Like a true Estonian - I like potatoes. Boiled and fried, baked and mashed, in a salad or a rosti. Really. But, for some unknown reason, I had never made gnocchi until recently. Truth be told - I have made knedliky (the Ukrainian version of gnocchi) plenty of times before. But afrer seeing this video on Chow.com, I decided it was time to give it a try and I also tried to stick with as much of Hermsdorf's advice I could.
New potato gnocchi with spinach and pine nuts (Värske kartuli gnocchid spinat ja seedermänni seemnetega):
~10-15 small - medium new potatoes
~ 12 tbsp of flour
a large chunk of grated Grana Padano (~100 g)
~1/2 nutmeg, grated
fresh spinach (a large bunch, the more the better)
a large knob of butter
2-3 large cloves of garlic
150 g pine nuts (roasted, or if not you'll need to roast them yourself)
Wash the potatoes and boil them with their peel still on.
Peel them when they're still warm and mash the potatoes using a ricer if you've got one or an old-school metallic masher that has a grate-like bottom (the result is much like with a ricer).
Grate the cheese.
Sprinkle the counter top with appr. 6 tbsp of flour. Turn the mashed potatoes out on the flour and make a small dent in the pile. Sprinkle the pile with nutmeg and salt.
Break two eggs into the dent, slightly whisk them up with a fork and then fold the eggs into the mashed potatoes using your hands.
Add the grated cheese and some more flour and gently knead the whole thing so that it resembles a very sticky dough. Go easy on it. Add some more flour if necessary, but the less the better.
Half fill a pot with water and bring it to a simmer.
Prepare a large bowl filled with ice water and another large bowl next to it.
When the water is coming to a simmer, take a handful of the mash-dough and roll it into a sausage the diameter of a man's thumb. Cut it into chunks that are about 1 cm long.
Gently transfer the first batch of chunks into the simmering water (keep it on medium heat).
The gnocchi are ready when they start to float. Then gently transfer them to the bowl with ice water for a moment and then into the empty bowl.
Repeat, repeat, repeat until you've no more dough and a bowlful of splendid, glistening gnocchi.
Wash and tear up or roll up and cut the spinach.
Peel and chop the garlic.
Roast the nuts if they're not roasted (on a dry pan until golden).
Now you need a large pan, melt the butter and on medium heat fry the chopped garlic until golden. Add the spinach and toss it for just a moment, until it's nice and wilted. Set it aside.
Add some more butter if necessary and brown the gnocchi.
Serve the gnocchi tossed with the wilted spinach and sprinkled with the pine nuts.
It's delicious. A lot of hassle, but really, truly delicious.