Gnocchi Gnight

11.01.2010

We've made this gnocchi recipe a few times before but the last time we did it was in January.  With the chill in the air and fall fully on its way, I was dying to make it again.  I ask you - What's more comforting than perfect little potato pillows with warm butter and melted Reggiano cheese? 

Potato Gnocchi (Lombard-style) - This recipe comes from Silvia Sebastiani's cookbook "Mangiamo."  We got our copy from the Sebastiani winery in Sonoma.  Quite a few of the recipes are, um, interesting (calf brain ravioli anyone?) but overall we found some pretty solid staples that made the purchase worth it.  (Be sure to check out my storing tips below the photos.)

What You Need:
5-6 large Russet potatoes
1/2 stick of butter (4 tbsp.)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tsp. baking powder
4 cups flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup grated Reggiano cheese
Salt and white pepper

What To Do:
1. Peel, chop, and cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender, like you would if making mashed potatoes.
2. Let potatoes cool just a little bit, then transfer to a large bowl and mash.
3. Mix in butter, eggs, and baking powder.  (I add these ingredients when I begin to mash.  The mashing action tends to mix it up pretty well.)
4. Sift in the flour.  Add salt and white pepper to taste.  (If you don't have white pepper, just use regular pepper.  The flavor is identical, the only difference is that you can't see the white pepper.)
5. Mix and knead dough until smooth.  Roll out bits of dough into long rolls about one inch thick (or the thickness of your thumb).
6. Cut into 1 to 1.5 inch sections  and press a little indention into it with your finger.  (I do it this way but the boyfriend insisted on watching The Godfather III and making it the way Andy Garcia does it.  Both work perfectly!)
7. Drop the gnocchi into a large pot of boiling water, a few at a time so they don't stick to each other.  When they rise to the top, remove immediately so they don't overcook.
8. Arrange in a baking dish then drizzle the melted butter and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
9. In a preheated oven (350 degrees) bake for approximately 10 minutes until the cheese melts.  Enjoy!



Mmm.... Cheese and butter.....


Tips:
You can skip the last two steps (8 & 9) and serve the gnocchi with any sauce you desire.  Homemade pesto or tomato sauce are some of my other favorite ways to eat it.

Also, this recipe makes A LOT of gnocchi so here are my tips on freezing the extras. 
1. Don't boil the gnocchi yet, and place wax paper or parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Arrange gnocchi in one layer.  You can then add another sheet of paper on top of this layer to start layer number two.
2. Place in the freezer and let freeze overnight.  Be careful the gnocchi aren't too close together.  These little guys can be really sticky before they're frozen!
3. The next day (or once the gnocchi are all frozen) place in a plastic freezer bag, in one layer, and seal shut.  Try to get as much air out of the bag as possible.  When stored this way (in a freezer bag with little to no air inside), the gnocchi will last in the freezer for a few months.
4. When you're ready to eat, just drop the frozen gnocchi into a pot of boiling water and cook as directed above.  Using the plastic freezer bags helps you store it in portions, too.  You can usually fit enough for 1 to 4 servings in one bag.

Sealed up and ready for the freezer!

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