Archive for the ‘Gnocchi’ Category
Gnocchi is one of those great ingredients that you make yourself a few times and you’ll never go back to the store bought stuff. In fact the store bought stuff is fucking gross. It says chewy and never cooks properly like the cookbooks will tell you. Aside from using in a casserole I wouldn’t mess with the prepackaged stuff at all. The homemade variety, especially when fresh, is beautifully soft and light. They blend with any ingredients you toss with them and the dough melts on your tongue like any good dumpling should. Like pasta dough, there’s a little bit of a learning curve, but with the right tools and a little time it’s one of those ingredients you guests will immediately recognize as something special.
It’s worth noting that in my experience, even the homemade variety lacks that amazing delicate texture after a few days in the freezer, so try to use what you can the same day they’re made. If not, toss into a freezer bag and they should keep for 3-5 days no problem.
Gnocchi is all the rage these days, but there are so many recipes out there for home chefs that in my experience, fall short of hitting the mark. “Just boil water, add salt and boil till the gnocchi floats to the top,” is what you’ll read in most home recipes I’ve come across. Ummm, bullshit. Store bought gnocchi in my experience gets undercooked, becomes chewy, and is nothing in comparison to the dish when made from scratch even if it’s frozen for a week. If anyone has figured out how to cook well with pre-packaged store bought then hats off to you. What am I not getting!?
I’ve tried cooking it longer than the instructions say to, I’ve served it tossed with whatever sauce immediately after pulling it out of the water, and time and time again I’m chewing a starchy mess halfway through the meal. So if you are cooking a dish where gnocchi is the center piece and have the time, honestly, just make your own. It’s a little effort up front to use a gentle touch down, but once the technique of rolling the dough out properly, you’ll be able to make light, fluffy, delicious potato pastries the rest of your life. But hey, we’re all pretty busy right? Have a craving but not the time? Well, one way I’ve found to make the store bought stuff sing is to put it in a casserole dish. Hearty, rich, and perfect with a good Cesare salad this dish is a crowd pleaser and pretty easy to put together.