Usually made from potatoes, gnocchi can also be made from farina (Cream of Wheat) and other flours.

It may seem like something only professional cooks can make – but if you read through the following recipe, given to us by Shay Doblero, chef and owner of Tel Aviv’s Piazza Restaurant, you’ll see it only takes a little practice.

The secret is choosing the right potatoes, making sure they are dried out, not adding too much flour and not over kneading.

There are different methods to cooking potatoes for gnocchi – some boil them, others prefer cooking them in milk and then there are those who prefer baking the potatoes. Doblero prefers baking the potatoes on a bed of salt, which absorbs all the moisture. He suggests using red potatoes, which are drier and have higher starch content.

BASIC GNOCCHI

✔ 1½ kg. red Desiree potatoes (about 10)
✔ 2 cups kosher salt
✔ 1 egg
✔ 1 egg yolk
✔ 2 cups flour
✔ 1 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 200°.

Spread the salt on a baking sheet, ar - range potatoes on top and bake for 90 minutes, or until softened. Turn potatoes from time to time to ensure that they are baked through. The exact baking time depends on their size, so it is advisable to try and get potatoes that are more or less of the same size.

When ready, cool potatoes, halve and remove the flesh. Mash the potatoes by hand or in a food processor. Add egg, egg yolk, salt and flour and knead until homogeneous.

Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and roll each part into a 2-cm. sausage and cut 2.3-cm. gnocchi. Arrange on a baking sheet and sprinkle with flour.

To cook the gnocchi boil a pot full of wa - ter with a little salt. When boiling drop the 9 June 12, 2014 gnocchi into the water and cook until they float. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place in the desired sauce.

SQUASH AND SAGE GNOCCHI

✔ 1 basic gnocchi recipe (above)
✔ 1½ kg. squash (or pumpkin), peeled and cut into 2x2 cm. cubes
✔ 1 garlic clove, minced
✔ 2-3 sage leaves
✔ 50 gr. butter
✔ 3 Tbsp. olive oil (50 ml.)
✔ Pinch each: salt, black pepper, nutmeg, brown sugar

Heat oven to 180°.

In a bowl toss the squash with salt and sugar. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until squash is browned and softened.

Boil water in a large pot with salt. Melt butter in a large pan, add garlic and sage, cook for 2 minutes and add the roasted squash. Mix well.

Cook the gnocchi and transfer to the pan with the squash. Cook together about 1 minute and serve.

TOMATO, ARTICHOKE AND EGGPLANT GNOCCHI
 
✔ 1 basic gnocchi recipe (above)
✔ 1 eggplant peeled and cut into 2x2 cm. cubes
✔ 3-4 tomatoes or 1 can tomato cubes
✔ 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
✔ 1 onion, chopped
✔ 1 bunch basil
✔ 1 stalk celery
✔ Salt
✔ 1 tsp. sugar
✔ 3 Tbsp. olive oil
✔ Frying oil

For garnish
✔ 1 bunch parsley, chopped

Arrange eggplant on a tray and sprinkle with kosher salt. Leave to “sweat” for an hour, wash in cold water and pat dry.

Heat frying oil and deep-fry the eggplant until golden brown. Transfer to paper towel to absorb excess oil. To reduce calories, brown the eggplant in the oven; rub eggplant in a little olive oil and grill in the oven until golden brown.

Prepare tomato sauce: Heat olive oil in a deep pan or pot, sauté the onion until transparent, add the garlic and cook 2-3 more minutes, add the celery and cook another minute. Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar and basil, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Boil a large pot of water with a little salt. When the water is boiling, add the gnocchi and cook until ready. Transfer to the sauce using a slotted spoon, mix well and divide between serving plates. Top with fried eggplant and chopped parsley

Serve with crumbled feta cheese or grated Pecorino cheese.

SPINACH, WHITE WINE AND CREAM GNOCCHI

✔ 1 basic gnocchi recipe (above)
✔ 1 onion, chopped
✔ 500 gr. fresh spinach
✔ 1 ⁄ 3 cup white wine
✔ 1 container (250 ml.) cooking cream
✔ Nutmeg
✔ Salt
✔ 20 gr. butter
✔ 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a pan and sauté onion until transparent. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts. Add white wine and cook 2-3 minutes. Add cream, season with nutmeg and salt and cook 3-4 minutes. Using a hand blender or a food processor, grind the sauce until smooth and set aside.

Boil a large pot of water with a little salt. When the water is boiling, add the gnocchi and cook until ready.

Melt a little butter in a pan. When the gnocchi are ready, transfer to the pan and sauté in the butter until they are golden. Add the spinach sauce and heat together. Taste and correct the seasoning.

Divide between the plates and serve with grated cheese.

FRIED GNOCCHI WITH GREEN VEGETABLES ON A BED OF EGGPLANT CREAM

✔ 1 basic gnocchi recipe (above)
✔ 50 gr. crumbled salty cheese
✔ ½ cup fresh peeled green peas (or frozen)
✔ ½ cup broccoli florets
✔ 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Eggplant cream:
✔ 1 kg. eggplant
✔ 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
✔ 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
✔ Juice of 1 lemon
✔ Salt

Prepare eggplant cream: Roast eggplant on open fire or in the oven. When cooked, remove from heat, carefully peel the egg - plant and transfer to the food processor.

Add garlic, olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt to taste and grind until smooth.

Prepare vegetables: Heat oil in a pan, lightly searing the broccoli and peas, and season with salt.

Heat frying oil in a deep pot and deep-fry the gnocchi until golden. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.

Spread some cream of eggplant on each plate, arrange the gnocchi on top, add the green peas and broccoli, sprinkle a little salty cheese on top and serve.

Recipes and photos courtesy of Shay Doblero, Piazza Restaurant, 99 Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv.



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