Handmade Gnocchi ~ Recipe

gnocchiOnly two ingredients for this gnocchi. They are very filling and delicious. You can boil potatoes the day before and smash them, keep them in the fridge and then make gnocchi shape the next day, as I do when I have people coming over. It is much easier though if you just smash the potatoes when they are still hot and mix them with flour right after, they stick together easier and quicker. Anyway, I tried both ways, and they come out as good! Freezing them it is not possible, unfortunately they loose their texture.

How to serve them:

This is a typical north-Italy dish and it can be served in many ways. What I personally love the most, is with just knob of butter, melted with some black pepper,sage and Parmesan cheese on top. I prefer it because it emphases the taste of potatoes and it is not over-powering. You can also have them served with ragù (click here for recipe).

Time: 1 hour and ½ preparation + 10 minutes cooking

Ingredients:   [8 big portions]

  •  1kg potatoes
  • 400 gr white flour
  • salt

1, Boil the potatoes in salted water. There is no need to remove the skin, it will remain trapped inside the potatoes masher.

2. When they are tender (check with fork, around 40 minutes after), smash them with an old-style potatoes masher. Taste them, if it is needed, add more salt, which usually happens.

4. Put some extra flour on your clean table surface and start working your potatoes with 400 gr of white flour until you’ll have  a compact texture, enough to create a mass. See the picture below.

gnocchi025. In the meanwhile spread a clean tea-towel on your table and cover it with some flour, as in the picture, in order to prevent your gnocchi to get sticked on each other.

6. With a knife, cut a small quantity from your mass. Now go back to your childhood and model it to obtain the shape of quite long worm. With a knife, cut it in smaller pieces, almost 3 cm long. Be sure to add extra flour on your table if they get sticky. While you’re making them put them on the tea-towel to rest.

7. Cooking process: Use an extra-large pot to bring salted water to boil. Add small quantities of them, not all together, otherwise they will stick on the bottom of your pot or even worse, they lose their shape and become one huge gnocco. They are cooked, as soon as they float on water surface again. Use a small colander to pull them out and keep cooking in the same pot all the other gnocchi left.

Buon appetito!

PS: I want to add a funny and unrelated information: in very informal Italian language we use the word ‘gnocca/o’ to point a sexy/attractive woman or man out: ‘Che gnocca!’ XD

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‘Maccu’ ~ Broad Beans Recipe

macco‘Maccu’ is an old and poor dish, cooked in the entire Sicily island with many variations. In some village it is cooked with short pasta, some other with beans and different aromatic herbs. The tradition wants this dish as main dish the day of Saint Joseph, 19th March in Italy. This is also Father’s day for Italians.

Note: some broad beans package suggests to let them soak for 6 hours. Just check what is written on the back of your package and follow its directions.

Time:  2 hours

Ingredients:  4 portions

  • 500 gr dehydrated broad beans ( or double amount fresh without skin)
  • 1 onion
  • 250 gr peas in a can
  • 4 tbs e.v. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • wild fennel **( or you can use one jar of already prepared…) This last ingredient is very rare outside of Sicily, maybe some fresh dill could be used as substitution or just skip it.

1. Peel, wash and cut finely the onion. Put 2 tbs in a pot, when it start frizzling, add your onion. After 3 minutes, add also the broad beans.

2. Add 800 ml water, put lid on, and cook for around 1 hour and half, low temperature  – add some wild fennel if you have it. Every once in a while, stir it and use the spoon to smash apart the broad beans  to obtain a cream consistency.  When they are perfectly melted and almost fully cooked, add 250 peas, salt, and pepper. Cook for other 10 minutes.

Let it cool down a little bit and add 2 tbs e.v.oil. It is served lukewarm.

and.. Buon appetito!