Purple Potato Gnocchi
- Srv: 3
- Cal: 710
- By: Frank Chullino, Taverna Tagaris Tagaris Winery Richland, Washington
- 1-1/2 pounds Washington purple potatoes
- 1 pound rock salt to cover potatoes as they bake
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup canola blend oil (75% canola, 25% extra virgin olive oil)
- Extra flour for rolling gnocchi
- 2 tablespoons salt for boiling water to cook gnocchi
- 1/4 cup olive oil to coat
- Vodka Tomato Sauce:
- 1 quart basic red tomato sauce or bottled pasta sauce
- 2 to 3 tablespoons vodka
- 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 3 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced*
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place scrubbed potatoes in an oven-safe pan and completely cover with rock salt. Bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until the potatoes are soft all the way through. The size of the potatoes will determine the baking time. Allow the potatoes to sit overnight at room temperature, remaining covered by the salt.
Lift the potatoes from the rock salt, brushing away extra salt, and peel. Rice the potatoes into a mixing bowl and level surface. Use your fist to make a hole in the middle of the mixture. Break the egg into the hole. Sprinkle the flour and salt evenly around the bowl. Drizzle the oil around the sides of the bowl. Mix on low speed until all ingredients are blended. Do not over mix. Gnocchi should be light and airy.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt to the water to help keep the purple color of the gnocchi.
While the water is heating, take a handful of dough; sprinkle some flour all around the dough in your hand and on the table. Working the dough back and forth with both hands, roll the dough into a cylinder about the size of a large cigar and about two feet long. Cut the dough crosswise into 1- to 1-1/2 inch pieces. Set the gnocchi on a plate. Do not let them touch one another.
In a large bowl, make an ice bath (water and ice cubes) for the gnocchi. Set aside.
Place enough gnocchi in the boiling water to cover the surface of the bottom of the pot. When the gnocchi float to the top, lift out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon and put directly into the ice bath. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi until all are blanched. Once the gnocchi has cooled in the ice bath, lift them out to a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. At this stage, the gnocchi will keep covered in the refrigerator for at least 4 to 5 days.
The gnocchi may be served with a sauce of your choice. It is particularly good with a vodka tomato sauce with fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil.