No, not your blog of course. I concede that your posts are succinct, insightful, humorous and well worth reading. That is why I would appreciate it if you could spare a moment to cast your eye over my efforts and let me know how I can encourage people to read it. On the other hand it may be the most boring blog, someone's has to be.

Newark market place

Newark market place
Newark market place dull Saturday morning

Newark Church

Newark Church
Two residents at the weir

Snowy Dry Doddington

Snowy Dry Doddington
Snow on the road to not very Dry Doddington

Raleigh Runabout RM6 Refurbished

Raleigh Runabout RM6 Refurbished
Look for the "before" in the blog post

Tuesday, 26 December 2006

Nonna's Gnocchi Recipe

First ensure that you have the essential ingredients to hand. However to make the gnocchi you will require:

2.5 kilos of potatoes
One egg
500 grammes plain flour

Peel the potatoes and boil till tender in plenty of lightly salted water. Strain and allow to cool, but not go cold. You will be mixing them with raw egg and you do not want this to coagulate with the heat from the potatoes. Tip the potatoes onto a clean table and mash carefully as per Nonna's instructions. If possible wear a green and orange outfit like the assistant in the picture as these are almost complementary colours, but not quite. Make a well in the potatoes and drop in the egg, without the shell of course. Mix this into the mashed potatoes.

Next knead in the flour. You could nonchalantly upend the flour bag like Nonna does, but she knows what she is doing. It is more reliable for non Nonnas to weigh it out and mix it in a little at a time.

You now need to find many other people to assist with the next stage. Fast food this is not. Their job is to roll out the dough into sausages about two feet long and an inch thick. These will be cut into gnocchi about one inch long.

Like this. Use flour to prevent the dough sticking to the table, as you would with pastry.

The individual gnocchi should then be shaped with a fork to give them the authentic Italian appearance. This is achieved by rolling each piece of gnocchi down the tines of the fork to give it a ridged or grooved appearance. It takes ages but after some time you will have a table full of perfectly formed gnocchi.

Like this. A bit like the Humber foreshore after the tide has gone out but that is just poor camera work.

Now you need to cook them, and this is something that should be done just before you intend to eat. Drop them quickly one by one into a large pan of boiling water. We had two highly trained Italian ladies to do this, one Nonna and one Zia. Their hands were a blur as they transferred dough to pan. When a gnocchi rises to the surface it is cooked and should be scooped out immediately with a slotted spoon. Do not leave it and wait for the whole panful to rise as they will probably turn into mash.

These are risen gnocchi and should be removed from the water at this stage. I know they look like overcooked cauliflower.

Serve the drained gnocchi with a sauce of your choice and some grated Parmesan. Nonna tells me that the Italians also eat it brushed with melted butter that has been infused with sage leaves. An additional statin required I think.

He thinks its OK, you should try it.

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