Gnocchi: the good, the bad and the sticky

Last week, I was excited to try a new recipe for sweet potato gnocchi that sounded well, not easy, but manageable. Three hours later, I was heaping abuse on the potatoes that I was too impatient to roast long enough. Why are you so hard? You stupid, stupid potatoes! All traces of my Irish heritage evaporated. It was a potato famine in my own kitchen. 

Salvaging the good potatoes, I mashed them till soft and added flour until it formed the stickiest, most irritating dough ever. Despite hills of flour, the dough stuck to the counter and my hands and attacked my clothes. The next step—rolling them into ropes—was no better. The sticky ropes broke and I broke down. It was 9:00 and dinner time had come and gone. I was hungry enough to eat the uncooked dough, which was convenient because by the time I gave up on forming them into gnocchi shapes with a fork, I just starting throwing blobs of dough into the boiling water for the gummiest pasta ever. Cooked? Uncooked? Who could tell?

So, this week, I rallied to redeem myself, trying The Wednesday Chef’s recipe for Gnocchi alla Romana that makes a bigger, circular gnocchi that required no rolling or dough. Instead, you mix the polenta-like batter with parmigiano-reggiano cheese and eggs, spread it out on a cookie sheet to chill, and bake it. You know what? Totally doable. 

These are the round, overlapping discs before they go into the oven:

And then, lightly browned, with some sauce:

No potatoes, no meltdowns. Dinner at 7:00.


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