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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Noodle Recipes!

Gnocchi Mac n' Cheese
From Cuisine at Home

1 pound homemade gnocchi (recipe follows)
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup shredded fontina cheese
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
Basil leaves for garnish, optional
(I chopped fresh basil and added it in to my cheese sauce)

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and place gnocchi in a single-layer in a 1-1/2 quart shallow baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in flour until it thickens and bubbles, then whisk in milk and Dijon. Continue to whisk mixture and cook until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.

Combine Gruyere and fontina, then add by the handful to milk mixture, stirring until melted before adding the next handful. Once all cheese is melted, season sauce with salt and pepper.

Pour sauce over gnocchi and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano over top. Bake gnocchi until they puff and the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Let gnocchi rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Gnocchi Recipe
Scant 2 pounds of starchy potatoes (2 large russets
1/4 cup egg, lightly beaten
scant 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour
fine grain sea salt
Fill a large pot with cold water. Salt the water, then cut potatoes in half and place them in the pot. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender throughout, this takes roughly 40-50 minutes.
Remove the potatoes from the water one at a time with a slotted spoon. Place each potato piece on a large cutting board and peel it before moving on to the next potato. Also, peel each potato as soon as possible after removing from the water (without burning yourself) - I've found a paring knife comes in handy here. Be mindful that you want to work relatively quickly so you can mash the potatoes when they are hot. To do this you can either push the potatoes through a ricer, or do what I do, deconstruct them one at a time on the cutting board using the tines of a fork - mash isn't quite the right term here. I run the fork down the sides of the peeled potato creating a nice, fluffy potato base to work with (see photo). Don't over-mash - you are simply after an even consistency with no noticable lumps.
Save the potato water.
Let the potatoes cool spread out across the cutting board - ten or fifteen minutes. Long enough that the egg won't cook when it is incorporated into the potatoes. When you are ready, pull the potatoes into a soft mound - drizzle with the beaten egg and sprinkle 3/4 cup of the flour across the top. I've found that a metal spatula or large pastry scraper are both great utensils to use to incorporate the flour and eggs into the potatoes with the egg incorporated throughout - you can see the hint of yellow from the yolk. Scrape underneath and fold, scrape and fold until the mixture is a light crumble. Very gently, with a feathery touch knead the dough. This is also the point you can add more flour (a sprinkle at a time) if the dough is too tacky. I usually end up using most of the remaining 1/4 cup flour, but it all depends on the potatoes, the flour, the time of year, the weather, and whether the gnocchi gods are smiling on you. The dough should be moist but not sticky. It should feel almost billowy. Cut it into 8 pieces. Now gently roll each 1/8th of dough into a snake-shaped log, roughly the thickness of your thumb. Use a knife to cut pieces every 3/4-inch (see photo). Dust with a bit more flour.
To shape the gnocchi hold a fork in one hand (see photo) and place a gnocchi pillow against the tines of the fork, cut ends out. With confidence and an assertive (but light) touch, use your thumb and press in and down the length of the fork. The gnocchi should curl into a slight "C" shape, their backs will capture the impression of the tines as tiny ridges (good for catching sauce later). Set each gnocchi aside, dust with a bit more flour if needed, until you are ready to boil them. This step takes some practice, don't get discouraged, once you get the hang of it it's easy.
Now that you are on the final stretch, either reheat your potato water or start with a fresh pot (salted), and bring to a boil. Cook the gnocchi in batches by dropping them into the boiling water roughly twenty at a time. They will let you know when they are cooked because they will pop back up to the top. Fish them out of the water a few at a time with a slotted spoon ten seconds or so after they've surfaced. Have a large platter ready with a generous swirl of whatever sauce or favorite pesto you'll be serving on the gnocchi. Place the gnocchi on the platter. Continue cooking in batches until all the gnocchi are done. Gently toss with more sauce or pesto (don't overdo it, it should be a light dressing), and serve immediately, family-style with a drizzle of good olive oil on top.
Lazy Cheese Pasta
Ingredients 2 - 4 servings:
• 300 grams of cottage cheese (store bought or make your own)*
• 1 egg
• salt
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• about 1/3 cup flour

* If you can not buy cheese, you can use ricotta or cream cheese has a smooth ground, we can also add feta

• butter and extra virgin olive oil
• basil pesto, ready or your own

• Cottage cheese put into a bowl along with eggs and a pinch of salt and thoroughly mash potatoes, so that no lumps remain. Can also grind (without eggs) in a meat grinder. Smooth ricotta cheese and cream do not have to grind, just mix with egg. Less cheese may need a little more flour.

• on a pastry board sift the wheat flour (about 1 - 2 tablespoons), put the cheese and egg mixture, on top of potato flour and sift the rest of the flour. Let's try to add as little flour so after cooking noodles did not become hard. Knead the ingredients quickly integrating them into a ball. Divide into 2 parts and roll each to form a thick roll, take a large knife and then cut diagonally into pieces.

• Boil salted water in a large pan, add noodles and cook for several seconds after rising to the surface. Pick out with a slotted spoon and serve with butter and bread crumbs or green pesto, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Egg Noodles


  • As a general guide, use 1/2 cup of unbleached white flour to each egg. With one egg yielding approximately 2 servings.
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • salt


Place the flour in the center of a clean smooth work surface. Make a well in the middle. Break the eggs into the well. Add a pinch of salt.
Start beating the eggs with a fork, gradually drawing the flour from the inside walls of the well. As the paste thickens, continue the mixing with your hands. Incorporate as much flour as possible until the mixture forms a mass. It will still be lumpy. If it still sticks to your hands, add a little more flour. Set the dough aside. Scrape off all traces of the dough from the work surface until it is perfectly smooth. Wash and dry your hands.
Lightly flour the work surface. Knead the dough by pressing it away from you with the heel of your hands, and then folding it over towards you. Repeat this action over and over, turning the dough as you knead. Work for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Flour the rolling pin and work surface. Pat the dough into a disc and begin rolling it out into a flat circle, rotating it one quarter turn after each roll to keep its shape round. Roll until the disc is about 1/8 inch thick.
Using a pizza cutter cut the dough into usable strips.
To serve, boil salted water. The pasta can be done as quickly as 15 seconds AFTER the water has returned to a boil. Test it for doneness before draining the water and serving.

Freezing Directions:

Prior to cooking you can place noodles in a freezer bag and freeze until you are ready to use.

Potato Dumplings  
1 cup potato pearls
1 3/4 cups water
1 egg
Mix 1C potato pearls with 1 3/4 C water.
Add a beaten egg and enough flour so that the mixture becomes thick and almost stiff. Roll small portions of the mixture into balls and flatten slightly. (although you can also roll it out in a sheet like pie crust, then cut into small squares with your pizza cutter)
Let dry until they stiffen slightly and cook in gently boiling water until tender. Give the dumplings extra flavor by adding fresh herbs and/or cheese. Serve buttered or covered in your favorite sauce.  (One of our favorite things to do with gnocchi is to fry them after they are boiled and serve with fresh Parmesan and herbs, or add them to a nice chicken soup as the noodles)

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