Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More Potato Pillows

Remember that time I took a gnocchi class? Well, I decided it was time to tackle making this dish at home. Lana and I hadn't seen each other for about a week so I broke my 'no making plans on Mondays' rule and we made plans to make some pumpkin gnocchi.

If you want to do this at home the only special equipment you'll definitely need is a potato ricer. I also like the gnocchi board for creating grooves but some people swear by using a fork. I end up just making really ugly sort of squished gnocchi with a fork so if you can figure it out you're a better gnocchi maker than I am. (By the way, the reason there are grooves in pasta and gnocchi is so that they are better at holding sauces. The type of pasta used in a dish correlates to the sauce or dressing used. Just in case you weren't in the know.) I also like using a spider to get the gnocchi out of the water but apparently I am the only one on the planet who calls it this because no one knows what I'm talking about when I mention it. Not even the lady who works at Sur La Table.

We used this recipe except actually not really. Neither of us had any all spice and there was none at the store I went to and I didn't really want to use it anyways. So we decided to go a more savory route. I know when people make pumpkin ravioli there are usually cookie crumbs in it which sweetens it but I always find it far too saccharine for my tastes and I didn't want our gnocchi to be that way. So rather than the suggested spices, and with some help from The Flavor Bible, we decided to use just a dash of cinnamon, some garlic salt, and rosemary. We also put in salt and pepper of course.

Lana volunteered to do this part because she's "good at touching hot things." When I took the gnocchi class we used ricers that were a bit more traditional like this one. That kind is incredibly difficult to use though. I won't claim to understand the physics of it but something about it makes it a pain. I think because the kind I have has holes on all sides it's a bit easier to use.

I started mixing the rest of our ingredients.

I have this spice mill thing that I bought once because I wanted to make fortune cookies but couldn't find ground star anise so I decided I'd just buy it whole and grind it myself. I didn't actually end up making the fortune cookies so this thing has pretty much just sat in my cupboard unused. It did end up working perfectly for grinding dried rosemary. Probably because that's the whole point of the spice mill.

I am newly in love with this brand of spices. Mostly because the packaging is adorable and I am easily marketed to.

This was our dough. Don't worry, we got all that flour mixed in.

Lana was pretty enthused by this whole gnocchi paddle thing so I let her take over that while I started cooking our little potato pillows.

Two of the biggest mistakes people make when making gnocchi are using boiling water and thinking they are done when they float to the top. You should use very hot water that is sort of just about to boil but isn't quite yet. Also after the gnocchi float to the top wait a couple more minutes before taking them out. When cooking the gnocchi one of the most important things is the ones going in the pot at the same time are the same size. Otherwise you end up with some gummy, some right, and some hard. Put in batches of around 15 pieces and use the spider to take them out when done.

Then you can put them on a tray and let them firm up a touch and enjoy. We used browned butter and some amazing parmesan on ours. Followed by ice cream. And I'm going to brag a bit here because gnocchi is notoriously difficult to get right and ours was awesome.


  1. once the new years diet starts working I might just have to try those! yumm!

  2. Tova, I will make you some! Come over! Bring your cat too.