My culture has a lot of Italian influence. We eat lots and lots of homemade pasta, pizza and sauces. It is a tradition in Uruguay that every 29th of the month is Gnocchi day. I do not know how it got started, but we eat Gnocchi with meat sauce and we put a coin on the table and cover it with the plate, that is a symbol of "prosperity" for that month. I am not a superstitious person but my family did this to keep the tradition.
Gnocchi means "knot" or "knuckle" in Italian. It is basically a potato dumpling. Originally, they were made form flour or semolina, but the potato ones are the most famous. They are tender and melt in your mouth, and you can serve them with different kinds of sauces, my favorites are: Tuco (meat sauce) and Estofado (which is kind of a Cacciatore). But I am a BIG fan of Pesto as well.
Since I like to do everything as easy as possible, I tried them using a Betty Crocker potato mix. The family thought I succeeded.
- 1 box of mashed potatoes (I used the roasted garlic flavor) both envelopes.
- 5 to 5 1/2 cups of flour
- Ragu, or sauce of choice
- Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
First, cook the mashed potatoes according to the directions. Let cool. This is important!
Add the eggs and stir. Then add the flour slowly and when it gets to this point, start kneading and keep adding flour so you get a dough that is smooth but not sticky.
This is how to dough looks like.
Cut several pieces of the dough.
With each piece, start rolling a "snake" about this width.
Cut little pieces of the "snake."
And this is a simple way to from your gnocchi. Grab a fork, put one of the little pieces you just cut on top, press it with your thumb and roll out. They become rounded and have the marks of the fork on the other side.
This is how they look like:
Look at all these gnocchi! Let them dry for about 20 minutes. Make sure you have enough room to spread them out.
Boil water and cook them. They cook FAST! When they start floating to the top they are done. Cook them in batches. I put some of them in a cookie sheet and transfer them to the water.
This is how they look cooked. At this point you can add some sauce and wait for the next batch to be done. Put them on top, add sauce, and so on. Do not over-sauce!
Put some Parmesan cheese on top and you have a delicious home made pasta for ... REALLY CHEAP!