Oh, Martha. I should know better. The word “simple” is rarely used appropriately in your magazines. I was sucked in at the idea of “simple” gnocchi. I made gnocchi once a few years ago, for a family party. It took forever, and I wasn’t happy with it. Why did I think this would be different?
It was a crummy day here in Marthaland to begin with. The rider mower was broken again, so Mr. MarthaAndMe was push mowing the lawn, something that makes him (and thus everyone else) cranky. I was coming down with a cold. Teen Martha was in that icky weekend before school starts place. There wasn’t a good vibe to be found in the house. That didn’t stop me though. Gnocchi, why everyone loves gnocchi, I thought. Someone has got to stop me in the future.
It started out simply enough – cook 2 1/2 lb potatoes then peel the skins off and put through a ricer. I don’t have a ricer, so I googled what to do and it just said to mash with a masher then whisk. The whisking part did not work (it all got stuck in the whisk). Cool, then add salt, 1 and 3/4 cup flour and 1 egg. Knead until smooth but not elastic. This actually worked pretty well. Then you’re supposed to cut into 8 pieces and roll each out to a 24 inch long rope. I did this. Then cut it into 1/2 inch pieces. This was harder since the dough was kind of sticky when cut. Then roll it down the back of a fork. Ha! This didn’t work. It would stick to the fork, become odd-shaped, or get no indent at all. Flouring the fork helped, but did not solve it. Drop in boiling water and cook until they float. I did that too.
Making all of them took quite a while and the next morning I had weird muscle soreness in the backs of my arms from this.
I made a sauce of bacon, drippings, salt, pepper, 6 scallions, some Italian herbs and lots of parmesan cheese.
There was just one problem. The gnocchi were really soft. Mushy really. I tried browning them a bit and that made no difference. I usually buy my gnocchi frozen and boil them and they are slightly chewy, which is a texture I really like. I couldn’t get past the mushiness of these. And they didn’t taste any better or different than the ones I buy frozen. So, I vow never to make my own again. It took all afternoon and just made me cranky.