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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Old Fashioned Potato Soup Gnocchi

Remember that recipe contest that I mentioned I entered?

I created a total of five recipes and forced Papa Bear, Drama Queen, Little Lawyer, and our fantastic friends Steven, Kristina and Vinka to taste test them and rate them so I could decide which one out of the five was the one I should submit.  I ended up submitting Butternut Soup Muffins, but you can read about the other recipes that were kicked around like Shrimp Chowder Quesadillas or Creamy Tomato Roasted Mushrooms.

I have never in my life attempted to make gnocchi. Yes, I've made Perogi before (maybe twice?), but I've really never had the desire to actually make my own pasta before.  There are so, so many great fresh pastas available at the supermarket now that I don't ever think about it.

This particular recipe was the first one I thought of for creating a recipe for one of Wolfgang Puck's soups. I personally think it would have won in the originality and/or creativity department...I mean, come on! Pasta made with a soup??!!?? That's insane, right?

These came out rather tasty (Little Lawyer picked this one as her favorite) and not too shabby for my first attempt at pasta.  I will mention that rolling the little things against the tines of a fork and making it look pretty should be left to the professional pasta makers. I had difficulty with that. You don't have to do that, so if you think you will get as frustrated as I did, just skip that part! They will taste just as fantastic, trust me!

Puree the soup really well.

Add a beaten egg.

Combine with a wooden spoon.

Add flour (about 1 cup at a time, then by 1/4 cup if more is needed) until dough starts to form.

Dough will be sticky. Coat hands and workspace with flour and knead for 5-6 minutes, adding more flour as needed.

A nice, firm (slightly sticky) will come together. Roll it into a ball.

Cut that ball in half.

Cut each half into thirds.

Roll the thirds into a 1 inch thick rope.

Cut rope into half inch pieces.

Smooth and roll each piece of dough over the tines of a fork.

Hopefully yours will look better! Let rest and dry slightly on waxed paper.  When ready, boil in salted water.
Toss hot gnocchi with melted butter and Parmesan, or top with any type of sauce you prefer your pasta with!

Old Fashioned Potato Soup Gnocchi

1 can WP Old Fashioned Potato Soup
1 egg
2+ cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Heat soup in a saucepan and reduce. Remove from heat; cool.

Add the egg (slightly beaten) to the soup. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the flour a little at a time, mixing well with a wooden spoon. Add just enough flour so that the dough doesn't stick to your hands. When all the flour has been incorporated, bring the dough together with your fingertips. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a slightly floured surface. Knead the dough as you would bread dough. Press down and away with the heel of your hand, fold the dough over, make a quarter turn, and repeat the process. Knead for about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and then divide it into 6 smaller balls.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough using your fingertips. The rope of dough should be about 3/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 1 inch pieces. To create the ridges, press each piece of dough against the tines of a fork. With your finger, gently roll the pressed dough back off the fork. If you find the dough sticking to the fork, dip the fork in flour before you press the dough against it. Place the gnocchi in a single layer on a lightly floured dish.

To cook the gnocchi, place the dough into a pot of boiling salted water. After a few minutes the gnocchi will float to the top. Continue to cook for one minute then remove and set aside.

Serve the hot gnocchi immediately. Toss with butter and a little Parmesan cheese or with the sauce of your choice.

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