I relish the lazy Sundays where I can do whatever I please. Usually, my days are so routine and scheduled...get up at 6:30 am, exercise at 6:35 am, shower at 6:55 am, eat cereal at 7:30 am, go to work at 7:40 am, tea and muffin at 10 am, ...and the robotic routine goes on. It's my own fault, because I'm a creature of routine. But, when I get a "lazy Sunday" opportunity, I wake up whenever, and don't even bother to shower...which is pure freedom in itself! I put on some loud 80's music, an apron, and get to work on a fun recipe. It's my own little world where I forget about everything but the task at hand.
Making gnocchi is perfect for a Sunday! Gnocchi is one Italian pasta that I've had the most difficulty mastering at home. The ingredients are so simple (potato, flour, egg), but the technique is so tricky. In fact, majority of restaurants haven't gotten it right either. Most I've had are too heavy, gummy, or chewy. Gnocchi should be tender, light, fluffy pillows that melt in your mouth. You'll find various recipes out there with completely different proportions of potato/flour/egg. This recipe is the closest I've gotten, but I'm still in the practicing stage.
I sauteed the gnocchi in butter/oil, and served it with a truffled mornay sauce and the slow roasted tomatoes from last week. See, I told you those tomatoes were versatile! Truffled mornay sauce is just a fancy title for bechamel sauce that has been transformed into a "mornay" by melting/mixing in cheese at the end...in this case, a truffle cheese. Anyways, the dish shows so beautifully and the combination of flavors was pure bliss.
Uncooked gnocchi also freezes great. I think it's time I buy a separate freezer for all these Sunday experiments. If freezing, make sure you freeze them on a tray first, and then after they are frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer bag. They can go straight into boiling water from the freezer.
Here are some tips to perfecting gnocchi at home:
- Use Yukon Gold or Idaho potatoes
- Bake your potatoes versus boiling them. This is so you don't have any water in the dough, which will completely ruin it, contributing to the gummy/chewy texture. You can also bake them on a bed of coarse salt to draw out even more moisture.
- Always rice your potatoes using a potato ricer. This will result in a fluffier, lighter gnocchi. Mashing the gnocchi can result in a gummy texture.
- Don't use ricotta in your gnocchi unless you have completely drained it of any water. You should drain your ricotta in a cheese cloth overnight.
Cheers to Sundays :)