Thursday, April 21, 2011

Knock, knock, gnocchi

Gnocchi is a big hit in our house.  We all love it.  There was a gnocchi request for dinner this week.  Considering I had some potatoes which needed a purpose, seemed like a sensible solution.

When I first ate gnocchi I decided it must be complicated to make.  It isn't.  I didn't understand exactly how easy it was until I purchased The Silver Spoon Cookbook.  (This cookbook is fabulous, by the way.  True Italian cooking.  Most recipes are short with a few ingredients and they all taste wonderful.)

I peel a few potatoes (weighed out how many I needed).  Cube and place them in the steamer to cook.

When the potatoes are done, rice them into a bowl and add the appropriate amounts of flour, egg and salt.  (I prefer ricing the potatoes to achieve a smooth even texture.  Ricing also creates less starch interactions in the potato than mashing.)

Flour a kitchen towel.  Form the gnocchi and roll in flour.  They are now ready to cook!  That simple.

Kale was on sale at the grocery store this week.  Since I came home with a big bag (we had sauteed kale with beef roast Sunday night), I immediately thought of the wonderful gnocchi with beans and greens at Piccolo's.  (I love living in an area that supports local food establishments.  We have tons of great, local options around here.)

First, I soaked some dried white beans overnight in the refrigerator.  When I got home that evening, I simmered the beans on the stove about an hour and half.  Then drained the beans (retaining the cooking liquid), placed them in a container and stored them, and the juice in a separate container, in the refrigerator for the next day.

I thawed some of my homemade smoked turkey stock (about 4 cups) and added the cooking liquid from the beans.  I brought this to boil, also adding salt to taste and chopped garlic.  I cooked the gnocchi in the boiling broth, then added the chopped kale.  Finally, I added the cooked beans to heat thoroughly.


News from the needles:

Look what arrived today.  Happy mail day!

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