Never in a million years would I’ve thought that one day I would even consider making gnocchi let alone from the scratch. And yet, that’s exactly what I did – For all you people East does meet west in a million ways, esp when it comes to food – I had no clue how to make gnocchi but got an intuitive sense from eating it before – Truth to tell, I find gnocchi quite tasteless and doughy, caloric as they are usually made from all purpose flour or maida – from the store or even in supposedly good Italian restaurants. Perhaps I expect too much gourmet in my food and set myself up for disappointment besides coming through as a mean, hard-to please critic….
Who has tried making aloo parathas? You boil the potatoes season them and add it to the flour, knead and roll them out, correct – And all of you must have tasted zesty versions of this dish and some bland and rather blah versions of it – Hot blooded Indian that I am, I am always thinking zesty and like I did with my pizza dough base, I went ahead and seasoned my whole, multigrain flour with a touch of rosemary, oregano, black pepper and salt. And I used my frozen pumpkin (cubed a whole lot after Halloween was over) .
In conclusion, gnocchi is rolled not rolled out paratha –
2 cups whole grain flour (I used multigrain bought at the Indian store)
5 cups diced pumpkin
Spices of your choice – I would recommend the ones I used for an extremely aromatic experience J
For my Indian friends, make the pumpkin like your would a subzi except with Italian seasoning
Thaw the pumpkin and drain the water entirely and season as if you were planning to eat it on its own.
Blend it with no water…
Remove and set aside
Take the flour, add the spices and salt and mix well
Then take the pumpkin and slowly knead it into the flour, much like you would for making parathas… Add more flour if you think the consistency is too pasty – I had to experiment with this.
When it is of roll-able consistency make lemon sized balls of it
Dab in fresh dry flour, hold between palms and roll into ½ inch tubes
Then with scissors (yes these are the best tool for the job) snip at ½ inch lengths and place on a plate
Add a few gnocchi in the water and watch those babies float up in a minute or so – That is a gratifying moment for the effort put in.
Boil the rest similarly and keep in a colander
Now make the Arrabiata Sauce with
2 cans of diced tomatoes, pureed
3-4 cloves of garlic
2-4 cayenne peppers (red chili)
1 tsp of crushed pepper
Boil sauce in a pan using 1 tsp of olive oil
Add more salt if you desire.
Gingerly drop the drained gnocchi into the sauce and allow it to simmer for about 5-7 minutes, so the gnocchi can soak in the additional tangy flavors of the tomatoes
Serve hot with a sprinkle of parmagiano cheese…
Don’t you love happy endings – Mine was when the kids, who have travelled all of Italy with us and eaten at several gourmet restaurants declared that this is the best gnocchi they’d ever had – And they me mates are enjoying the fact that I write this blog perhaps as much as I am since they get to eat it – Signing of in an Italian frame of mind – Ciao mia bellas J