It started with four bags of flour, a carton of eggs and more potatoes than I’ve seen in my life and ended with seven bowls of delicious gnocchi, each with a different sauce prepared by the incomparable Anna Rita Flati.
On Friday afternoon, after a long week of classes, a group of Cornell in Rome students made — and then promptly devoured — gnocchi in the palazzo. The art studio was briefly turned into an impromptu kitchen and 18 planners and architecture students were briefly turned into culinary experts.
After cracking the eggs into the boiled, mashed-up potatoes and adding a considerable amount of flour, we kneaded the mixture until it became dough-like.
We rolled the dough into long, evenly-distributed ropes and cut it into bite-sized chunks. Anna Rita elegantly showed us the proper way of putting an indent into the gnocchi in order to make it more aesthetically pleasing and taste better once the sauce is added. She made it seem so easy, but the rest of us struggled at first to accurately reform the pieces of dough.
After successfully completing the Herculean task of making what felt like thousands of gnocchi out of about a dozen kilograms of potatoes, we boiled them and Anna Rita mixed the gnocchi with her homemade sauces, including a red pepper pesto, a ragù alla bolognese and a artichoke-based olive oil sauce.