Terre Margaritelli winery
Do you know how to make gnocchi? Do you know how to make Umbrian gnocchi? Paul and I were fascinated by the “melt in your mouth” pillow shaped gnocchi that we enjoyed for lunch at the Wine Pleasures 4th International Wine Tourism Conference. So, we jumped at the opportunity to learn local secrets from Chef Jennifer, an American from Philadelphia. She is married to Frederico Bibi who led the tour and wine tasting while she cooked and taught us how to make gnocchio.
One of the things we noticed is that they combined tour of winery with horse back riding, cooking schools, lunches and dinners. Chef Jennifer not only speaks to the American curiosity but can share local Umbrian cuisine in a most approachable way.
Her personal Gnocchi Recipe with my observation notes:
4 medium size potatoes (not too floury, not too waxy) In Umbria, they use whatever potatoes they grow.
1 egg, lightly whipped
about 500 g. flour
2 Tbs parmigiano reggiano
Put potatoes with skin on into a pot of salted cold water. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and let simmer until just tender – don’t overcook!
Peel the skins off of the potatoes and mash them in a ricer or food mill.
On a wooden cutting board, make a well with about 400 g of the flour. (She uses regular all purpose flour. They do not use semolina in Umbria.)
Add the potatoes, egg parmigiano (and more flour as necessary) (about ½ glass of water, and a drizzle of olive oil.)
Mix gently, pushing the dough together gently until it is well combined and not sticky – don’t knead!
Working with small pieces, roll out dough with hands making a snake. Then using a quick up and down motion, cut the gnocchi to the desire size. Put the gnocchi onto a tray, avoiding that they touch each other. (In Umbria they do not fork roll the gnocchi though she did teach us how to do it.)
Drop the gnocchi in batches into boiling salted water. Don’t stir, wait for the gnocchi to rise by themselves. Then strain them out of the water with a spoon and drop the cooked gnocchi into a pan with sauce of your choice (tomato, pesto or just butter and cheese, etc…).
She added fresh sage into the sauce and it was perfect with the red Terre Margaritelli wine. This is definitely something that I will share with my guests and family. It is a great recipe to get all of the family involved in doing in the kitchen. Children will love it!