Gnocchi: Italian pillows of happiness
Whenever I see gnocchi on the menu at any Italian restaurant, I always order it because I never make it at home. This was my first experience making homemade gnocchi and I was surprised at how easy it was. I've had a weird obsession with purple potatoes lately, and they are just too pretty not to take advantage of, but you can use regular Russet potatoes as well. I paired it with a lemony pesto sauce because gnocchi needs to be elevated by big flavors.
The ingredients in the picture are for the gnocchi itself, as well as the pesto I made to go with it. The potatoes I had were relatively small, I poked them each with a fork and microwaved them for 10 minutes. While the potatoes were cooking, I brought the pesto together. Pesto is so easy to make - you just put all the ingredients into the food processor and it's pretty much done in 5 minutes.
Put the garlic in first, then throw in the basil and mint leaves on top. Zest the lemon and then juice it. Toast the pine nuts and add them to the processor along with the grated cheese and olive oil.
Pulse the processor until you attain desired consistency.
By now, the potatoes should be done in the microwave, take them out and carefully remove the skins (they should come right off).
Once all the potatoes are peeled, put them in a bowl and mash them - then set the bowl in the refrigerator for the potatoes to cool completely.
When the mash is cooled, mix the egg, cheese and salt in a bowl and pour on top of the mash.
Add the flour and knead the mixture together until it is a doughy consistency. Form into a log.
Keep rolling out the dough and cutting it in half, until all your pieces look like this...
Then, flour the surface, and cover each pasta rope with flour and cut into little pillow-shaped gnocchi.
At this point, you can decide if you want to roll a fork over the gnocchi to give it a classic gnocchi look (I decided against this). After you have cut all your gnocchi, throw them into boiling water. When they all rise to the top - they are done! (About 5 minutes). Finish the dish with your favorite sauce.