Gnocchi, [nyawk-kee], are one of my favorite foods on this planet, which shows that food does not have to be made from exotic ingredients, or made using complicated techniques to be sublime. To support my theory that gnocchi is one of the easiest foods to make, the Italian word "gnocco" means a stupid person! But gnocchi is anything but stupid.
What exactly are gnocchi? They are little dumplings are made from, potato, semolina flour, or ricotta cheese with the addition of flour, egg, and S&P. I’d be willing to bet that if you look at my last name, you can figure out which version I prefer. Unfortunately they have a bad rap for being "gut bombs" because if too much flour is used, they will sink to the bottom of your stomach and sit there, or so it feels. As with most recipes containing flour, there is a ratio that goes along with it to ensure that too much flour won’t be used. Gnocchi’s ratio is as follows: 3:1:1; this translates to 3 lbs. russet potatoes, 1 lb. all-purpose flour, 1 egg and as always, salt and pepper to your taste. Here is my go-to recipe for gnocchi.
I’m sure that you have noticed that gnocchi isn’t really shaped like pasta; they are little cylinders with grooves. The grooves are extremely important because they aid in holding onto whatever sauce you are using. Of course they make a gnocchi board that you can roll them on to put the grooves in them or you can use the roll them on the back of a fork. I choose to use the fork but if gadgets are your thing, check this out. My favorite way to polish off a plate of gnocchi is with roasted shitake mushrooms and a tomato-vodka-cream sauce topped with fresh basil, it is heaven on earth!
I worked for one particular misguided soul that insisted gnocchi are made completely round, and without the grooves… Imagine putting 1 cup of marbles in a bowl with a sauce of you’re choosing, how much sauce do you expect to cling to something that is round and not sporting the customary sauce picker-upper grooves? My point exactly…