What’s your party trick…anyone for a little gnocchi?

Is it just me or do all men have a culinary party trick that every so often, typically in front of guests, they let out of the box and polish till it shines? Don’t get me wrong a man that cooks is up there in my top ten of great things but what inspires many men to peacock their skills in front of friends and family and yet leave the everyday cooking chores to yours truly? You know the ones I mean, where you get home from work late, starving and then have to conjure up something magical out of the meagre offerings clinging to life in the fridge. Where’s the peacock then?

From bbq maestros, the cooked breakfast wonder kid, the “I make a mean spaghetti” king, the check out my home brew boy it would seem all men have their signature dish and my husband’s happens to be Gnocchi. So far this year he has show-cased his skills on at least 3 outings including most recently for friends visiting from Australia and the UK and each time our house is filled with woo-ing and wonderment from amazed guests as he turns a few humble potatoes into a kilo of sumptuous gnocchi.

Inevitably the oohing and aaahing escalates during tasting and after much over-eating and patting of stomachs ultimately leads to the “Oh you must send me the recipe” part of the meal. I think this is the part where American’s would say “touch down”!

So is there an element of kitchen envy in all of this? Maybe just a little. Between grocery shopping, doling up daily dinners and then, for us poor folk still without a dishwasher, washing up, wouldn’t it be fantastic to have that moment of party trick idolisation? Probably yes but then look on the bright side, whilst he’s busy beavering away in the kitchen working up a sweat I can be found reclining on the sofa with a glass of wine whist I wait for dinner to be served!

Federico’s Gnocchi

Ingredients: 1 kg potatoes (preferably slightly old as less water in them), 400g white flour, 1 egg, rock salt, fine salt, and extra flour for dusting.

Preparation: 1 hour + 10 mins cooking

  • Boil the potatoes in their skins until you can insert a knife easily.
  • Leave to cool for a few minutes and then rub off the skin.

  • Mash the potato with a potato creamer.
  • Add in the flour and egg and mix into a smooth dough adding salt to taste.

  • Cut of small sections and roll into a long sausage c. 1cm in diameter and then cut small gnocchi pieces (they don’t need to be uniform).
  • Place all gnocchi on a heavily floured board before cooking to soak up an excess moisture.

  • Bring a large deep pan of water to the boil, add some rock salt and bit by bit throw in the gnocchi. You’ll probably need to cook them in 3-4 stages as there will be a lot of them.
  • As soon as the gnocchi float they are ready for eating.
  • Scoop the gnocchi out with a large sieved spoon and toss into serving dish with any of the following; butter & sage, gorgonzola, pesto, meat ragu and sprinkle with grated parmesan.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Melted Butter and fried sage
  • Pesto
  • Gorgonzola
  • Meat Ragu

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