July 30, 2012 | Pasta & Pizza
It seems that at every doctor’s appointment I’ve had since my knee replacement surgery, the doctors and nurses first questions to me are about cooking. Am I back in the kitchen yet? Did I make anything special? How is my appetite? I feel like I’m letting them down each visit when I reply that I’ve hardly made a thing since June 25th. I mean, I have been a bit tied up, you know? First there was the surgery, then the blood clot, then the passing out in the shower and ambulance ride to the hospital (note to anyone reading: don’t stand up too quickly in a hot shower after 5 days with barely any food when you are on blood thinners and pain meds), then the discovery of a very small (not dangerous) pulmonary embolus (from the clot) and another 2 days in the hospital, then the physical therapy, then the return to the hospital for a manipulation under sedation to break up scar tissue and another night in the hospital, then more physical therapy including 6 hours a day tied to a continuous motion machine to prevent more scar tissue, and finally today’s visit to the hematologist to get to the root of the blood clot problem. See? I’ve been a bit busy! But tomorrow, I’m making gnocchi, so thought I’d share the recipe with you today.But I’ve been wanting to make potato gnocchi ever since we made it at Gusto Al Borgo in June when I took clients to Italy. It’s simple fare, and you can dress it up with anything fancy and rich, or dress it simply in a fresh tomato sauce for a lighter dish in the summer months. You will want to rice your cooked potatoes so they are fluffy, not glue-like.The potatoes get mixed with some flour and eggs, rolled into a rope, then cut into small pieces that you roll down the tines of a fork to get nice indentations (that’s what clings to the sauce). As you can see from these samples, some of us had the hang of it, and some of us (including me!) struggled to get the right touch.You might as well make a large batch if you are going to go to the effort – the gnocchi freeze well, but just make sure you freeze them in a single layer to prevent them from clumping together before dumping them into a bag or container to store in the freezer.The recipe I’m sharing comes from Paola at Gusto al Borgo – her husband Franco grows everything they use in their cooking school and restaurant in a lovely palazzo in the heart of Casperia – which by the way, is a place you need to put on your list if you haven’t already visited it. You’ll love it, trust me.
- 3½ pounds potatoes, whole
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Grated whole nutmeg, to taste
- 2 heaping tablespoons grated Parmigiano cheese
- Microwave the potatoes until tender. Cool until you can handle them, then peel and discard the skin. Rice potatoes (or mash) and then combine with flour, eggs, nutmeg and cheese. Roll out dough into long ropes about 1 inch around and cut into ½ inch pieces. Press and roll down the tines of a fork to shape the gnocchi. To cook, boil in salted water until gnocchi float to the top. Drain and serve with any pasta sauce (marinara, pesto, alfredo, etc.).