Archive for the ‘gnocchi’ Category

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gnocchi and meatballs

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canederli in brodo

The word canederli derives from the Austrian and German “knödel” meaning dumplings. These bread dumplings are a specialty of the Trentino region of Italy. Served as the main course or as an accompaniment to stews and roasts.

Canederli was considered a poor man’s cuisine. They were made of simple and inexpensive ingredients: stale bread moistened with milk and bound with eggs and a small amount of flour. However, the mixture was often enriched with cheese, prosciutto or other meats on hand. Once the dumplings were prepared and boiled, they were either served “dry”, with melted butter, or in broth.

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ingredients

20 oz stale bread, diced

2 cup milk

4 eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup flour

3 Tbsp parsley

3 Tbsp basil

3 cloves garlic minced

7 oz cheese, diced

1 ½ Tbsp olive oil

2 onion, finely chopped

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ tsp nutmeg

½ cup  parmesan cheese

12 cups of vegetable stock

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Caramelize onion, add parsley, basil, garlic, salt, pepper & nutmeg

Place diced bread in a mixing bowl with the milk

Let soak for 30 minutes

Drain and squeeze out all moisture

Add onion mixture, parmesan & cheese

Beat eggs in a bowl with a little salt

Add the eggs along with the flour to the bread and work the mixture with your hands until all ingredients are well mixed

Bring big pot of water to a boil

Bring pot of broth to a boil

Form tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and drop into the water

When it returns to a boil, reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the gnocchi puff up

Remove the gnocchi from the water and transfer them to the broth

Serve immediately

Offer parmesan cheese for self serving

Variation

Heat 3 Tbsp butter in a small skillet until it begins to color.

Sprinkle grated cheese over the gnocchi

Drizzle with butter

Serve at once

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sweet potato gnocchi

ingredients

350 gr potato

350 gr sweet potato

salt and pepper to taste

2 eggs

as much flour as needed to incorporate all potatoes (dough should be soft) 1 to 1 1/2 cups

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Preheat oven to 375*F

Place sweet potatoes and potatoes on a baking sheet and roast until soft

Let cool slightly, then cut in half and scoop the flesh into a bowl

or

Scrub the potatoes and place them, unpeeled, on a vegetable rack set over – but not in – a large pot of boiling water

Steam until tender all the way through but not falling apart (a kitchen knife passes all the way through with some resistance): 10 – 25 mins, depending on size

You can also boil them to the same tenderness

It’s important that the potatoes not be overcooked. (Overdone, they will absorb too much water and take up so much flour that the gnocchi will sink like heavy little stones to the bottom of the stomach)

As soon as the potatoes are tender enough to push through a vegetable mill, while they’re still hot, peel them and pass them through the vegetable mill into a large bowl. (Don’t be tempted to try a food processor for this; it will turn them to glue)

Add a healthy pinch of salt and all the flour and eggs to the potatoes, working in the flour with fingers or a wooden spoon; then knead the dough gently for about 5 minutes on a lightly floured board or wooden work surface

be careful not to overwork the dough – it should be soft and supple.

Shape into a ball and place on a lightly floured cutting board

Cut ball into 6 pieces and cover with towel 

On a lightly floured surface, working with one piece of dough at a time and keeping the rest covered, roll each piece into a rope, about 1/2″ thick. Cut rope into 1″ lengths

Using your thumb, roll each piece of dough over the back of the tines of a floured fork, or a cheese grater, leaving an indentation from your thumb on one side and the markings from the fork on the other.

Place gnocchi on prepared baking sheet

Repeat with remaining dough

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of  water to a boil 

Plunge half the gnocchi into the boiling water

Once they float to the surface, cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer

Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a baking sheet or plate and continue cooking the remaining gnocchi

Add tomato sauce and parmesan cheese.

Note: Gnocchi can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 1 day, or freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month

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