In general, I find that my culinary taste is rather simplistic. In my mind there are very few delicacies that can surpass a well-made PB&J, or my other favorite, ants-on-a-log. Add popcorn and apples to the grocery list and I’m happy for weeks. But last Friday, Cornell in Rome hosted an event at Palazzo Lazzaroni that made me rethink my fear of any kitchen device that’s not a microwave.
At Gnocchi Night, our very own administrator Anna-Rita Flati taught a lucky group of students the secret to her authentic gnocchi recipe. Starting with 10 kilograms of boiled potatoes (peeled and grated), she encouraged us to add flour and eggs. For the next half hour the group of 25 wrestled this resistant mixture into a friendly ball of dough that was then rolled into cords and cut into inch-long pillows. After boiling, the gnocchi were served in many different preparations: traditional tomato sauce, red pepper and pesto, sage butter and olive oil, artichoke and almond, salmon and roasted tomatoes, and cream sauce with mushrooms and peas. After stuffing myself with six different kinds of gnocchi, I miraculously found the energy to try a traditional Italian bundt cake called ciambellone.
These gnocchi dishes are so amazing, I might think twice next time I pull out that jar of peanut butter.
Anna Rita’s Gnocchi
1 kg potatoes
300 grams flour
Boil potatoes with their skin on. When potatoes are tender, drain, remove skin, and mash. Let cool. When cold add the flour and eggs and mix until a soft, elastic dough is formed. In sections, roll dough into cords that are about 1 centimeter thick. Slice into 2 centimeter long sections. Buon Appetito!