Todd, who is The Daring Kitchen’s AWESOME webmaster and an amazing cook, is our September Daring Cooks’ host! Todd challenged us to make light and fluffy potato Gnocchi and encouraged us to flavor the lil pillows of goodness and go wild with a sauce to top them with!
Sure, I’ve eaten shop brought gnocchi before. This, however, was of absolutely no comparison to the chewy, tough, rubbery, machine formed dumplings that you find in the supermarket. Frankly, it knocked our socks off. Soft, melt in your mouth gnocchi, with the homemade charm of being various shapes and sizes.
The pillows were bursting with garlic and herb flavours from thyme and oregano which complimented the rich tomato sauce and golden, slightly caramelised mushrooms.
I used new potatoes here as that’s what I had. I boiled them in their skins (to avoid water-logging) then pushed them (with their skins on) through a ricer, added herbs and gradually added flour until a soft dough was formed. Alternatively you can bake your potatoes and scoop out the flesh, The flour measurements below are what worked for me but have extra to hand and add it gradually as the required amount may vary based on your cooking method and type of potato used. I used over double the amount of flour suggested in the basic recipe given for the challenge! Of course, add any herbs you like or leave plain or add other flavourings.
This may be a bit too complex and time consuming for a weeknight meal but great fun for the weekend or to serve to guests. It would also be a good dish to make with little ones, the would have great fun making the dough and rolling the dough into sausage shapes!
Ingredients: Serves 4 with a side salad
- 800g (1.8 lb) potatoes, unpeeled
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 200g/1.5 cups plain flour (or gluten free blend)
- 1 onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 red pepper
- 1 400g (14 oz) can of chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 250g (8 oz) mushrooms
- Add the potatoes to a pan with the peeled garlic cloves, a good pinch of salt (garlic salt if you have it) and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender. Drain and set aside to cool slightly and steam dry.
- Once cool enough to handle, put the potatoes and garlic through a ricer, with the skins on which will get left in the ricer. Alternatively, remove the skins and mash until smooth. Stir in the herbs and gradually add the flour, stirring in until you have a soft but sturdy dough. Add more or less flour as you feel necessary.
- Bring a pan of lightly salted water to a fast boil.
- Bring the dough into a ball on lightly floured surface then divide into 8 pieces. Take one piece and roll into a long cylinder with the palm of your hands, keeping the remaining dough covered to avoid it drying out. Cut the gnocchi at inch intervals then press the flat tines of a fork onto the surface (this helps the gnocchi to hold the sauce). Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Add in small batches to the boiling water, when the gnocchi rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and continue to cook the rest of the gnocchi.
- Make the sauce. Add the chopped onion, garlic and pepper to a pan then cover with the tomatoes. Add the herbs and seasoning, bring to a low simmer for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Heat a large frying pan on a high heat then add the sliced mushrooms and dry fry til golden. Blend the sauce with an immersion blender until smooth.
- Add the gnocchi to the sauce to heat through. Then serve topped with the mushrooms and a sprinkling of thyme.
High in iron
High in selenium
High in thiamin
Very high in vitamin B6
Very high in vitamin C