As Reading Week was fast approaching we were trying to brainstorm creative ways to use up the rest of our food before going home. I had half a bag of potatoes leftover from the potluck, one housemate had eggs, another had a bag of spinach.. what to make? Gnocchi!
But not just any old gnocchi, no, it had to be unique and most importantly - colourful. Since we had spinach we decided we were definitely going to make some green pasta, and with a sweet potato we were also able to make orange.
Aren't they cute?! I love the look of the speckled green gnocchi. Really, I just love colourful food - the more colours in a meal, the better.
It turned out wonderfully! It had a very soft and smooth texture - if I were to eat a cloud, I would imagine it would be of a similar experience. The spinach one actually turned out a bit softer than the sweet potato and it was probably because we added more flour to the latter.
I always overestimate how many potatoes you should use so we ended up freezing 3 containers of pasta. But really, if you're going to go through the trouble of making pasta from scratch, you might as well make heaps while you're at it.
So I told you in my last gnocchi post that I would give you a recipe the next time I made it. Well I lied, I'm sorry. It's just that you don't really use exact measurements for gnocchi you just follow a general procedure. So I will share our procedure with you!
First boil your potatoes and leave the skin on. It is important that they don't absorb any of the water. If you want to make a fairly large batch, use about 6-7 medium potatoes.
Once they're cooked and quite soft, drain the potatoes and carefully peel the skins off.
Mash the potatoes in a bowl until they're as smooth as you can get them (this might take a while).
*It is at this point that if you want to add something extra (sweet potato, spinach, etc.) that you add them into the mashed potatoes. If using spinach, make sure it is cooked first and finely chopped. If using sweet potato, follow the same procedure as with regular potatoes. Mix well with the mashed potatoes so everything is evenly combined.
Next create a well in the middle of the mashed potatoes and crack an egg in it.
Using a fork start to mix the mashed potatoes into the egg in the middle and slowly combine them. If you're making a lot, use two eggs.
After the egg is combined start to add the all-purpose flour a couple tbsps at a time, mixing it into the mixture.
As you continue to add flour, start to use your hands to knead and fold the flour into the dough. It will be very sticky at first. As soon as there's enough flour in it that it's not too sticky, and you are able to roll the dough, stop. You want to add as little flour as possible - the more flour, the more dense and chewy the pasta will be.
Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface into logs about 2 cm thick and 15 cm long (the length isn't important). Next cut the logs into pieces of the size you would like your gnocchi to be (around 2/3 of an inch to an inch). To get the texture of gnocchi, carefully roll the piece on the back of a fork so the lines are imprinted. Do this with all of the dough.
At this point you can either freeze your gnocchi or cook it! To cook, simply set a pot of water over medium-heat to boil. Add gnocchi pieces once it's boiling. You'll know when it's done when the gnocchi starts to float on the top of the pot!
Top with desired sauce/seasonings and enjoy :)