Gnocchi

 

Gnocchi/Kahliya-logue

I am not Italian,though I have this soft spot for anything connected to Italy,their esthetics,the language and..ofcourse the food.I guess it`s the Mediterranean thing,that and something I kind of inherited from my father.He`s not Italian either.He was born and grew up in Egypt,as I have mentioned earlier on in my blog.Alexandria in those days still carried a lot of Italian influence,along with many other foreign influences,as it was a very well known cosmopolitan place of trades due to it`s port,plus his mother was Greek from Yanina-near Corfu,and spoke Italian,since that region was once part of the “Venetian Kingdom”.His father went to an Italian highschool and later on went to Italy to study engraving,therefore they spoke Italian at home..Legend has it that every evening when my Grandfather came home,his first words to my Grandmother as he walked through the door were: “Rosa,ce carne?”(“Rosa,is there any meat?”) .Unfortunately I didnt get to meet him,but I dont think he would of been very content with my Vegan cuisine.. 🙂

On the other side of the scale,as I researched upon preparing this recipe,I found out much to my surprise,that there is a very similar dish in the German cuisine called “Kloesse ” ,potato dumplings which are prepared very much in the same way,just larger in form.When I asked my mother who is from “Alsace” a German influenced region of France,she told me all about them..

Talk about difference of cultures,surrounding a similar dish,I just love that! Small world after all..eh?

Seriously,with all these mixed cultures(believe me it gets even more complex!) within my roots,is it any wonder I turned out such a Nomad searching this Earth for my home..?I meant that humoristically,as I am ever so grateful to the richness of influences and its probable contribution to my open state of mind and heart towards all cultures!

stamps-Tony Tahhan

Now,shall we return to Italy ?I was inspired by Tony Tahhan  a super talented whiz kid in the kitchen,who created a Mediterranean oriented food event,called “A taste of the Mediterranean” hosting each time a different mediterranean region,with a specific dish as a theme for fellow bloggers to present their variation.This month it`s Italy and together with him is Francesco from The food traveller,who has chosen the theme “Gnocchi”.

I love Potatoes,there`s just something so homey about them,and I love my Gnocchi very simple,no strong flavored sauce overuling that delicate sweetness of the potato.So I went for one of the Italian Classics,originally butter and Sage,with my adaptation using Olive oil instead of the butter.For the Gnocchis themselves I used Potatoes and wholewheat flour,I actually felt no need for the egg whatsoever.

Ingredients:

1 Lb Potatoes

1 cup Whole wheat flour

pinch of Salt

Sauce:

1/4 cup Olive oil

salt/pepper

2,3 tbs Fresh Sage leaves-chopped

*   *    *    *    *    *    *

Bring Potatoes to a boil in their skin,and continue to cook ,lowering flame just until firm but tender.

Immediately strain from water,make sure they are completely dry,and while still hot,peel and mash well with a fork.

Make sure you have a smooth puree without any chunks.

Add a pinch of salt,and 1 cup of whole wheat flour.

Mix in the puree,very delicately creating a “dough” without working it.

If you need, add  a bit more flour,just enough for it not to stick,but remember this is not a pastry dough,it is to remain quite moist,but not sticky,

the base of this should be Potato and not flour.

Break off small chunks,rolling them onto a floured surface(as little flour as possible)into long finger -like sausages.

With a sharp knife ,slice off pieces a little less about 1/2  inch.

Holding them very delicately,slide them against a fork tha lays upside down on the table,to create the stripes across the surface,which are meant to “hold” the sauce in,trying all along to maintain its basic shape.At first it may seem a bit crazy as it is so soft it deforms easily,but if you dont stress and carry it out as if youre holding cotton balls,you`ll get the hang of it after the first few.If not,just let go of the added decoration,and hold on to your basic shape,thats the main thing anyway.

In a large pot of boiling water,carefully drop in your Gnocchis,maintaining enough distance in between them so as not to stick to each other.After they rise to the surface ,take them out with a large slotted spoon,making sure you release any remaining liquid.

In a separate pan briefly warm the Olive oil,salt and pepper,and chopped sage leaves,and pour over the gnocchis.

buon Appetito!

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9 Responses to “Gnocchi”

  1. Nice job! I grew up eating gnocchi, and have been making my mother’s recipe for them. Gnocchi are totally worth the effort.

  2. pretty awesome that you used whole wheat flour – I’ve never tried it in gnocchi, but I absolutely love the nutty flavor it adds to whole wheat pasta! by the way, is your blog’s name: خالية او خلية؟
    I grew up speaking Arabic, but my reading and writing skills are a bit lacking.
    Thanks for participating! I’m looking forward to reading more from your blog 🙂

    • kahliyalogue Says:

      Hey Tony!
      Ahlan weSahlan!
      Unfortunately I know very little Arabic,though I’d love to learn and probably will one of these days.as I just love languages! According to my Dad,that reads KH-or HHaliya,sounding like the Arabic ‘H’, which incidently means ‘situation’ in Greek,and it is intended to be ‘Kahliya’ with a pronounced ‘K’ ,with connotations to the meaning “beauty” in Ancient Greek and in Sanscrit.
      I try to replace with whole wheat flour as much as I can,I find it to be more authentic,besides being healthier.I actually tend to believe that if we follow the primary traditional recipes down to their beginings,we will probably find them using whole wheat flour other than refined white,don`t you think?Even today,you can still see some tradional Arab breads for example prepared with whole flour in the villages..
      I am delighted to participate in your wonderful event,and am honored by your visit,come by any time! Masalame 🙂

  3. kahliyalogue Says:

    Grazie Simona! Coming from you ,that`s a serious compliment! Im wondering is your way of making them similar? And in what sauce would you normally prepare them? ciao 🙂

  4. I enjoy Italian food, though my one attempt to make gnocchi at home was an awful failure. Whole wheat sounds good too.
    That’s quite a wide ethnic background you come from. It must be great to have so many different influences while growing up.

  5. you have a lovely site, dear mia. recently i ate sweet potato gnocchi with whole wheat flour. it’s a great variation. your gnocchi looks perfect.

    • kahliyalogue Says:

      Thank you so much Bee! I am touched as I am a huge fan of your`s..!
      I actually also thought of trying a version with sweet potatoes,that must taste like heaven..
      Thanx! 🙂 (I dont have a blushing smiley..)
      *bythway,I just LOVE your photo!

  6. kahliyalogue Says:

    Hi Aparna,I know what you mean.. But dont despair! My first attempt yrs ago turned out to be a hell of a mess..but lately as I returned to it,I realised it`s got to be linked to a “state of mind” 🙂 Erasing the feel of flour dough,which is dense and workable,imagine you`re working with a cloud as Tony refers to them,or a cotton ball,delicately collecting the paste of mashed potatoes and incorporating some flour into it,afterwhich you continue to handle it very gently throughout the whole process..let me know if you feel like trying again and if you need any tips..
    Would you believe if I told you there were even more influences..?! But,yes it`s marvelously colorful,and has evidently left me hungry for more..though while growing up,at times it was definitely quite confusing..! 🙂

  7. […] Ive written a bit about my father`s background here and here. […]

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