Pasta with Manuelina Culinary, Day 4

Fresh GnocchiThursday is a potpourri of pasta and pasta alternatives; we prepare little-known fresh pasta, dried pasta, hand-rolled pasta (at my request), and risotto.  For me, there are two standouts – gnocchi and Curligiones. Not surprisingly, potatoes star in both recipes.  I’m convinced I’ve reached my flour and water quotient for the week.

I’ve prepared and eaten gnocchi; I know delicious gnocchi and ghastly gnocchi (and I’ve made both).  Thursday’s gnocchi is heavenly.  Seriously, like little angels came down and blew kisses into a pot of boiling water. They are pillowy soft without the slightest bit of gumminess.   Is it the Italian potato variety (which is unavailable in the US) that produces the lightness, could it be the flour (also not available in the states) that ensures their fluffiness, or is it technique?   I’m counting on technique since I’m serving these in two weeks for the family.  We’ll see if my technique will be enough.

4A

Gnocchi with Porcini Mushrooms

Curligiones, on the other hand, are a new discovery to me.  Their name and flavor has never crossed my lips before.  These are savory, hand-made pasta from Sardinia, elaborately folded and filled with potato, pecorino and a bit of mint.  They tastes more like an Eastern European dumpling than Italian ravioli and look similar to Japanese steamed potstickers.  My fork pierces a chubby pillow to reveal a pocket of steamy, cheesy mashed potatoes. A fresh tomato sauce and the dash of mint curb the richness.   This is comfort food on steroids.  I stab another from the platter with my fork.  These are sure to appear in my repertoire as well.

 

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