Chalk and cheese….

Gnocchi

Ever wonder where that expression came from? It is attributed to John Gower in his exciting and concise little 33000 line poem called Confessio Amantis and dates back to 1383. The phrase relates to unsavoury merchants that substitute chalk for cheese in order to increase their profits. Nowadays we use it to highlight extreme differences.

A perfect way to do this is to make your own gnocchi at home. The supermarket varieties tend to be very rubbery, often contain less than 50% potato and are very heavy. Here is a simple recipe that makes a delicious, tasty, light dumpling and is surprisingly easy.

Ingredients for 4
5 large baked potatoes
2 eggs
salt and pepper
1-2 cups flour

Method
Peel the baked potatoes and mash them. Add the eggs, salt and pepper and mix well. Add 1 cup flour and mix well. The potatoes will absorb the flour and if the mixture is too sticky and soft keep adding more flour until it forms a “dough” that is a little tacky but holds together. The amount of flour you need to add will depend on the type of potato, the size of potato and the moisture content. Flour your surface well and break off a tennis ball size piece of dough. Roll it out into a long sausage about 2cm thick. Cut the sausage into pieces about 3cm long and place them on a plate to rest while you finish rolling the rest of the dough. Cook the pieces in boiling salted water. When they float to the surface they are ready. Remove from the water and drain well, then add the gnocchi to your favourite sauce.

Sauce options
Green – Pesto and parmesan
Blue – Gorgonzola and pecan nuts
Red – Sun dried tomato, pancetta and chilli

Variations
– I used quinoa flour instead of cake flour. This lowers the carbohydrates and increases the proteins in the dish and adds a lovely earthy flavour
–  Don’t be scared to experiment, add capers, anchovy, artichoke, roasted peppers, prosciutto, olives, garlic, pine nuts, basil or sage
– If you want to flavour your gnocchi you can also add herbs or cheese to the dough when you are mixing it

Much talking is the cause of danger. Silence is the means of avoiding misfortune. The talkative parrot is shut up in a cage. Other birds, without speech, fly freely about  – Saskya Pandita

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About richardbosman

I am a passionate foodie and have turned my hobby into my business. We make beautiful, delicious cured meats from the finest raw materials.
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3 Responses to Chalk and cheese….

  1. And to whom is that quote at the end of the post directed to????

  2. Lorna says:

    Yum! Great gnocchi recipe – can we place an order?

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