Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You Want Pretty?

Oh man.  I finally did it.  I have been dancing around it for ages.  I spent twelve hours researching.  I collected six authentic recipes and three that were just silly.  I interviewed several people about their experiences.

Compiling all of this information, I waited until the time was right.  Today. Lunchtime.  I was hungry.  I had a few spuds from my sister's garden.  I was ready.

I reviewed all of the information about what could go wrong as I waited for the potatoes to steam.  No boiled potatoes in this recipe.  I got my equipment ready and made pesto from the last few basil leaves on my porch.  I have a few minutes so I toasted some pine nuts.  I poked the potatoes with a fork.  It was undeniable.  They were ready.  I nervously pulled out the ricer and quashed the spuds.  That wasn't so bad.  I beat the egg and mixed it through the potatoes.  So far, so good. 

I added the flour a tablespoon at a time to keep from adding too much.  This took forever.  For-ever.  I gently rolled out my snake.  Well--it wasn't so much a snake as it was an oddly-shaped floury gob.  Traditional recipes two and six cautioned strongly about over-working the dough.  I have a choice.  I work on the snake and have perfectly shaped gnocchi, however inedible.  Or I could break the rules a little and and go for something a little less traditional.

I carelessly ripped off pieces of dough and flung them into the boiling water.  Fabulous.  They floated.  I fished them out, drained them and tossed them with pesto.  I sprinkled them with cheese and the toasted pine nuts.  I opened my last Limonata.

I sat down at the table and looked to my bowl. In retrospect, I should have snapped a photo.   My first pesto-covered bite confirmed that they were indeed the best gnocchi ever.  So far anyway.   I may revisit that snake thing.

So there you have my gnocchi.  They weren't pretty.  You want pretty?  Call Sophia Loren.  These were perfect.  The perfect comfort food.  And in keeping with all great comfort food, I think I'm ready for a little nap.

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