by Sandra, Fabian, Fiamma & Fermin Lujan of Piemonte Farm
Read more about this wonderful family and their farm located right outside of Greensboro, NC on our blog!
We make gnocchi to be inspired for a meal that will take some hand-floured work and preparation time together. Gnocchi is the magic word, and this dish can be served with a pesto sauce, tomato sauce, béchamel – no matter how you make it, potato gnocchi is a must.
Ingredients, serves 4:
- About 1 3/4 pounds of potatoes, peeled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Don Gabino Cheese
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, or as needed
- First make mashed potatoes: Place the peeled potatoes in a large pot with enough cold water to cover, salt to taste. Bring the water to a boil and cook, until the potatoes are easily pierced. Drain the potatoes and mash them and add salt and pepper. Let them cool a little (until you feel comfortable handling it without getting burnt).
- Next make the gnocchi dough: Put the mashed potatoes in a large bowl, gradually add enough of the flour, about 1 1/2 cups, to form a smooth but slightly sticky dough. It should take no longer than 3 minutes to work the flour into the potato mixture. As you knead the dough, add flour being careful not to overdo it as the more flour you add the more hard the dough gets. It will stick to your hands and to the work surface, so rub this rough dough from your hands and scrape it from the work surface back into the dough as you knead.
Now let’s get those gnocchi done!
Wash and dry your hands. Dust the dough, your hands, and the work surface lightly with some of the remaining flour. Cut the dough into six equal pieces and set off to one side of the work surface. Place one piece of dough in front of you and using both hands, in a smooth back-and-forth motion, roll the dough into a rope 1/2 inch thick, flouring the dough if necessary as you roll to keep it from sticking.
Slice the ropes into 1/2-inch-thick pieces.
- Sprinkle the rounds lightly with flour and roll each piece quickly between your palms into a rough ball, flouring the dough and your hands as needed to prevent sticking.
- Hold the tines of a fork at a 45-degree angle to the table with the concave part facing up.
- Dip the tip of your thumb in flour. Take one ball of dough and with the tip of your thumb, press the dough lightly against the tines of the fork as you roll it downward toward the tips of the tines.
- As the dough wraps around the tip of your thumb, it will form into a dumpling with a deep indentation on one side and a ridged surface on the other.
Two pairs of hands are better than one! Repeat the whole process with the remaining pieces of dough. Keep the gnocchi in a floured surface while waiting for the water to boil. At this point the gnocchi must be cooked immediately or frozen.
3. Cook gnocchi: Bring six quarts of salted water to a vigorous boil in a large pot over high heat. Drop about half the gnocchi into the boiling water a few at a time, stirring very gently and continuously with a wooden spoon. Cook the gnocchi, stirring gently, until tender, about 1 minute after they rise to the surface. (You can cook the gnocchi all at once in two separate pots of boiling water. If you make a double batch of gnocchi, I strongly recommend cooking them in batches in two pots of water.) Remove the gnocchi from the water with a slotted spoon or skimmer, draining them well, and transfer to a wide saucepan with some of the sauce to be used. Cook the remaining gnocchi, if necessary.
When all the gnocchi are cooked, place them in a container you have chosen to serve at the table. I first sprinkle a handful of fresh shredded Don Gabino, then spread the sauce, place the gnocchi and top with more sauce and serve. Buon Apettito!