape dough into a long, wide rectangle for cutting.
Cut dough: Cut dough into 8-10 pieces, about 4 inches long.
The secret to perfect gnocchi: Knead just enough for the dough to come together. Dough should have a loose airy texture, not gooey or dense.
Roll into ropes: Roll each piece by gently pushing with fingers spread. The goal is to make an evenly-distributed rope. For shorter, heavier gnocchi, roll dough into thick ropes and cut into 1-inch pieces. For thinner gnocchi, roll longer ropes.
Cut dough ropes: Using a pastry cutter or non-serrated knife, cut dough ropes into 1-inch pieces. Cut ends at an angle.
Keep floured: To prevent sticking, keep gnocchi in a cool area. Toss them with extra flour while they are waiting to be cooked or frozen.
Ridges or indents: You can use a fork to create ridges or indent gently with your thumb.This process isn’t necessary, but adds to the asthetic of your final dish.
To cook: Gently shake away any excess flour and place finished gnocchi in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook gnocchi until they float to the top, about 2-4 minutes. Gently remove them with a slotted spoon, drain very well. Toss them in a saucepan with your favorite sauce and cook together for about 2 minutes. Do not wait longer than 45 minutes to cook gnocchi or they will begin to stick to each other.