Saturday, March 3, 2007

Potato Gnocchi with a Pesto Green Bean Sauce

1 ½ pounds baking potatoes
¾ teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten well
½ to 2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ pound green beans

Directions: Boil the potatoes in water to cover until tender when poled with a fork. Don’t let them overcook to the point that their skins split. Drain as soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and put tem through the ricer or vegetable mill, using the medium disk and letting the shreds fall onto a large baking tray or board. Spread them out, sprinkle on the salt and let them dry out and cool for at least 20 minutes.

Pour the beaten egg over the potatoes, and the 1 cup of the flour. Gather the mass together and knead, adding a little more flour as necessary to make the dough hold together. But keep it light; the more you work the dough, the more flour you’ll need, and you don’t want to incorporate too much or the gnocchi will be heavy and dry. A good criterion: slice the mass in half and examine the texture. Ir should look like cookie dough peppered with small holes.

Cut the dough into three equal pieces. Roll out each portion into a broomstick about 18 inches long, then cut crosswise into 2/3-inch pieces and toss them lightly in flour. You should have about 72 gnocchi.

Take one piece of gnocchi and place it, cut side down, on the tines of a fork, then with your lightly floured thumb press into it, at the same time pushing it off the end of the fork and onto a floured board. The gnocchi should have an indentation where your thumb was, and ridges from the fork tines on the other side, Repeat with all the remaining pieces, and cover with a clean towel. At this point they should be cooked immediately or quickly frozen.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Drop the gnocchi, five or six at a time, into the boiling water-the larger the pot, the less time they will take the return to the boil.

Once they have, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until they plump up and float to the surface; when done, they will have a softer feel and will no longer thump against the side of the pan as you fish them out with a strainer or slotted spoon. Drop them gently from your strained into the waiting sauce.

Potato Gnocchi with a Pesto Green Bean Sauce

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