Not Not Gnocchi

I said I would dedicate this post to a friend of mine who happens to be a big gnocchi fan, but as my little potato pastas didn't quite turn out exactly as they should have, I feel that I might have let him down a bit. Next time, Funk. Next time.

I wasn't initially going to make gnocchi this evening, I had it in my head all day that I would do some sort of hot pot or potato bake, but seeing as I have an abundance of spuds and I always do a one-pot wonder, I thought I'd push myself and make a bit more effort this evening. Besides, I can always make one of those tomorrow and fancied something a bit different. There was nothing for it, I immediately slung together a gnocchi recipe.

I did everything right.
I baked my potatoes so they weren't soggy.
I let them cool thoroughly.
I weighed everything instead of just slinging it in haphazardly.
I riced my potatoes so hard that I broke my ricer. (To be fair, it was pretty bloody shonky in the first place and I could have done with a better one. Did I mention that it's my birthday in a couple of weeks? Hint hint.)
I noticed that my dough seemed a little dry and added some olive oil. It looked better.
I didn't over handle it and barely touched the damn dough as I rolled it into little sausages.
I got the salted water boiling and ready to plop each little gnocchi straight in, no messing.
It felt light.
It looked good.
I was confident that this would be my perfect batch of gnocchi.

This is my first cooked batch of gnocchi:

I guess I'll be having bubble and squeak for breakfast.

What in Flying Twonkland was I going to do with all of the rest of my lovingly crafted little lumps of mash waiting to happen? Well, I shall tell you; I decided to steam them. And would you believe that it kind of worked?! The effect was pleasant and rather yummy, but this was not quite gnocchi as we know it. I mean, it wasn't not gnocchi. They were crisp on the outside and soft in the centre, but the way it had all come together meant that it reminded me more of Chinese dumplings, which only really meant that I didn't even need cheese; just a bit of tamari and some Vietnamese dipping sauce. Excellent. I have those. This is actually working out. The only problem I found was that my gnocchi were a little rustic and not entirely uniform in shape and size, so 1 or 2 of them weren't quite as fully cooked as the others, but let's not pretend that I didn't eat them anyway. I definitely did.

Anyway, if anyone would like to hazard a guess at where exactly I went wrong today, or if you've got a foolproof, gluten free gnocchi recipe or tip, throw it my way. I owe a mate a blog post.

Not Not Gnocchi
Serves 4 as a hearty main

for the gnocchi:
2lbs potatoes
175g rice flour (yes, I know I'm mixing my measurements, but if my scales can, I can. There's a reason I don't bother to weigh things usually)
2 eggs

for the sauce:
2 red onions, finely sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 large pointed cabbage, shredded
some water or stock (I used the potato-y water from experiment 1)
olive oil

  1. Prick your potatoes a few times and then bake for an hour until tender. Cut them in half and allow to cool.
  2. Pop your rice flour onto a clean work surface and rice your cooled potatoes straight on top of it. Bend your ricer back into shape between each squeeze. Give up on the ricer and try grating the rest of the spuds. Add salt, make a well and crack in your eggs. Bring it all together gently.
  3. Cut off a piece of dough and with a very light touch, roll out into sausages. Cut into fairly equally sized pieces and finish the shape off.
  4. Heat a lidded frying pan on a medium heat and add a little olive oil. Soften your onion and add the garlic. Toss in your cabbage and mix.
  5. Make some space in your pan and add in your gnocchi. Leave for up to 30 seconds and then gently stir to turn them.
  6. Spoon in some water or stock a few tablespoons at a time to get a very shallow covering of water in your pan. I used about 6 to start with, but it will depend on the size of your pan. Pop the lid on and steam for 5 minutes.
  7. Check your gnocchi by tasting one. If it's still a bit floury, pop a few more spoonfuls of water in and pop the lid back on to steam and check every 2 minutes.
  8. Serve with some tamari and Vietnamese dipping sauce and enjoy this strange new Asian style gnocchi. Write a blog post about how it was one of those successful failures and wait to be discovered as an accidental genius. Move to Berlin and take on spaetzle. Have it be your greatest achievement which ultimately leads to your crushing downfall and you having to return home to your tiny kitchen where you cry about the days when you were Queen of the anti-dumpling.
I actually think this is my favourite ever incarnation of gnocchi, and I didn't even miss the cheese. Also, a very large man arriving home near midnight after a very long day at work was emphatic that it was very good and didn't even use any of the condiments. Who wouldn't trust that opinion? Give it a go.


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