My pal Gatorgrad and I headed over to Dolce Debbie‘s house Sunday for a gnocchi making lesson. When we arrived with two bottles of my new favorite wine, Cusumano Nero D’Avola, in hand Debbie already had a full house. Her neighbors had gathered for a few cocktails, dinner and some even wanted in on the lesson too.
“This is really easy,” Debbie said. “I already made it once today.”
Our first lesson was about the flour. Debbie told us Rocco DiSpirito uses pastry flour. But since she couldn’t find a place to buy it except for online, she decided to improvise. Debbie mixed up a bowl of 1/2 cake flour and 1/2 all purpose flour.
Next lesson. Bake the potatoes, do not boil or steam the spuds. I had no idea. Use approximately six Idaho potatoes, cut down the middle and bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. While the potatoes are still hot, remove skin and insert into potato ricer. Potato what?
Oh yeah, that’s what one of those looks like. Gatorgrad seemed to have a good grasp on the situation.
Me not so much. I know you’re going to laugh at me, but using the ricer was harder than I thought. Just take a look at my face.
Thanks to Debbie’s neighbors who seemed to have a little more upper body strength then me, we got them all done.
“Welcome to the gun show!” Patty said.
And Lisa, a.k.a. the Sail Wench, made it look like a piece of cake.
Next you take approximately the amount of one potato and put it in a bowl with 1/2 cup of flour. Squeeze it all together, then kneed for no more than one minute shaping it into a ball. A little humor while you go makes it more fun.
“I don’t want to see you juggle your gnocchi ball,” someone said followed by more middle school-like balls jokes.
Put flour down on the counter, then pinch a piece of the dough and roll it into a cigar-like shape. Cut it into smaller pieces and put it onto a tray covered with wax paper.
You can refrigerate the gnocchi until you’re ready to boil it, even stick it in the freezer for a few minutes. Boil water, adding salt. Put in the gnocchi, not too many at a time, and boil for approximately 1-3 minutes. You will see the pasta float to the top of the pot, wait approximately 30 seconds after it does that and remove from the boiling water. Do not walk away. This is important.
“Never leave you gnocchi unattended,” Debbie said.
If you over boil the pasta, the gnocchi will be mushy and not the Gatorgrad described “little pillows of heaven” you want. While the gnocchi was boiling Debbie also whipped up a Gorgonzola cream sauce, a Gorgonzola cream sauce with Porcini mushrooms truffles and a butter sage sauce. Click here for the Gorgonzola cream sauce recipe. And the butter sage sauce was super easy too, butter and sage.
Heidi was the first person to taste.
We all enjoyed the gnocchi and it wasn’t nearly as difficult to make as I’d imagined. I guess I wanted to taste it so badly I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. Doh! And of course Debbie made other delicious dishes including a to die for dessert.
A chocolate pear torte. It’s a Dolce Debbie original creation, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since I left her house.