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
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).
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.