If I had to think of a food theme for these two weeks I’ve spent in Shropshire, it would have to be potatoes. Our WWOOF hosts grow their own and they grow lots of them. Luckily potatoes are one of the most versatile ingredients and can be used in countless different ways. One of these is to turn them into potato gnocchi. While I’m a great fan of these little starchy dumplings, I’d never tried making them myself from scratch. Until yesterday that is. It’s relatively easy, but there is no definition of the word that justifies calling it quick. It will take some time, but it’s a nice and fiddly little job that results in soft pillowy gnocchi that are quite unlike their firmer store-bought counterparts. Not necessarily better, but definitely different. The most remarkable thing about these gnocchi though, is that they do not only contain homegrown organic potatoes, but also freshly laid eggs from our WWOOF hosts’ own hens!
Ingredients (for 3 oven trays lined with gnocchi or enough for 6 people)
1 kg organic floury potatoes
2 organic free-range eggs, lightly beaten
300 g organic white flour
30g melted organic butter
pinch of salt
Peel and boil the potatoes. Drain well and mash as finely as possible.
Add the eggs, melted butter and flour and salt to make a firm and manageable dough.
Lightly dust your work surface with flour and divide the dough into eight equal parts.
Roll each segment into a sausage shape, about 2 cm wide. Cut each sausage into 2 cm pieces and roll these little pillows on the front of a fork to make the classic gnocchi shape.
Place the gnocchi on a baking tray dusted with flour. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour before use. Boil as you would dried gnocchi: put them in a large pan with plenty of boiling water and wait till they float to the surface. We used part of this batch to make gnocchi with olive and tomato sauce. It did not disappoint!