Gnocchi is one of my guilty pleasures. When done right, these soft dough dumplings are like silky little potato pillows that cradle your favorite sauce.
The secret to achieving that pillow-like texture?
• Use potatoes, like russets, with less moisture.
• Work with potatoes while they are warm.
• Knead gently. Don’t overwork the dough.
Also, go slow when adding the flour: it could take a little less; could take a little more. It’s not an exact measurement.
Yes, gnocchi take time to perfect, but throw your fears to the wind and you’re guaranteed to end up with something damned delicious!
Gnocchi with Smoked Trout Cream Sauce
3 large baking (Idaho) potatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds), scrubbed
1 large egg (beaten)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, or as needed
¾ cup heavy cream
2 oz. bacon (small cubes)
8 oz. smoked trout
½ cup grated Parmesan
Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling water over medium-high heat until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 40–45 minutes; drain. As soon as potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and pass through a potato ricer into a large bowl. (If left to cool before ricing, potatoes become gummy.) Let cool. (Alternatively, the potatoes can be baked in a preheated 400°F oven until tender, about 40 minutes.)
Sprinkle flour and 2 teaspoons of salt over potatoes. Using your hands, make a well in the center. Pour egg into the well and stir in with a wooden spoon. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and gently knead, dusting with more flour as needed, until dough is smooth but not elastic (be careful not to overwork), about 2 minutes. Divide dough into 8 pieces.
Roll each piece into a 24-inch-long rope about ¼-inch thick. Cut into ½-inch pieces; dust with flour; roll on gnocchi paddle, and arrange in a single layer on a lightly floured rimmed baking sheet.
In a separate pan, crisp bacon and add cream and trout until warmed through. Turn off heat.
Working in batches, cook gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water until they float to the surface, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, gently place on top of cream mixture as you go. Once all gnocchi are cooked, add cheese and gently toss together, adding reserved pasta water as needed, until cheese is melted and a creamy sauce forms.
fac·ture [fak-cher] – n.
1. the act, process, or manner of making anything; construction.
2. the thing made
Facture Goods is the inventive confluence of Aron Fischer’s affinity for food, sculpture and handmade arts and goods. A self-described fourth generation “maker, tinkerer, woodworker and designer,” Fischer creates his minimally designed, handcrafted utensils, kitchenware and implements in his studio, an old factory in Boonville. A former display coordinator for Anthropologie in Chicago, Fischer moved to Columbia (and back to his home state) about six years while his husband completes medical school here.
In 2104, while working toward his Master of Fine Arts in sculpture, Fischer and a friend embarked on a project they called #100daysofhandmade. They challenged each other to make at least one object by hand each day for 100 days and post the results on Instagram. Followers soon started asking where they could purchase the goods, and Fischer’s creative venture evolved into his business, Facture Goods. An artisan, Fischer melds artistry and quality raw materials into every-day objects of utility and beauty for use in the kitchen — glad additions to the nourishing heart of the home.
Poppy in downtown Columbia carries limited items but, for now, Facture Goods almost exclusively sells online. Follow Fischer on Instagram @facturegoods or sign up for the newsletter at www.facturegoods.com for shop updates. Goods sell out early until the next month or batch.
CREATORS’ DEMO & DINING
Blue Bell Farm will be teaming up with Facture Good owner and artisan Aron Fischer for a one-night demo event November 19. Fischer will show how he designs and crafts his hand-made wood and clayrgnocchi paddles. Chef Amanda Elliott will show how to put them to good use. After, guests can enjoy a locally sourced meal featuring…gnocchi! (See www.facebook.com/bluebellfarmmo/ for details.)