Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Carmela Soprano's Gnocchi

We’ve been in 2014 for a week already.
Farewell to another holiday season with its traditional recipes.
It’s time to get back to regular meals.

Back in 2010 I quickly posted about Carmela Soprano's Gnocchi.
I know the post was lacking in measurements and directions.
I’m sorry about that - it’s time to give you the details.

I’ve always have a problem with guessing how many potatoes to boil to prepare mashed potatoes for the whole gang.
If you have the same problem, this recipe could be a way to use up a few leftovers.
If you didn’t boil enough potatoes, well, you have enough guilt from that meal.

In the Entertaining with The Sopranos cookbook the recipe looks huge.
But it’s really very simple, so don’t panic.

And there were many great hints:
Do not use a food processor, or the potatoes will become gluey.

To test the dough - 
bring a small pot of salted water to a boil.
Take a grape sized piece of dough and boil it until it rises to the surface, then let it cook another 30 seconds.
Scoop it out and bite it.
if it’s mushy, add more flour.

To press the gnocchi -
Hold a fork with the tines facing down.
Using your thumb, press the dough against the tines.
On one side there’ll be ridges, on the other an indentation.

The gnocchi can be refrigerated overnight.

Gnocchi can be frozen up to one month. 
Place the baking sheets in the freezer for 1 hour, until they are firm.
Then place them in a plastic bag.
Do not thaw before cooking.

Before making the gnocchi have on hand either
or


                        Gnocchi

Serves 6 to 8
Sprinkle 2 large baking sheets with flour.

In a large pot put
2 pounds baking potatoes, scrubbed
Add enough cold water to cover.
Cook 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Drain and let the potatoes cool slightly.
Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks.
Mash the potatoes, using either a masher, ricer or food mill.

Add 
2 large egg yolks, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
Stir in
1 1/2 Cups flour
After mixing, scrape the potatoes onto a floured surface.
Knead, adding more flour (about a Cup) to make a slightly sticky dough.
Test the dough (see above).

Wash and dry your hands.
Cut the dough into 8 pieces.
While working with one piece, cover the others.

Roll the piece into a rope about 3/4 inch thick.
Cut the rope into 1/2 inch pieces.
Press the gnocchi (see above).
Place the gnocchi onto a prepared baking sheet.
Cover with a towel or aluminum foil.
Repeat with the remaining dough.

When you are ready to cook the gnocchi:
Place a few spoons of tomato sauce in a large heated serving bowl.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Lower the heat.
Drop about a third of the gnocchi into the water.
Stir gently to separate the pieces.
Boil until they rise to the surface, then let them cook another 30 seconds.
Scoop them out, drain well and place them in the prepared bowl.
Spoon on more sauce and stir gently.
Cook and drain the remaining gnocchi in the same way.
Add them to the bowl with the remaining sauce.

Sprinkle with 
1/2 Cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Serve hot with the heated tomato sauce in a bowl.

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