Sep 17, 2011

This Glorious Sun In Sydney. Gnocchi From Scratch.

When the sun shines brightly on a Saturday morning, all is good with the world.  Waking up to soft golden rays of sun poking through the curtains always brings a smile to my face.

Dusted off the Birkis but  haven't quite gotten around to the first pedi for spring, sorry.

It was even warm enough for, wait for it ... going bare in the foot region and wearing Birkenstocks!!  The fashion police may say no to Birkis as brunch wear  and I'm sure they definitely say no to Birkis and skinny jeans but today was so glorious a day that heeding the fashion police was way down on my list of priorities.  I think I have found a pair of skinnies that challenges the paradigm (thanks for that Faux Fuchsia, did you know that you come first in google searches for that phrase?) - my relaxed J Brand slouchy skinnies.

Mr SSG was so chuffed to have found all his favourite cakes rolled into one that he had Black Forrest Cheesecake for brunch at Cavalicious.

I had my usual almond croissant.  We are friends from way back and are always delighted to see each other.

The moulis came with a red handle!  To match everything else in the SSG Manor kitchen.

Then it was off home to tackle the chores and my domestic goddess project for the weekend, making potato gnocchi using my Emanuel mouli gifted to me by Brad at Kitchenware Direct.  Armed with a strong cup of tea, I went about assembling the moulis guided only by my PhD in kitchenware engineering anticipation of having home made past for dinner tonight.

I'm more in tune with kitchenware engineering than I thought I was.  I got the moulis set up in a few minutes.  The set comes with 3 interchangeable base plate and I chose the finest one for the gnocchi.  The trick is to insert the rough side up.  Then the red handled top plate then clicks in to the designated notches on the side of the bowl.

A note about the potatoes, Ruby Lous (the potato with the pink skin) are better than the Nadines (thin pale skin) because they take the boiling better and their skins don't crack.  I think the point of boiling whole potatoes skin on is to prevent too much water getting into the cooking potatoes.

I don't have Teflon hands so I used my trusty washing up gloves when I peeled the still warm potatoes.

Then they got mashed warm.

Before finally being spooned through my 'I assembled it myself' moulis.

I don't have vast experience in the world of moulis, but I am more than happy with mine.  It made short work of my potatoes, has a sturdy stainless steel make and most importantly, was easy to wash and clean.

Arty shot of wedding gift fork on top of flour dusted tea towel on a baking tray.  Life is too short and too precious to save wedding gifts for special occasions.
There's lots of plain flour involved in gnocchi making.  You add a 3/4 cup to the potatoes, aiming for a sitcky dough and then every surface that comes into contact with the dough gets floured too.

In my pursuit of flouring every possible surface, I forgot to season my dough.  I hope that the sauce I'm making will more than compensate for this omission.  I felt like I was back at pre school this morning.  I rolled my dough out into 2cm thick sausages (after dividing the dough in a bowl into 'perfect' quarters).

Then I knifed each roll into 2cm long squares using a regularly floured butter knife.

Before rolling each square into balls and placing them on my prepared trays.

Now for the fun bit.  Those ridges on gnocchi are there to help the sauce adhere to the pasta a little more.  To get the ridges on my gnocchi, I used a fork and rolled the balls of dough over the back of it.  Voila - ridges and a sort of elongated gnocchi shape.  They almost look professional!  I'm well on the road to nonna-dom.

Then I had to press another couple of tea towels into service to cover my 2 trays of gnocchi in the fridge.

The nice lady at Coles double glad wrapped my container of pitted olives this morning.  And put a 'Coles Cares' sticker on the top of the container too.
The sauce I made for the gnocchi is this Puttanesca one from - again.  Olives, anchovies and capers.  Perhaps it was a good thing I forgot to season the gnocchi.

The gnocchi weren't bad for a first effort.  I think I didn't put enough flour in the dough, when I cooked my gnocchi this evening, they were still pretty soft and fragile despite having floated to the top of my pot of boiling water.  I will also use Ruby Lou potatoes the next time, I think my mash was a little water logged.  The sauce was fine and as an added bonus, I have now cleared another 3 random bottles from the fridge and pantry.  I have to clear as many as I can before our annual fridge and freezer clear out this Christmas.

Still on the Italian theme, is anyone else excited about Jamie Oliver opening Jamie's Italian on Pitt Street in October?  It sounds like good fun and I do admire what Jamie has been doing in terms of trying to improve the world around him with the resources and talents that he has at his disposal.  He's a doer not just a talker.

I'm off to be a couch potato-er myself.  Got a chick lit novel to finish and I'm still trying to finish The Lincoln Lawyer.

Have a lovely evening and may we have even more sun and warmth in Sydney tomorrow!  Oh, and thanks once again to Kitchenware Direct for giving me the moulis to test out.


  1. That Gnocchi looks absolutely delicious!!


  2. I've been meaning to make gnocchi for such a long time. Think there's a mental block in there somewhere, plus husband is not a big fan.
    my birkis are out too - can't say I avoid the skinnies too much though ;-)

  3. It looks delicious and you did a great job on the gnocchi- they look pretty professional to me.

  4. You're so clever!

    This warm weather is fab but I know it's just going to get insanely hot, which I am not looking forward to.

    TDM xxx

  5. Wow! Very impressive effort - it looks amaaazing!

    PS: Thinking I might be in need of some Bikis for summer - are they as confortable as they look?

  6. Yum, you've just decided for me what I'll have for lunch. Made gnocchi some time ago and froze it. It's so cold, windy and rainy here it's just perfect and will distract me nicely from reading about AML!

  7. Home made gnocchi are the best. I agree with samstillreading, it freezes wonderfully so it is great to make a big batch and then freeze some. I also love a good puttanesca sauce. I make filo parcels with it, chicken boob and mozzarella. Yumm-o. They also freeze well. Notice a common theme?

    The sunshine is wonderful, good to see you got out and about it in.

  8. SSG - I have the exact same birkis (well I am from Seattle after all), love them!


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