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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

POTATO GNOCCHI

Good Evening to you,


When you travel by aeroplane, train or coach.  Which side do you sit on?


Do you like sitting by the window, or do you prefer a  seat by the aisle?


I just wondered, because I always sit in the window seat.  I'm not sure why, it is just the way it is.  

When we fly, I sit by the window, when we travel by coach, I sit by the window, also when we travel by train. As I said, I'm really not sure why, but since being married, that is the way it has always been. I think maybe it is because George is a 'ladies first' type of man, as he always puts me first when we board a plane, train or coach.

.... and this is exactly what happened, when we holidayed a few years ago in Sorrento, Italy.  We arrived at Naples Airport, and were taken, by coach, to our hotel in Sorrento.  

The Amalfi Coast is one of the prettiest coastlines I have ever seen, but I am being honest, when I tell you, that I did not  enjoy the first part of the coach journey to our hotel. The reason is, I am terrified of heights and I should have known better,  I really should not have sat myself, in the seat by the window.

If you have visited the Amalfi coast, you will know that the roads are very narrow. I appreciate we had a very skilled driver, who drove the same route everyday, but he did seem to be travelling very fast along the road. On top of that, I could see straight down the side of the cliffs to the water below, which made me very nervous. So as you can imagine, it did not take me long before I swopped seats with George. I felt much better looking outwards towards the sea, rather than downwards.

The reason I am telling you this little tale is, during our visit to Sorrento, it was the first time I came across Potato Gnocchi.  It was not like the pre-packed gnocchi which I had tried, which I really did not like. No, the gnocchi in Sorrento were like gorgeous soft little dumplings and absolutely fabulous. So on my return home, I set about learning how to make them.

So, today I am making,


potato gnocchi.  This recipe will be in two parts.  The first part will be made today, and that will be the potato gnocchi and the second part which will be made on Sunday, will be the tomato sauce.  The reason I have decided to split this dish into two parts is, if I included both recipes today, the post would be far too long and I feel sure you would fall asleep before you reached the end.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is,


Barbara Streisand's 1980 album, Guilty. I have to tell you, there is not one song on this album which I do not love, but I will name a few, of which, I just know, if you are a Barbara Streisand fan, you will also know and love each and every song.  I love, 'What Kind of Fool', 'Woman in Love' and 'Guilty'..... and how about 'Memories'. Although 'Memories' is not included on this album, I had to mention it, because it is a fabulous song.

I have recently heard a couple of tracks from Barbara's new duets album and I have to tell you, I like what I hear.

So whilst 'Promises' is playing, I will organise my ingredients.

INGREDIENTS
TO 
MAKE
POTATO GNOCCHI

500g of peeled floury potatoes
150g of plain flour
2 egg yolks
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper


Peel the potatoes
and cut into small pieces.

Bring a saucepan of salted
water to the boil
and 
add the potatoes.

Cook until tender.

Drain the water
and mash the potatoes
until they are smooth.


Place the mashed potato
into a bowl
and
add
the flour,


the egg yolks,
oops as you can see, 
one egg yolk broke, but I
 still photographed it, as I did not want to 
waste the yolk,
remember this is home cooking.


Add the grated nutmeg
to the bowl

and


sea salt
and
black pepper.


Mix the ingredients,
until everything comes together.

Before rolling out the potato gnocchi,
bring a saucepan of water
to a rolling boil,
ready to receive the potato gnocchi.


Place the mixture
onto a floured board
and if the mixture is a little too sticky,
add a little more flour.


Cut the potato mixture
into four pieces.
I find the smaller pieces easier to handle.


Using your hands, gently roll out each
piece of potato mixture,
so it looks like a sausage.

Have you ever seen a child rolling out
plasticine or play dough.... that is the technique
you need to use.


Next,
cut into 1 inch pieces
and
place into the saucepan of boiling water.
Add, just a few gnocchi at a time.

When the gnocchi rise to the surface
of the water, they are cooked.  
This usually
only takes a couple of minutes.

Remove using a slotted spoon,
making sure you drain any water.


Place the cooked gnocchi onto an oiled
plate.
This prevents the gnocchi sticking to the plate.


Continue in this manner
until all the gnocchi are cooked.

Now, I appreciate the potato gnocchi 
do not look colourful,
but they are tasty 
and
when 
combined with a


deliciously, rich
tomato sauce

and


silky,
smooth
buffalo mozzarella.


You just know you are
in for a 
real
treat.

So you really do not have to wait too long before making this tomato sauce..... only a few days, and I will be back.  (I sound like Arnie from the film Terminator.)

I have also added potato gnocchi to soups.  Just before the soup is ready to serve, I cook the potato gnocchi, then add them to the soup.... a nice alternative to dumplings.

So take care and I will see you on Sunday.

This week I will be joining,

and





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