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Gnocchis

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone... does anyone know a sure way to shape gnocchis?? I am having a tough time shaping them and either they come out too big and cumbersome are just weird looking-totally unacceptable to serve to clients...:cry: have tried the fork thing, but the shape doesn't keep put.
Thanks for any advice!!!
Domy
post #2 of 21
When you say shape gnocci, do you mean getting the ridges on em? Or sizing them up properly?

If it's the former, then it's gonna be a trial/error type of arrangement until you find whatever works for you (cheesy suggestion: they actually make "gnocci boards" just for this purpose)

If it's the latter, practice sadly.
post #3 of 21
I think if your gnocchi are coming uneven and mushy, you may need more flour. Or a different kind of potato.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #4 of 21
Does anyone remember the gnocci shaping scene in Godfather III?

As for consistent size, just measure out your dough, roll it, cut it into the same number of pieces each time.

Use lots of flour on your bench.

Stick your index finger in the middle of the gnocci, press, roll, flick.

One of these days we'll get some videos on this site.
post #5 of 21
or try pate choux or ricotta gnocchis. A couple of the restaurants in town cannot pull gnocchi's from their menus they are so popular.
The last I had at Niche were served with exotic shrooms and roasted roots...light tarragon sauce. YUM....makes his with pate choux.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #6 of 21
And it's not the end of the world if your gnocchi aren't ridged. I've worked -- and eaten -- at some very good restaurants that didn't even try to get that ridged shape. But the gnocchi were delicious, nonetheless!

As Kuan said, measure out the same amount of dough every time, and roll it into an even strand, same length, same diameter every time -- yes, it takes practice, but everything worthwhile does. ;) Then cut it into pieces the same size. Practice, practice, practice.

And I don't think the ridged board thing is so bad -- the grandma who makes the gnocchi at Salumi (Mario Batali's father Armandino's place in Seattle) uses one, if that's any consolation.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #7 of 21
I've made these exactly once, from Lidia Bastianich's recipe. They were light and heavenly, and froze wonderfully for cooking later. I used the "back of the fork roll-off" method and got the little ridges. But when I lived in a heavily-Italian community, each restaurant that served them had their own version (as they did pizza and many other dishes).

I understand Roman gnocchi are quite different- large disks. Can anyone elaborate?
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post #8 of 21
:lol: :bounce:
Do you really want me to elaborate:D

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post #9 of 21
I remember the gnocchi scene in Godfather III. I can't seem to get the perfect shape to save my life.
My life, my choice.....
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My life, my choice.....
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post #10 of 21
I can remember being in my grandma's kitchen and rolling gnocchi with her. She would put her floured mappine on the table and we would roll with our thumbs. I fwe were having company we would sometimes give them a design with a fork.
I can remember hearing from the other room, my Uncle Tubba telling my father in Italian, he'd better watch out. I spent so much time in the kiitchen with my Grandma, I might be a little light in the loafers.My Grandmother would put a curse on him for the rest of the day.

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post #11 of 21
Oy! I was just asking for a little more information. :D Bet you could write a book on growing up in an Italian kitchen! That I'd love to read. :roll:
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post #12 of 21
Well, there is some slang expressions out there that pertain to
Roman Gnocchi:o ;)

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post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks you all. finally got my internet connection back in order... yes am stuck on an island... in the meantime have practiced my gnocchi and am forgetting the fork and just keeping them in a universal shape which looks neat once boiled... just made some and the client loved them!
Thanks for the great advice.. will rent the godfather now.
post #14 of 21
Hi Mezzaluna
Roman gnocchi are a totally different sort of thing. They're made with semolina (cream of wheat is close) cooked in milk, till thick. You add plenty of grated parmigiano and an egg, and then spread the mixture onto a wet marble slab or large board. Cut out circles (but i usually make them square, otherwise what do you do with the excess around the circles?) and overlap them slightly in a greased baking dish. Dot butter on top and plenty of grated parmigiano. Bake till slightly crispy around the edges (sometimes i've had them actually golden brown, othertimes just barely golden around the edges). Good comfort food.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #15 of 21
I usually use Idaho potatoes. Boil them skin on and whole until
they are fork tender. Drain potatoes and while still hot, gently
peel the skin off and cut them into a ricer or food mill. Gently
spread them out on sheet trays being careful not to mash them
up. When they reach room temperature, add salt, a little flour,
egg, and a little extra virgin olive oil. work the dough with your
hands as you would any dough until it just comes together. At
this point roll a small ball, about thumb size and drop into boiling
salted water. when gnocchi floats, remove and check for softness.
if its to soft to work in a pan, add more flour to potatoes. Take
you dough and roll it out on a lightly floured table like you would
when you make a snake out of play dough. Roll it out into logs
about thumb sized very gently from the inside slowly working out.
Dust with flour and a little semolina and roll to top of table. Repeat
until dough is gone. I leave the rolls uncut until I am done to get
a relatively same size. Use Bench Cutter and cut. Pop pop pop pop.
The ridges are fine until you are doing more volume and then you
just don't have enough time. Most high volume restaurants don't
make them with ridges. My favorite is a simple tomate sauce with
fresh basil and ricotta salade grated over the top. IMOHO.
post #16 of 21
Elaborating ;) on what Siduri said: it's important to use the coarser semolina for gnocchi alla romana, NOT semolina flour. Guess how I know. :o :lol:

A question about chestnut gnocchi, a variation of potato gnocchi: does one use chestnut flour instead of wheat flour, or cooked mashed chestnuts instead of potatoes? Or both? I've had ethereal chestnut gnocchi at a restaurant, but when I tried to make them they came out heavy heavy heavy.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #17 of 21
I think the ridges are very important.
As I stated before we would sometimes not ridge if it was just for us because the family dining was not as eligant, with some spoons,bread sponge, etc.
But for company the ridges, you have to have something to hold the sauce.
just what we did.
pan

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post #18 of 21
That's the ticket. And the only ticket! :D There is a purpose!;)
post #19 of 21
Gnocchi are one of my favorite dishes - my fave recipe is by Todd English. BTW, there is no law they have to be uniform. The irregularities in shaping really denote them as "made from scratch." They should be around the same size to ensure even cooking but they don't have to be identical.

I'm really interested in a good sweet potato or squash gnocchi recipe...If anyone has one, please share.
Food is sex for the stomach.
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Food is sex for the stomach.
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post #20 of 21
1. i have a funny story. An old Italian lady was hired by a restaurant in the states to make fettuccine (not gnocchi but it applies anyway). The restaurant prided itself on its "hand cut" fettuccine. She cut them irregularly - but when one of her relatives went to visit her and saw her at work she told him "I'm perfectly capable of cutting them all the same width and all straight, but they tell me to make them irregular so people will believe they're hand made"

2. I make squash gnocchi frequently. They're harder, chewier and have a different flavor than the soft potato kind - they;re more like sardinian flour gnocchi. I don;t measure anything for these so i can't gve you exact measures. Just cut in large chunks and remove the seeds (don;t peel till later, much easier) steam, bake (wrapped in foil) or microwave a good tasty and dense squash. (The kind that is bumpy and dark green outside, squat and round, and has a kind of yellow-greeny inside pulp is great - tasty and kind of pasty ratehr than watery.) When cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp into a mixing bowl. I just put it into the kitchenaid with the flat beater - that will mash it fine. Or you can squash it with a potato masher by hand. When cool enough not to cook the egg, add an egg - one for every half squash, considering a 9 in diameter round one- maybe a pound?) , salt to taste and flour. Add just enough flour to make it hold its shape in a spoon, so that it doesn;t fall off the spoon without a little help from your thumb. Boil salted water in a deep wide frying pan or a wide pot - reduce to simmering. Drop teaspoonfuls into the simmering water and scoop them up with a slotted spoon when they float. Taste the first few, and adjust ingredients accordingly. I like mine somewhat chewy, but you might like them softer - in which case you need less flour - but if they fall apart, it's too little.
Put in baking dish when you pull them out of the water and immediately put butter and grated parmigian on them batch by batch.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #21 of 21
Thanks so much! I enjoyed the story about the from scratch pasta lady and I appreciate the recipe. I'd really like to do more special gnocchi variations and this recipe will be a good springboard :D.
Food is sex for the stomach.
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Food is sex for the stomach.
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