When I was growing up, my grandmother used to make potato gnocchi on the spot, before lunch, as I watched her impatiently, waiting for the time to be rifled. Instead of a cutting board, we used forks.
For me, it was a game: placing the dumpling on the back of the fork, I would line it up trying to hit the tray. Mine could be recognized from afar, crooked and misshapen, but still good because she had made them.
Today I find it difficult to prepare them on the spot, so I found a way to store them for a long time.
I usually prepare double the dose and, after lunch, cook the remaining ones by taking them out of the water a moment before they rise to the surface. After that I arrange them on a clean towel, without them touching, and let them cool.
At this point I transfer them to a paper tray, still spaced out, and place them to freeze in the freezer. The next day they can be resealed in a bag.
Once frozen separately, they no longer stick. To cook them, simply blanch them quickly in salted water.
Ingredients for 4 people
Castelmagno is a typical Occitan cheese, produced in the municipalities of Castelmagno, Pradleves and Monterosso Grana located in Val Grana, province of Cuneo.
Used for numerous traditional Piedmontese dishes, today we propose how to prepare gnocchi with Castelmagno cheese.
Wash the potatoes and boil them in salted water with their skins on, about 20-30 minutes. Peel them while still hot. If you are still trying to figure out how to do it without getting burned, I recommend watching this video: it works!
Put some flour on the pastry board and mash the potatoes. Wait for them to cool completely before continuing.
When cold, add a pinch of salt, theegg, and sprinkle with flour. Knead until the mixture is smooth, lump-free and not sticky.
Now divide the dough and, still on the floured pastry board, stretch the pieces until they form round sticks about 1.5-2 cm in size. Cut the dumplings about 2 cm apart and place them on the pastry board or on a floured tray to prevent them from sticking. If you want, you can line them with a dumpling line cutter.
Finally, cook in boiling water with a drop of oil until they come to the surface: now you have to fish them out with a skimmer, the perforated ladle.
Melt a knob of butter a small saucepan over very low heat. Add the diced Castelmagno cheese and stir. Combine the cream and continue mixing until smooth.
Add a grating of pepper, sprinkle the gnocchi with the sauce and serve piping hot. Enjoy!
The choice of ingredients is crucial, and knowing them helps to make more informed choices.
Buying a quality piece of Castelmagno cheese is critical to the success of the dish. According to our taste, we can take it more or less seasoned, also choosing the mountain pasture one, Slow Food Presidium. Be wary of “fresh” supermarket products, as the minimum maturation period is 60 days.
To make gnocchi, it is usual to use white-fleshed, somewhat old potatoes because they are more floury. Novels are always to be ruled out because they contain a lot of water, which requires more flour use. This would make the dough sticky and the dumplings hard.
For wheat flour, you can choose what you prefer from 00, 0, 1 and whole wheat. I personally prefer the integral. The dumplings will be darker. For the doses you have to adjust on the spot: according to the flour and the water-absorbing capacity of the potato you will need to increase or decrease the dose.
The egg is optional and helps hold the dough together, but it is not necessary. Your choice.
Substitute half the amount of wheat flour for chestnut flour for a more autumnal version of the dish, chestnut gnocchi with Castelmagno cheese.