Farm share started last week (HOORAY!!!!) but always, at the beginning when things are still getting on growing, we are only getting a few things. Lot of greens which I will never get enough of, and lots of potatoes. Also, I made the mistake of buying a very large bag of potatoes last week right before farm share and now I am basically swimming in potatoes. And so the story goes….
So what do you do with a shit ton of potatoes? Yeah, I thought potato cannon to but then I realized that I would have to use my potatoes and sure I have a lot, but I am not wasting them on that. So gnocchi they became. Gnocchi. Basically a boiled french fry or a mashed potato meat ball. Or maybe more like a ravioli. Whatever they are, they are loved by potato loving people and are fun to make. I mean, when do you ever get to use the ricer? ( Don’t worry, you can make gnocchi without a ricer.)
To the gnocchi.
The stuff. Potatoes, flour, an onion, some tomatoes, a few cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Note. Make sure to use russet potatoes because they make the lightest, fluffiest gnocchi. You could probably use Yukon gold, but any hard wax potato just won’t do.
First step is to make baked potatoes. Place potatoes in oven, directly on rack, and bake for 30-45 minutes until nice and soft and tender. Just like you would when you eat it as a baked potato. Once cooked cut them in half and let them cool off for a few minutes.
Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop all the flesh out of skins. Keep skins for soup or a snack for later.
And the fun part. Flour the counter then rice the potatoes. You can also do this with a food mill or even grate the potato with a box grater. Once all riced, cover with flour and start to fold and mix the potato into the flour gently until the dough starts to come together. If the dough seems really sticky and wet, add in a tablespoon or two of flour, to dry and crumbly, add in a tablespoon or two of water. The goal is a nice fluffy dough that hold it shape but is not overly dense.
Cut off a potion of the dough, roll it into a rope about an inch thick, then cut into inch long pieces.
To cook gnocchi. Bring a big pot of water to a boil and carefully drop in a handful of gnocchi into the water. They are gonna sink, but after a minute or two they start to float. Once floating, remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and place them on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Repeat until all the gnocchi are cooked.
Cooked and ready… Ready for what? For anything you want but these are going into a tomato and onion situation.
Mince garlic and dice tomatoes and place into skillet with a good pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil. Place on stove and cook until slightly tender. Dice up tomatoes into small chunks and add to skillet along with a cup of water (if you have gnocchi water, use that) Turn heat up and cook until mixture start to bubble, then turn heat down to low and cook until the tomatoes are mushy.
Looks good right?
And then drop in gnocchi. Keep on heat until the gnocchi are warmed completely all the way through.
Sprinkle of salt, lots of pepper, and something green if you want to be fancy.
And then you eat them.
Gnocchi with Chunky Tomato and Onion
Makes 3-4 servings
2.5 pounds russet potatoes
2/3 cup of all purpose flour
1 large onion
few cloves garlic
salt and pepper
Place potatoes directly into oven on one of the oven racks and bake on 450 degrees until soft and tender. Should take about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, depending on size of potatoes.
Once cooked, remove from oven carefully, cut in half, carefully, and let cool for a about 10 minutes, just so you can handle the potatoes without burning yourself. In the mean time, get a large pot, fill it with water, and set it on the stove to boil.
When the potatoes are not to hot to touch, grab them and with a spoon, scoop out all the potato flesh from the skin (keep skin for a snack or for soup). Lightly flour the counter and start ricing the potatoes directly onto the counter. (You can also use a food mill or a box grater if you don’t have ricer). Once all potato is rices, cover with floor and gently fold potato over into flour, over and over, even using a knife, to kind of cut the potato into the flour, until it all mostly comes together. Be careful to not overwork the dough or else it will become dense make the gnocchi chewy. If the dough seems is sticky, add in a few more tablespoons of flour, to dry and seems crumbly, add a few tablespoons warm water.
Once you have the dough, make sure the water on the stove is still there and has not evaporated and is at a gentle boil. Cut dough in thirds then roll out a portion into a rope about an inch thick. Cut the rope into inch long pieces. Repeat with the rest of dough.
When all the gnocchi are made, grab a rimed baking sheet, coat with oil, and place close by the boil water.
Now to cook them. Drop a handful of gnocchi into water carefully. They will sink. Watch and after about a minute or two, they will start to float. Once floating, take a slotted spoon and take them out of water. Place them on the greased baking sheet. Repeat until all the gnocchi are cooked. (when done cooking, save a cup of the cooking water)
After the gnocchi is cooked, you can do whatever you want with it, like eat it right away with salt and pepper or whatever, but to make the quick tomatoes onion situation, dice up the onion and mince the garlic. Place into a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and place on stove and start to cook. Dice up the tomatoes and once the onion is tender, add in the dice tomatoes and about a cup of the gnocchi cooking water. Turn the heat up until the water is bubbling then reduce to low and cook until the tomatoes are mushy and tender. Once cooked, add in the gnocchi, toss them around, and cook until the gnocchi are fully warmed through.
And then eat it. Maybe a little more salt if needed, definitely lots of pepper, and whatever else you want.