I have been talking recently about new foods I have tried out as a result of taking up food blogging. I got in to a rut when I was losing weight and ate a lot of the same food because I knew it was ‘safe’ in terms of being low calorie. But that gets boring after a while and when you start to get bored with food that is when your diet can go a bit haywire. It is why I don’t like diets like the grapefruit diet. Sure they might work but how sustainable are they? You end up just going back to the old ways of eating. For me losing weight has not been just about getting my portions right – that has played a huge role but it has also been about fundamentally changing what I eat.
I know some people are happy having steak and three veg for dinner every night and more power to them. But that is not me. I do have my favourites that I go back to regularly but adding new things to the rotation is also important.
A while back I mentioned I was slipping back in to that rut and at just the right time received an email from Genie from Bunny Eats Design inviting me to take part in the monthly event Our Growing Edge. This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Christine and Kath from Garden Eats.
Gnocchi is not a new food item for me, I have been munching on gnocchi for years. I adore gnocchi with gorgonzola and all its cheesy goodness. It used to be my go to recipe at Italian restaurants, but I seem to have stopped going to Italian restaurants so much and when I do go gnocchi with gorgonzola is rarely on the menu. It definitely feels like it has fallen out of favour.
For all my gnocchi eating, I have never actually made it myself. I always found the whole idea of making pasta daunting and thought it needed fancy special rolling equipment. I have been making a few gnocchi based dishes recently like this one for skillet ham and cheese gnocchi and have been a bit disappointed by the store bought gnocchi. The gnocchi wasn’t awful but it didn’t have the lovely lightness of the gnocchi you get in good restaurants. It was just a little bit too solid.
I launched in to searches for gnocchi recipes and was surprised how easy it actually sounded to make. Boil some potatoes and add some flour. I thought even I could do that and I was right! I was nervous about how to tell when I had added enough flour but one recipe talked about adding flour until it was only lightly sticky. You will get what I mean when you start kneading. I would err on the side of caution and not add too much flour. I was surprised how quickly it turned in to a dough like texture and that you could knead it. Don’t over knead though or the dough will become glutinous.
The one other area where was some variation in technique was removing the skins. Some recipes said if you used a potato ricer (which I always do) then the skins would just get caught and not end up in the mash. But I just wasn’t convinced by that. I peeled my potatoes while they were still hot, holding on to the potato precariously with a silicon oven mitt thingy. The skin came of surprisingly easy – peeling off in parts.
The big thing to remember when making gnocchi is to get the right kind of potato. But I can’t work out how to tell what that is. I used Desiree which some websites recommend and others reject. There is agreement that you should use a floury potato but then working out what is a floury potato is tough. Desirees are listed as both floury and waxy depending on where you look.
I will definitely be making this recipe again and this time will make extra to freeze. The trick to freezing seems to be to freeze them on a tray in a single layer, not touching and then when frozen, packaging up in to serves.
The gnocchi took about 30 minutes to make and preparation time was under 5 minutes. Not the lowest calorie dish at about 315 calories a serve without sauce but a great treat.
- 360g of floury potato (I used desiree)
- About 70-90g of flour
- Salt and pepper to season
- Pop the potatoes (with their skin on) in a pot of water and bring to the boil.
- Boil for 20-25 minutes. You want them to be just cooked. I used a skewer to check they were cooked but you don't want to check them too much as you don't want to get water in to the potato. Other recipes recommend baking the potatoes to keep the potatoes dry. if you do this you could probably peel them first.
- Take the potatoes out of the boiling water and dry them off.
- While still hot, peel the potatoes.
- Let the potatoes cool slightly but not too much.
- Once slightly cooled, dust the bench with some flour and start kneading flour into the potato.
- Knead until the potato dough is ligthly sticky.
- Roll the potato into 1 inch wide log.
- Cut the log into pieces of about 1 and a 1/2 inches long.
- Using your fork with the tines (prongs) facing down, press the tines (prongs) into the gnocchi.
- When you are ready to use the gnocchi, put them in a pot of boiling water and when they float to the top they are cooked. Drain and add your sauce.