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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gnocchi. Sort of.

I've been working with flour a lot lately. Pastries, breads, and of course pasta. As my pasta crank is on the opposite coast, though, I've been limiting myself to fairly easily formed shapes, or, in this case, something that doesn't even have to be rolled out.

The abject fear and revulsion that has been professionally ingrained in me at the thought of a heavy, doughy gnocco is certainly helpful, but can be taken too far. It is a dough, after all, not just potatoes. So it turned out that I took the minimal flour rule a bit too far, and ended up with something of a weak finished product, little dumplings just barely holding themselves together. Not heavy, certainly, but neither were they right. I'll get it next time.

The sauce was straight up classic: butter, deeply browned, the nutty flavor intensified by cracked hazelnuts. A punch of chopped sage continued the earthiness and a squeeze of fresh lemon woke the whole sauce up. The nutmeg in the gnocchi rounded out the flavors, as any Italian grandmother could tell you it would. A warm, homey sauce. Now if only I had some decent gnocchi.

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