My love affair with gnocchi

If anybody has made successful gnocchi please tell me if you got by without having to use a potato ricer. Can you not instead mash it? Maybe I should just invest in a potato ricer. But, what happens if it goes bottoms up? I’m not sure I’m willing to make an investment yet because I don’t know how much of a faff making gnocchi actually is. I also just googled what a potato ricer looks like and it resembles a garlic presser (I imagine it is probably a smidge bigger). Is this a viable alternative or would I still be there hours later?

The reason why I want to know if making gnocchi is like making your own tomato sauce (if you can get it right you never buy shop-made tomato sauce again) is because I really love gnocchi. I’ve had some in a restaurant before (you can read about it here) and they were warm soft pearls of heaven, although the sauce didn’t do them quite enough justice. My brother maintains that the gnocchi you can buy in supermarkets is far inferior to those crafted in your own kitchen, which has me trembling with excitement – what will happen when I eat some that I made with my own hands?! There is something so blissful about eating them. They are little pillows of happiness, as comforting as sucking your thumb used to be. You just have to make sure you do not leave them in the water for any second longer than the time on the packet because otherwise they will go wobbly and gelatinous euch.

My journey with gnocchi reached a startling goalpost the other day, when after putting them in boiling water for two mins I then browned them in a frying pan for a few minutes. So, added to the dreamy slightly sticky rugby balls a contrasting crust that, when broken, exposed its tender insides. Oh gosh.

I found myself having them for lunch quite a lot. Some of the times I added good quality olive oil, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, rocket and a few basil leaves for a simple but luxurious lunch. Another winner (and sadly no longer in season but remember this for next time!!) consisted of mushrooms, asparagus, pine nuts again, cherry tomatoes and parmesan. Sweet tomato, slick mushrooms and crunchy fresh asparagus binded with strong parmesan: it was quite a delight.

As I read over this blog post to check through it I noticed that I had put in an extraordinary number of brackets, like so (       ). If we inspect these closer, do they not look a little bit like gnocchi? I think my unconscious is yearning for them. Ricer or masher or garlic presser, I’m going to have to make my own gnocchi minions.

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