Monday, May 24, 2010

Knocking on about gnocchi...

Simply years ago I made gnocchi. When I was a girl and dreaming of falling in love with an Italian man and living in Florence. The gnocchi was copious in abundance, stodgy and lumpy. The Italian man never eventuated.

While at boarding school I ate my share of gnocchi. It came from a packet and was served on Friday nights with an out-of-a-can tomato sauce. While I thought I loved it, in reality it tasted ordinary.

Occasionally when we go out for a meal, I will order the gnocchi. With a basil pesto and cream sauce. Never am I impressed as I expect to be.

The other day, I made gnocchi. And it was amazing! Why have I put up with ordinary gnocchi for years? The fella loved it also, and ate and ate and ate until all six serves was gone. As some would say, this recipe "is going straight to the pool room".

Gnocchi with brie
Serves up to 6.

1 kg potatoes
1/2 c parmesan, grated
2/3 c plain flour, sifted, plus extra
salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs yolks
40 g butter, diced
small wheel of brie, diced
extra parmesan, grated

Pre-heat oven to 180* C.

Line a baking tray, place potatoes on it and roast for 45 - 60 minutes, until the insides are soft and the skin is crispy. Remove and cool some what.

Scoop flesh out of potato skins, mash until smooth. Add parmesan and flour, stir to combine. Season to taste. Add the yolks, stir to make a smooth, cohesive mixture. Turn out onto a floured bench. Kneed for two minutes until smooth. Divide mixture and roll into logs a centimeter thick. Cut into lengths of three centimeters or so.

Bring a pot of water to the boil. Increase the temperature of the oven to 200 * C. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water a few at a time. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon when they rise to the surface of the water. Place in a greased oven-proof dish and continue to cook the pasta pieces.

Top the gnocchi with the butter and brie (or other soft melting cheese). Bake in the oven for 15 -20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden. Sprinkle with a little extra parmesan. Enjoy!

Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 50.

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