Sunday, 4 September 2016

Truffle gnocchi, vegan gnocchi and some random moments

Gnocchi sits way outside my comfort zone.  I sometimes buy it ready-made but it has been a long time since I tried making.  Finally I was led to try it again by a large bag of potatoes, a large pot of leftover mash and a Google search.

The first time I made it, I had put truffle oil in the mashed potato and really liked that it gave the gnocchi a slight but interesting aroma.  The second time I tried, I had run out of truffle oil but I had some red fleshed potatoes to play with.  Sadly they turned out to be more pink than red.  They were interesting all the same.  The second time I used aqua faba instead of egg but have since read that egg is not so necessary.  I have also read that it is best made with cold mashed potatoes.

I don't mind making gnocchi dough but the shaping is challenging.  The first time I made it I rolled the dough into balls and made a dimple with my thumb.  Sylvia saw me making it and had fun helping out.  The second time I tried making balls and pressing them with a fork.  I think this is not quite so traditional as rolling the gnocchi over a fork or ridged board but life is too short and the gnocchi was a bit sticky.  The dimples were easier.  Sylvia said she preferred the white gnocchi.

Yet with both the white and pink gnocchi, Sylvia was fascinated with cooking them.  She wasn't very comfortable with dropping them in.  It was a choice between keeping your hands well away from the boiling water and having it splash over you when they hit the water from afar, or holding them very close to the boiling water and having them go in with barely a splash.  She didn't like either option.  She did love scooping them out when they rose to the surface.

The first lot of gnocchi were served with a tomato and lentil sauce and some brussels sprouts.  Sylvia enjoyed the gnocchi but not the sauce.  I quite liked it and so did E.  I don't think he was so keen on eating the second batch with pesto.  I too preferred the tomato sauce.

My biggest challenge was how to hold over the leftover gnocchi for the next day.  I made up all the gnocchi for the first batch.  After I cooked some I put the rest in the fridge.  The next night I was all ready to cook it,   Alas I had kept it in the fridge on a baking paper lined metal tray and it had gone a worrying grey colour.  So I binned it.

The next batch I only rolled out enough gnocchi to cook for tea and kept the dough wrapped in clingfilm in the fridge overnight.  I rolled out the rest the next day but it was rather sticky and needed a lot of flour.  I still had a few extra gnocchi leftover which were so sticky that I left them out to dry a little but never had the energy the next night to cook them.

Finally I leave you with some random moments:
  • Sylvia and I were playing 20 Questions.  She gave me a clue that the object was used on the border of countries.  Finally I gave up.  The answer was sunglasses.  The border of countries she was referring to was beaches!!!!
  • I only do sewing if absolutely necessary.  However, I was very glad I stitched up a small hole in my bathers recently.  When I was at the pool the next day, a woman in the pool asked me to get her towel for her before she got out because her swimsuit had a rip in it.
  • A few weeks back I went to collect Sylvia from school and as I walked past the principal's window a shoe landed in front of me.  I looked up at the window to see a huge hole had appeared and for those with a detective's curiosity, the glass had fallen on my side of the window.

I am sending this to Chris at Thinly Spread for Pasta Please, the event for bloggers to share pasta recipes.

More gnocchi recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Baked gnocchi with radicchio, gorgonzola and walnuts
Gnocchi with Mexican corn (v)
Panfried gnocchi with cauliflower and peas
Walnut and tomato pesto with gnocchi, broccoli and feta

More gnocchi recipes elsewhere online:
Baked gnocchi - A Wee Bit of Cooking
Gnocchi (and useful advice) - Not Quite Nigella
Kabocha pumpkin gnocchi with walnut pesto - weird combinations
Pesto soup with gnocchi, beans and greens - PPK
Purple gnocchi - Eat Almost Anything
Skillet gnocchi with chard and white beans - Eating Well
Tomato, aubergine and gnocchi bake - Tinned Tomatoes

Truffle gnocchi
Adapted from The Art of Doing Stuff
Serves 4

2 cups truffle mashed potato*
1 cup flour*
1 egg
seasoning, if required*

Mix mashed potato, egg and about half the flour.  Add in remaining flour until the dough is no longer too sticky to handle.  Cut dough into about 4 parts and roll into a long sausage on a well floured surface.  Cut into 1.5cm pieces.  Roll each piece in a small amount of flour to remove the sticky ends and made a dimple with your finger.  Place on a well floured surface until ready to use.  (Or at this stage gnocchi can be stored in baking paper lined tray either in the fridge if not using for for a few days or in freezer to harden up before putting in a bag.)

Before cooking gnocchi, have on hand a slotted spoon, a colander to put cooked gnocchi in and if serving hot, a sauce to serve with it.  To cook gnocchi, bring a big saucepan of salted water to the boil and gradually drop about a quarter (or less) into the pot gradually.  If you drop them all at once it will cool the water to quickly.  When gnocchi is cooked it will rise to the surface.  Scoop out with a slotted spoon and put in a colander to drain.  Either serve hot with sauce or fry or bake with a sauce.

*NOTES: The amount of flour needed will depend on your mashed potato - I like a lot of milk in mine so even with a cup of flour the dough was workable with a lot of flour but still slightly sticky.  I also seasoned my mashed potato and added a tablespoon or two of truffle oil so no additional seasoning was required. I served mine with a lentil bolognaise one night and a pesto another.

Vegan gnocchi
A variation on the above gnocchi

2 cups red mashed potato
1 cup flour
2-3 tbsp aqua faba
seasoning, if required

See Truffle Gnocchi recipe above for method and notes.

On the Stereo:
The Sound of White: Missy Higgins


  1. Uncooked gnocchi freezes really well. When I make it I do a quadruple batch (at least), shape it (in use the fork tines for ridges) and then freeze on trays. Really good. :)

    1. Thanks Amy - great advice - I really should have frozen mine until I was ready for it but sometimes I just don't get organised.

  2. great efforts there, especially with sewing the swim suit! I wonder what the shoe mystery is about!

    1. Thanks Faye - I was so pleased I sewed up the swim suit - never found out about the shoe so just had to make up my own stories (kid threw a shoe at the principal and missed???)

  3. I love the pink gnocchi - I am always entertained by unusually coloured food. And I had to laugh at the sunglasses clue and the flying shoe!

    1. Thanks Kari - the pink gnocchi was fun - sadly sylvia not so keen on it - and both the clue and the shoe totally flummoxed me

  4. Haha something used on the border of countries. She has a future writing cryptic crosswords! :D

    1. Thanks Lorraine - the only problem is that people are meant to *eventually* get the answers to the cryptic crosswords :-)

  5. I don't think I've ever made gnocchi, but most of the vegan versions I see out in the world generally don't have much beyond potato, flour, and salt. Maybe they need to find out about aquafaba! In my imagination, the principal sits down at his desk after a hard day, takes off his shoe and chucks it behind him, breaking the window....

    1. thanks Joey - I like your shoe theory and I am going to try gnocchi again without aquafaba to see if it is fine without it - sounds from the recipes you see that it is

  6. Well done for making these. I have never made gnocchi and they do scare me a little! I love eating them (fortunately we can get a few decent GF versions over here now), but not sure whether I could attempt to make them. Loving the pink though!!!!

    1. Thanks Kate - I am not sure gnocchi will ever become something I can make with ease but I did enjoy some home made gnocchi - much softer than the storebought ones. Am sure there must be GF versions - probably with some light starchs like cornflour and tapioca. Am sure you could do it!

  7. I tried making gnocchi once... it was a terrible failure. As a matter of fact, it wasn't even inedible and I haven't made anything inedible in quite some time aside from that. Your recipe sounds better though - I was already suspicious of this other recipe. I should listen to my gut more.
    The pink gnocchi is so pretty!
    I think my favourite part of this post is the random moments ;)

    1. Thanks Kimmy - I am sure I have made it before but can barely remember it - obviously it wasn't too impressive. And I recorded this one because I want to be able to remember what do to and what not to do next time.

  8. I love the idea of truffled gnocchi. I'm tickled by the sunglasses story too. My daughter is learning her letters and sometimes our 'I spy' games are extremely difficult to solve!!!

    1. Thanks Lisa - we used to play I Spy games with colours with Sylvia when she was little but I remember some of her spellings being a bit odd when she started to use letters (still are :-) )


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