You Can Make Your Own: Potato Gnocchi…But I Can’t
My gnocchi fell apart between boiling and pan searing with browned butter. It made for a gooey mess of a meal. They tasted good. But what wouldn’t after being tossed in butter and fresh thyme and topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese?
After my failure I started reading a little more about gnocchi and came across an article by Tom Colicchio that includes a nice little video of the chef at Craft making gnocchi. I was very encouraged to read that the first time you make gnocchi you will probably not get it right. Thank you, Mr. Colicchio.
I used this recipe from Giada (like how I just use her first name like we’re old pals?) for the proportions and this article and instructions from Fine Cooking for the method. Maybe mixing the two was one of my problems. I will probably try the Colicchio method, but it strikes me as one of those things you have to do a lot to get the feel for. Good thing potatoes are cheap because I think this is going to take me a while.
Honestly the process is not a long or arduous one, but getting the right feel for the dough seems to be the tricky part. It’s kind of like bread baking. My mom and I went out to my great aunt’s once to have her teach us how to make her incredible Swedish rye bread. She didn’t use a recipe, didn’t use times for rising or baking, she just knew what it was supposed to look and feel and smell like. While mom and I came prepared with pencil and pad in hand, we weren’t able to go home and recreate the bread with our notes. So I’m not going to be down on myself about this, I’m just going to have to keep doing it if I want to get it right.
Next time I will do the following things differently.
- Bake instead of boil my potatoes.
- Cut open and rice the potatoes right onto my work space right after baking.
- Make and shape the gnocchi right before I want to cook them. (I let them sit our for a couple hours…)
- Boil just until they float to the surface to avoid overcooking.
- Ice them down before saucing.