Monday, May 5, 2014

Purple potato gnocchi

Usually, I make gnocchi in batches and freeze what I am not immediately using.  Full disclosure, it did not work so well this time.  The trick to making gnocchi is to use as little flour as possible so the little potato pillows remain light and airy, instead of dense and heavy.  I always boil the potatoes in well salted water until fork tender, drain them, and then return the to the hot pot to pull extra water.  Then put them through the ricer (see first pic,) add the flour, salt, pepper until  pieces hold together and are not wet, then add the beaten egg.  I flour the work surface, and in batches, roll them into logs, cut them in one inch pieces and flick them off a fork.  I do not have a gnocchi board; I use a fork to create the classic ridges (pic 2.)

I bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and reduce heat.  Do not add the gnocchi to rapidly boiling water!  They are delicate and will not survive.  Remember, you are only looking to heat them through to cook the egg.  When the water is a rapid simmer, add the gnocchi in batches, do not crowd the pot.  When they float to the surface, give them another thirty to sixty seconds and remove to plate.

I like these with butter or with the pesto, in this case ramp pesto (see pic 3 and 4.)


I froze the balance, as I usually do.  When I cooked them, they deteriorated.  This is the first time I have ever made them with purple potatoes, as I said.  I am unsure if is the starch content in the potato, if they should have defrosted first (I never defrost them), or if they held too much water.  Always good to have a backup plan and out came the boxed pasta!

I use approximately three pounds of potato, again flour predicated on moisture in potato, and two -three eggs.  In this case duck eggs.  The potatoes came from Heller's Farms and the duck eggs from Nectar Orchards, both at the Cooperstown Farmers' Market!  

Ramp pesto to follow tomorrow.  This is a great time of year for foodies.  The abundance is just beginning.

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