Gnocchi (pronounced "nyo-kee" and derived from the German word for "knuckle") are tasty little dumplings, one of Italy's oldest pastas, dating back to the 12th century. Traditional ingredients vary from region to region, with recipes including potatoes, flour, semolina, ricotta cheese, spinach and even bread crumbs. My favorite base for gnocchi is the Idaho potato. Potatoes are packed with complex carbohydrates, plenty of potassium, vitamins C and B-6, and lots of great minerals. Potatoes convert to glucose in your body fairly quickly, triggering the release of insulin, which leads to increased levels of relaxing seratonin in your brain. When making gnocchi (a relaxing activity in itself), pinch each one to create an indentation, which holds the sauce. Immediately let it fall to the floured surface so you handle the gnocchi as little as possible. Cook them right away if you can. Toss the dumplings into the bubbling water and drink in the scented steam. They will emerge light and delectable.
1 pound baking potatoes
1 3/4 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Peel the potatoes, cut in quarters, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook until tender. Drain and mash. You should have about 2 cups.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, a few dashes of paprika and nutmeg, and the chopped parsley.
3. Add the warm potatoes and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead just until dough is well mixed and not sticky. Let rest for 15 minutes.
4. Roll chunks of dough on floured board into logs about 1 inch thick. Cut into diagonal slices about 3/4 inch thick.
5. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add gnocchi. After they rise to the surface, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
6. Drain well and cover with your favorite pasta sauce.
1 g total fat (0 g sat)
0 mg cholesterol
62 g carbohydrate
8 g protein
3 g fiber
250 mg sodium
- Recipe reprinted with permission of DrWeil.com.