Local food: gnocchi

Tonight, for the first time, I made gnocchi from scratch. I used a recipe from today's Christchurch Press, by Maxine Clark. Although gnocchi has always seemed exotic and probably difficult to make to me, I used (following the recipe to the letter) home grown potatoes, egg and sage. I used New Zealand grown flour, cheese and butter.

It turned out pretty well.

Cook 600g floury potatoes in boiling water for 20-30 minutes, until very tender. Drain well. Mash the potatoes, add 1 teaspoon salt and 200g flour. Make a well in the centre and crack in an egg. Mix together, knead lightly to yield a soft, slightly sticky dough. Roll into long sausages, 1.5cm in diameter. Cut into 2cm pieces. Lay on lightly floured tea towel.

Bring big pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the gnocchi in batches. Drop into the boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep hot while you cook the rest. Mix 200g melted butter with 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the butter mixture over the gnocchi and sprinkle over 50g parmesan.

The sage worked well and I'm pleased about that as I almost never cook from my little plant near the back door. Time to try a few more sage recipes perhaps. We used cheddar cheese as I was out of parmesan. Still good.

So now I might have a go at Annabel Langbein's recipe for nettle or spinach gnocchi. It looks to be a more varied dish (I don't do multi-course dinners for family tea. I scarcely do multi pot dinners for family tea). As well as the green stuff in the gnocchi, she serves it with a tomato sauce. But hers calls for ricotta, which is a pricey ingredient, pulling things into the realm of special food. Maybe it would work with cottage cheese.

But anyway, fancy food from local ingredients, which turns out not to be so very difficult to cook. I would be faster next time. It is one of those dishes which look quick and might well be with practise, but probably wouldn't survive the need to drop all cooking and growl at children or inspect bike wounds... Same reason I don't bother with stir fry if I'm the only adult at home during cooking time.


Christy said…
i do like gnocchi, one of my comfort foods. i will try with the sage and butter - i usually break out some frozen pesto when i make. it does get easier with practice. i don't use a recipe, just cook up a random amount of potatoes, mash them onto the bench, add a bit of salt, then just keep kneading in handfuls of flour till it rolls nicely and isn't sticky. no egg. yum.
Sounds good and easy Christy, thanks. I'm considering pumpkin gnocchi as well now. What I really should have a go at is yam gnocchi. We have to use up the yams somehow. I'm going to cook the green ones up for the chooks but the properly yellow ones really should go into our own tummies given I gave over most of the precious punga raised bed to them for nearly 12 months.

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