“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Tuscany, Italy!

Monday, December 17, 2012

How to make gnocchi- come fare gnocchi

Gnocchi, little fluffy dumpling like parcels. Typically made from semolina flour or regular flour or sometimes both. When made correctly they are light clouds of heavenly goodness. The word gnocchi derives from the word 'nocchio', meaning a knot in wood, or 'nocca' meaning knuckle! As with every Italian dish, there are various ways of preparing and serving, gnocchi is no exception. I have two favourite sauces, one from the North of Italy and one from the South- both are vastly different (I will share these with you soon).
The thing I love about making gnocchi is that although they are not difficult to make, it does take time, patience and consistency. With the anticipation and labour required the finality is accelerated when you can sit at the table any enjoy them. For me it is also a occasion to be spent in the kitchen with good company. The last time I made gnocchi was with my Mother, a lovely way to spend an afternoon. As the school holidays are approaching, a 'gnocchi making day' could be a fun way to keep the kids entertained (for five minutes any-way)?
Remember, a light hand yields light and delicate gnocchi! 
What you need (photographed is for double quantity):
one kilo of potatoes
one egg
300 grams of flour
pinch of salt
How to make:
1: Place the peeled potatoes in a large pot of hot boiling water with a little salt until tender and cooked through
2: When the potatoes are ready strain and as quickly as possible remove the skins while the potatoes are still hot (be careful not to burn your hands). I find using a tea-towel and fork to be of benefit
3: Pass the peeled potatoes through a 'potatoe press', or if you do not have one push though a regular sieve using the back of a spoon, this results in a velvety texture
4: On a large clean bench quickly blend the hot 'mashed' potato with sifted flour and lightly combine
5: Make a well in the centre of the potato/flour and add the egg- lightly whisk and blend altogether. Form together into one big ball, this becomes the dough
6: Using your hands, knead the dough lightly until it becomes pliable and slightly elastic- do not over knead. Knead the dough only as long as it takes to hold the dough together in a workable dough. The less kneading, the lighter and better result you will receive. The dough is ready when you use the tip of your finger and press to make a indent and the dough springs back
7: Cut sections of the dough, and on a well floured surface roll out long strings of the dough. Using the palms of your hands to roll and stretch. Continue this process until you have used all of the dough
8: Use a sharp knife and cut slightly on the diagonal into small gnocchi shapes, place aside again on a floured surface
9: The final step is to use the palm of your hand and roll the gnocchi down a ravioli wooden board, or you can you the back of a fork for the same effect. The purpose of this step is so the gnocchi catches the sauce they are to cooked in
10: Finally, gently drop the gnocchi into a large pot of salted boiling water. They are ready when they float to the top, which will take no more than five minutes. 
11: Remove the gnocchi using a slotted spoon and add to your favourite sauce

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