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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gnocchi party: potato gnocchi with blue cheese sauce

Gnocchi party

Welcome to the gnocchi party! I am just turning up on time to the party - but in my defense it has been a busy week. My mother-in-law Annette, and her husband Terry, have been visiting, and so we have been out all week (it has been a major eating week!).

A few weeks ago, Penny from Addictive and Consuming rounded up several interested bloggers for a gnocchi party. Everyone was to make gnocchi, following the theme "unami", and post it oh, right about now!

I have never made gnocchi before, but being a carboholic, I love it. The recipe I followed was from The Cook's Companion, and it was very straight forward and easy to make for a gnocchi beginner.

Potato gnocchi with blue cheese sauce

Adapted from the Cook's Companion

Serves 6-8

For the gnocchi:

1 kg potatoes - Stephanie recommends Toolangi delight, desiree or nicola
300g-325g plain flour

For the blue cheese sauce:

125g blue cheese
1/2 cup milk
20g butter
freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons cream

Give the potatoes a good wash, and then place them in a large pot of water until tender. Drain and peel.

Gnocchi party

Pass the potatoes through a food mill or ricer directly on to a clean work surface and sprinkle with salt. I don't have a food mill/potato ricer so I used a steamer basket that has large holes. It took AGES. But my arms got a good workout!

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil in preparation for cooking the gnocchi.

Gnocchi party

With one hand, sprinkle the potato with flour and, using the heel of the other hand, work it in. Be as quick and deft as possible (I wasn't either of these things!). Continue until all the flour is incorporated - I only used 2/3 of my flour. Having never made gnocchi before, I wasn't sure how stiff/sticky it was supposed to be, so I just stopped when it didn't seem to want to take any more flour.

Gnocchi party

When the cooking water is boiling, roll the potato mixture into a long rope and cut into 1cm pieces.

Gnocchi party

Roll each piece across the curved side of a fork using one finger to create the traditional shape. I had NO IDEA what I was doing here so my gnocchi were all weirdly shaped!

Lower the heat for the pot of water until it is simmering. Drop in some gnocchi, and wait a few minutes until they rise to the surface. Lift them out with a slotted spoon, drain for a moment over the pot, and tip into a bowl (into a warmed oven to keep warm if you're making lots). Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.

I served the gnocchi with a blue cheese sauce. The sauce should be hot on the stove while you're cooking the gnocchi. Here's the recipe for the sauce:

Combine the cheese, milk, butter and pepper in a heavy-based frying pan over a gentle heat and cook until thick and creamy. Add the cream, increase the heat a little, and cook, stirring, until the sauce starts to thicken. Keep warm while you cook the gnocchi.

Gnocchi party

When all the gnocchi is cooked, pour the sauce over it, shake gently and serve.

For my first time making gnocchi, I was rather pleased with them. They were (relatively!) light, and delicious with the blue cheese sauce. I did find the sauce rather strong so a bit less blue cheese or less sauce over the gnocchi would be a good idea next time. And I'm sure there will be a next time - since I now know how easy gnocchi is to make. I might buy a potato ricer first though!

Check out the other gnocchi party attendees:

Gnocchi Gnudi made by our lovely host, Penny from Addictive & Consuming
Braised Beef Short Ribs Adobo on Potato Gnocchi made by Divina from Sense & Serendipity
Pan-fried Pumpkin Gnocchi with Truffle Paste and Basil made by Mardi from Eat, Live, Travel, Write
Chocolate-filled Plantain Gnocchi, with chillies for Dessert made by Ozoz from Kitchen Butterfly
Malfatti a la Al Di La made by Trix from Tasty Trix
Tuna & Anchovy sauce gnocchi with roasted vegetables made by Conor from Hold the Beef
Gnocchi di Patate con Funghi e Salvia made by Mellie from Tummy Rumbles
Gnocchi Chicken Tikka made by Shirley from Enriching your kid
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Nori Butter made by Natasha from Five Star Foodie
Gnocchi in creamy mushroom sauce made by Christine from Christine's Recipes

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