There are many dishes in the culinary world that have something special about them. One such delicacy is gnocchi (read: “njoki”). These are Italian noodles that have made their way to the tables of kitchens around the world, winning the hearts of gourmets with their simplicity and unique flavor. Today we will take you on a journey through the mysterious world of gnocchi and share the secrets of their preparation.
Gnocchi – simple, but exquisite
Let’s be honest, gnocchi is one of those dishes that can amaze with its simplicity. In short, gnocchi are small potato dumplings. It seems trivial, doesn’t it? But here’s the surprise: these tiny, plump pieces of dough can melt in the mouth, even melting in deliciousness and flavor.
History of Gnocchi
The history of gnocchi is as rich as their taste. The first mention of this dish dates back to ancient Rome. Initially, they were prepared from flour and water. However, it was in Italy, especially in the central and northern regions, that potatoes began to be added. This made the gnocchi softer, more tender and plump.
Gnocchi is a truly minimalist dish that requires only a few basic ingredients: potatoes, flour, eggs and a little salt. This is one of those dishes where the quality of the ingredients is of paramount importance. Good quality potatoes, fresh flour and fresh eggs are the key to successful gnocchi preparation.
Gnocchi Preparation Process
Preparing gnocchi may seem like a daunting task, but it is certainly one that is accessible to anyone, regardless of culinary skill level. Here are the steps to follow:
- Cooking the Potatoes: Potatoes are a key ingredient in gnocchi, so cook them until tender. Once they are cooked and drained, peel off their skins and mash them thoroughly into a purée.
- Adding the Flour and Eggs: Next, add the flour and eggs to the potato purée. All this must be mixed thoroughly until a smooth dough is formed. This is where the secret of why gnocchi are so tender lies – you need to avoid over-mixing to avoid excessive gluten formation.
- Forming Gnocchi Noodles: the dough is now ready to form the noodles. This can be done by punching out pieces of dough and rolling them out on a table, then cutting them into small pieces. Another method is to form the rolls and cut them into smaller pieces. You can also use your traditional hands to create distinctive furrows on the surface of the gnocchi, which help hold the sauces.
- Cooking Gnocchi: Now it’s time to cook them. Simply drop them into salted boiling water. They cook very quickly – it usually takes only a few minutes. The moment they float to the surface, they are ready to be taken out.
- Side dishes and Sauces: You can serve them with a classic tomato sauce, butter and sage, or maybe with a creamy sauce with mushrooms? It depends on your taste preferences.
If you don’t feel like going through the whole process at home, stop by Food Town for gnocchi!