Experimenting: Gnocchi

I am more excited about this potato ricer than perhaps I should be.

True confession time: I have only had gnocchi once.

It was at a restaurant in Little Italy in Baltimore, a place that shall remain nameless but based on reputation alone should have had someone’s nonna in the back making delicate little puffs of potato. 

They certainly charged cash money like they flew Nonna over first class.

Turns out, their gnocchi was less than stellar. They were lukewarm and gummy, served in a quickly-cooling butter sauce with fairly tasteless Parmesan that may have seen the inside of a green can. It was not a good showing, and for years I ignored the presence of this dish in favor of anything else.

Flash forward to gluten-free years, a chilly fall in Baltimore, and some gorgeous and delicious organic russet potatoes from the local market. Turns out gnocchi is a great pasta dish for those avoiding gluten, and some recipes don’t require the use of eggs (although Tom Colicchio’s does, and his is on the list for testing).

I have no idea what I am doing, but tonight is the first experiment with the recipe from Mark Bittman’s book How To Cook Everything. All it requires is russet potatoes, salt, pepper, and flour (I am using my gluten-free all-purpose flour blend, so we will see). 

I have a newly-acquired potato ricer, a bowl that is too big for the aforementioned potato ricer, and the will to dive in.

I also have a four-hour Sunday sauce that I made on Monday (details, details), and I figure the gnocchi might like to rest on top of that when all is said and done. 

So help me out before I judge my initial effort (which Tom Colicchio insists will be unsuccessful on the first attempt): describe the texture and taste I am aiming for. What is the goal?

I plan on trying several different recipes before reporting what actually happen. I may need volunteers to taste. Any (local) takers?

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