Thursday is Gnocchi Day in Rome Let’s enjoy some pasta made from potatoes!
Gnocchi is the plural of Gnoccho which are little potato dumplings. The documentation on the potato dumplings dates back to the 14th Century. This dish is cheap to make, so in the olden days it was a popular dish to prepare at the end of the month when there would hardly be any money left.
There are many food oriented festivals in Italy. The gnocchi are also celebrated. Every year the last day of the carnival in Verona is dedicated to ‘Baccanal del Gnoco’/Festival of Gnocchi. Besides all the meal is tasty and also filling: great comfort food! A very accessible dish to the ordinary cook. Gnocchi can be served with a wide variety of sauces. As shown in the photograph, this is a simple version with a sage and butter sauce.
Ingredients gnocchi (serves 4 adults)
- 1 kilogram of potatoes
- 300 grams of flour
- 1 egg
- 50 grams butter
- 1 cup of sage sliced
- 2 table spoons extra virgin olive oil
Boil the potatoes with skin in salty water for about twenty minutes. The time it takes to cook, depends on the size of your potatoes. You can easily check if the potatoes are done by sticking in a sharp knife. If the potato slides off easily, they are done.
Let the potatoes cool off and peel them. Mash the potatoes with a fork and add one egg once mashed. Mix it together and slowly start adding flour. In the meantime make sure your worktop is lightly covered in flour.
The minute you’ve added some flour to the mixture, stick in your hands and start mixing. Fold the dough, turn and fold. Keep this going until you create a good dough. To test if you dough is ready, press your thumb – the dough should bounce back.
Cut a slice off the dough. Roll this slice with your hands to a cylinder of about 2 cm thick. Take a sharp kitchen knife and cut pieces of 1.5 cm.
Boil 3 liters of salty water in a large pan. Drop the gnocchi gently into the pan. The gnocchi are ready when the come floating at the top. Take the pasta with a skimmer and place them on a plate.
The gnocchi can be served with many different types of toppings. Most simple is extra virgin olive oil with Parmesan on top. My preference goes to a butter sauce with sage. Melt the butter, add a bit of olive oil and some chopped sage. Mix, stir until it’s warm. Now you can pour the topping on the gnocchi.
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