Monday, 20 January 2020

Potato-Buckwheat Gnocchi

This is aaaaalmost a traditional northern Italian recipe, but I left out the white flour and used all buckwheat flour, where the traditional version uses about half and half buckwheat and white wheat flours. No doubt this is a little more rustic, but it fits my diet and is also gluten-free.

Normally one would make this right after cooking the potatoes, only letting them cool enough to handle, but since my goal is to convert the starch in the potatoes to resistant starch, I cooked them the night before, cooled them, and made the gnocchi the next day. This worked perfectly well; you can do it either way. I served mine with our homemade frozen pesto, because we have a lot of it, but I'm not sure it's the ideal treatment for these. Something similar to Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese would probably be better, but omit the potato as it's already in the gnocchi. I think this Mushroom, Celery, & Leek Sauce would also go very well. 

I served this as 4 main-course portions (froze 2 for later use) and found them a little skimpy but adequate. We do tend to have hearty appetites, so keep that in mind. Six to 8 portions would really only work as part of a multi-course meal. I have to say they did not recook well while frozen; next time I will be sure to thaw them first.

3 to 6 servings; 64 gnocchi
30 minutes to 1 hour to cook the potatoes
30 minutes to mix and form the Gnocchi
20 minutes to cook the Gnocchi

Potato-Buckwheat Gnocchi with Pesto

Cook the Potatoes:
500 grams (1 1/4 pounds) starchy white potatoes

You will need 4 to 6 potatoes, medium to medium large in size, but cooking them evenly will be easier if they are of similar configuration. Bring a pot of water sufficient to cover them well to a boil, and boil them for about 20 minutes, until quite tender. DO NOT peel them first, and remove them from the pot to drain, dry, and cool promptly. This will help keep the potato flesh quite dry, which is the object here.

Perhaps a better technique is to bake the potatoes at 375°F for approximately 1 hour, until tender. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.

You can proceed as soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, but if you wish them to do very little to raise your blood sugar, they should be cooled completely and chilled overnight first.

Make the Gnocchi:
2/3 cup dark buckwheat flour, about
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
a little potato starch OR more buckwheat flour to roll

Peel the potatoes and grate them on the finest holes of your box grater, or pass them through a ricer/food mill into a mixing bowl.

Sprinkle the flour and salt over the potatoes, and work them in, breaking up any clumps of potato until you have a fine, evenly grainy mixture.

Break in the egg, break up the yolk and mix the egg then work it into the potatoes. This is a good dough to mix with your (clean!) hands, until it reaches the texture of plasticene. You may need to adjust the amount of flour slightly. Form the dough into a ball, and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Cut the dough into quarters, and roll one quarter into a fat but straight sided tube in your hands. Roll it out with your hands on a lightly-dusted board until you have an long, even, thin roll, about 12" to 16" long. Cut it into 16 even pieces, and roll each piece with a fork until tubular and embossed with the pattern of the tines. Place them in a single layer on a large plate as you work.

Repeat with the remaining 3 quarters of the dough.

To Cook; put a large pot of boiling water on to boil. Add a little salt, but less than you would for dry pasta as the gnocchi have already been lightly salted. When the water is boiling briskly, add the gnocchi in a steady stream. Do not really stir them, but if they look like sticking to the bottom of the pot, loosen them gently. Cook them for about 4 to 5 minutes. They will float to the top in about 2 minutes, but in my experience they need just a tad longer to cook through to the middle (and next time I will make sure they are a little flatter - don't make them into perfect cylinders).

Serve them with the sauce or other treatment of your choice. Brown butter and sage is classic, as is pesto. Nothing wrong with tomato sauce, or bake them with cheese, breadcrumbs, and herbs.

Last year at this time I made Leek & Dried Tomato Salad.

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