A Memory of Montessori Gnocchi

Marilena Henny-Montessori fondly recalls making gnocchi with her grandmother, Maria Montessori:

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In the meantime, Maria picked out the biggest and most flowery potatoes. You might have guessed: she was going to prepare potatato gnocchi. While potatoes were boiling, we prepared the sauce: meat lightly fried in oil together with onions, celery and carrots, garlic and parsley, red wine, salt, pepper, a tiny little bit of sugar and don’t forget the nutmeg! Daddy, meanwhile, took care of the main dish. Once the potatoes were cooked, the boiling hot potatoes had to be peeled. Just thinking of it today, I can feel my fingers burn again. After mashing them, we added the flour and worked the mixture; we made small rolls from the dough, and then cut each roll into small pieces, and with the use of a fork and through a special “tour de main” the “gnocchi” were made. After that we threw the gnocchi into the boiling water and when they came to the surface, we knew they were ready.

From the book le ricette di Maria Montessori cent’anni dopo (Rome: Fefè Editore)

Gnocchi di Patate - This type of gnocchi is featured in a lot of Northern Italian cuisine and is probably what most of us actually know as gnocchi. It's made by mixing mashed potatoes with flour and egg to form a thick, starchy pasta dough. This dough is rolled into ropes and then cut into individual nuggets before being boiled. Potato gnocchi should ideally have a light, springy texture, and they're great served in a simple sauce.

Buon appetito!

Posted on November 5, 2014 and filed under Resources, Fun.