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Do you remember pushing those gluey mashed potatoes around your plate to the screams of, “Stop playing with your food”? Well . . . gluey potatoes be gone!
At our first meetup in months (literally), we will learn the value of a light and fluffy potato. Join us as we boil and rice (http://www.epicurious.com/tools/fooddictionary/entry?id=4252) our taters into a fluffy oblivion, preparing them for the “grown-up” potato treat they will soon become . . . Gnoc (http://www.agferrarifoods.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/gnocchi.jpg)chi (http://www.agferrarifoods.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/gnocchi.jpg)
For as many Nonnas as there are in Italy, there are just as many gnocchi recipes. Obviously we can't cover them all, but we will explore three kinds. I don't want to mislead anyone into thinking gnocchi MUST be made of potato, as that is definitely not the case.
On the menu:
Gnocchi alla Romana: these are Roman style dumplings made of semolina instead of potato. Gnudi: as it is called in Toscana (Tuscany) is a ricotta and spinach dumpling; a type of gnocchi. As the name implies . . . it's "nude"!! Think of it as a ravioli filling without a pasta casing. I've noticed in the past few years that the dish has had a trendy sort of renaissance in restaurants around the country. In the rest of Italy it is called Gnocchi di Spinaci e Ricotta; which translates as, "gnocchi with spinach and ricotta". Originally we were going to make Strozzapreti, which I believed to be the same dish, with a regionally specific name. Alas, I was wrong. Strozzapreti is made with stale Tuscan bread, not ricotta cheese. But for the fun of it, Strozzapreti translates as, "Priest Chokers". Why? Well, here is a little blurb I picked up from Italyculture.com:
"According to the story, this name is due to the historical anticlericalism created in Romagna between the oppressed people and the Papal State, since the middle of the VIII century, when Romagna was ‘donated’ to the Pope.
. . .according to legend, women from Romagna made Strozzapreti with the intention of offering them to the local priest, whereas husbands’ job was to wish the guest to choke to death while he was stuffing himself with this tasty pasta."
Good old Potato Gnocchi! Depending on our time schedule and my ambition--which usually runs high--we may have time to make a batch of sheep's milk ricotta for our gnudi. But, you will never know unless you sign up!
All ingredients and fun are included for $26. Please bring a bottle of wine, pitcher of mixed drinks, beer, or other unique and interesting beverage (no 2-liters of coke, etc . . .) to share with the group.
I am looking forward to seeing new and "old" faces as I've been withering away during my meetup hiatus!
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