Making Gnocchi Makes a Party

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One of my greatest delights while researching the history, geography and culture of the Mediterranean world for the newest volume of A Child’s Geography was the cooking and tasting of authentic Mediterranean dishes.

The Greeks, Italians, Slovenes and Albanians sure do know how to please the palate.

And while restaurant food is always a treat, there is something so much more comforting and enjoyable in homemade cooking. And of course, to bring you the very best recipes for the book, we had to do some cooking ourselves.

One of my favorite foods in all the world is gnocchi. I think I love it so much because it is a cross between potatoes and pasta, more like a dumpling covered in sauce. And you can drown these little yummy dumplings in traditional red sauce, a simple white sauce or a creamy pesto sauce – all delicious.

Here’s how you can make traditional Italian gnocchi as passed down from generation to generation:

5 or 6 large yellow potatoes, boiled until cooked through, then peeled when cool
2 +/- cups of unbleached white flour
1 1/2 tsp of sea salt
1 egg

Directions:

Press the potatoes through a potato “ricer”. If you do not have one of these kitchen gadgets, you can fine mash the potatoes with a masher or grate them on a hand-held grater.

PotatoRicer

After all of the potatoes have been riced, mashed or grated, then mix into the potatoes the egg, flour and salt.

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Once a dough has been formed, then the mixture can be divided into manageable amounts and rolled into “snakes”.

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Cut the rolled dough into small bite-sized pieces, then roll the small pieces into the traditional gnocchi shape by pressing first onto the tynes of a fork and then rolling up to close.

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When everyone pitches in, the work becomes fun and before you know it, you have a counter full of beautiful gnocchi. We didn’t mind that each person’s finished pasta looked a little different than the others. That’s part of what made the process so fun!

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Boil up the gnocchi in small batches. It is ready to be pulled out with a slotted spoon when the pasta floats to the top of the pot. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce and Enjoy!

For more traditional Mediterranean recipes, plus other fun hands-on activities and a great read-aloud book that brings it all together, check out A Child’s Geography: Explore the Classical World.

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 12th, 2013 at 2:34 pm and is filed under Geography, Homemaking, Homeschooling, Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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