My Delicious Gnocchi, A Family Favourite - index

My Delicious Gnocchi, A Family Favourite

Are you looking for a delicious family friendly recipe?

Winter is just around the corner and we all crave comforting family friendly dishes. When I notice Dutch Cream potatoes starting to roll into stores, I know it’s time to start making comforting, pillowy gnocchi.

This is one recipe you can prepare as a way to engage your children how to cook. Just about anything works with gnocchi; a simple tomato based sauce,  pesto, sage and burnt butter, beef mince or slow cooked pork, and my family personally love the flavour of spreadable chorizo in my tomato base. You can also freeze gnocchi ahead and make dinner in a flash.

Let me say, that store bought gnocchi is not the same as homemade. Over the years I have had many kids in my kitchen making gnocchi and they have all inhaled it so I recommend giving it a go!

Gnocchi – Serves 4-6

1 hour preparation and 2 minutes to cook

Ingredients:

2 kg dutch cream potatoes, scrubbed and washed (you can substitute desires potatoes but they do not produce the best result). *Dutch Creams can be purchased locally from Agrestic Grocer and Woolworths.

1 Cup plain flour, plus 200 g extra reserved flour

1 egg, whisked lightly

1 kg bag of rock salt – optional, (helps potatoes dry out faster after scrubbing. Skins are also nice and crisp).

Note:

You will need a good-sized wooden board or stone you can flour and work the dough on and a potato ricer and slotted spoon or small metal sieve.

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 C fan-forced or 220 C conventional. Meanwhile, spread rock salt if using out on large roasting tray and lay whole potatoes on it. Place in oven for approximately 1.5 hours, turning over with tongs half-way through. Prepare board/stone bench by sprinkling a small amount of reserved flour.
  2. Remove and start picking up with tongs to cut in half and scoop out flesh with a teaspoon into a bowl. Once all flesh is in a bowl, press potato in portions through a potato ricer onto prepared board or stone bench.
  3. Make a mound with well in the middle, add egg and fold and then add 1⁄2 cup flour to potato and carefully mix gently with hands to mix in without kneading too heavily. Add the remaining flour and cradle the dough and turn, working carefully until it all comes together. It should be a smooth like playdough. Adding too much flour will make it tough and rubbery, but feel free to add some of the reserved flour if too soft or sticky as it won’t hurt it.
  4. Flour a clean surface space on board and break off some handfuls of dough and start rolling with the palms of your hands to create medium-long strips until they are even sized; not too thick and not too thin. Cut each strip into 1 cm pieces.
  5. You can leave the shape as is or as you go, roll each piece in a small to medium sized pillow. If you like you can create an indent by rolling down the back of a fork or gnocchi paddle.
  6. To cook gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and drop the gnocchi in carefully. When they float to the surface, they are ready and remove them with a slotted spoon or small metal sieve and rest for a second or two on clean tea-towel. Then place into bowl and top with sauce of choice. Serve immediately with parmesan.

    Note: you can freeze gnocchi when it is uncooked on a tray in the freezer for a few hours and then place solid pieces into freezer bags for when ready to use.

This is an original recipe by Amorette Zielinski

Cooking Back To School – Fill Your Freezer

The silly season has come and gone and now it’s time to think about the school season again.

Dear reader I sympathise with you. On top of a busy day there are school shoes to buy, last minute stationary to pick up and of course the biggest headache of all the extracurricular and school schedule (clashes galore).

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a really busy person. I am. The key to fitting so much into my day is organisation. I like to be organised in all my daily tasks, including what’s going on the table for dinner.

I take my hat off to all the mums who get home at 7pm, after sport or dance (and most likely after a flat out day where you haven’t had time to scratch yourself) with no dinner organised. The daunting task of having to concoct a Michelin star dish with whatever is on hand (and hopefully no one screws their nose up to) begins. I’m not that mum at all.

I prepare my meals in advance. However, I’m not a meal planning mum, I don’t take hours to write up menus of breakfast lunch and dinner for the month- not at all; I frankly don’t have time for that. I just ensure I either have something delicious to marinate for dinner to bbq with a salad, or stick in my slow cooker before I leave in the morning or to pull out of my freezer.

Freezer meals and I are best friends. Nothing satisfies me more than when I open my freezer that’s bursting with a selection of delicious things to eat. When I pull one out and easily prepare it on days where I haven’t had time to even think about what I’m feeding everyone, I almost feel like someone else has done all the cooking for me.

At the start of each school term I take a few hours to prepare and store meals that I know my family love to eat. Today it was zucchini slice (in muffin form- also great for lunchboxes), napolitana pasta sauce (due to an abundance of tomatoes in the garden) and pork, chive and coriander wontons (perfect steamed or in soup).

I simply cook, cool and portion everything and pop it in the freezer. I get excited when the freezer is all stocked and ready to go. If you don’t have time to set a couple of hours aside, consider making double batches of the meals your making anyway and freeze the extra for a meal down the track. Bolognese, curries, homemade pies, the list is endless. It takes the same amount of effort to put double the ingredients as it does for one meal.

Many of you are probably reading this thinking I already freeze meals (high five), plenty of people do and I say good on them! For those of you who don’t I challenge you before school goes back to at make at least one meal to have in your freezer as an emergency dinner. Trust me you will thank yourself, especially on those days where everything seems impossible.