I can say I have made gnocchi once. Except it was made out of taro root and attempted to make it before work which was a complete disaster since it is super time-consuming (I did manage to make it to work on time). But the end result was beautiful and tasty. Light lilac in colour, just the perfect amount of chew amid a fluffy cloud-like texture - not bad for a first attempt with an unusual ingredient! This time around I thought I'd try my hand at using another not-so-common ingredient: squid ink. There's squid in pasta...so squid ink gnocchi could be a thing, right?
My coworker gifted me a bottle of barely-touched squid ink from Granville Island after making fresh pasta and discovering that his wife hated squid ink. It was to his dismay but to my delight - I had always wished to work and play around with squid ink. Originally, I was going to make a squid ink risotto but I had already made three different types of risotto and arancini within three days and I was all riced-out! Back to the drawing board. Pasta was out of the question since I don't own a pasta roller...why not gnocchi?
Potatoes were cooked and mashed. White granite countertops were covered in plastic wrap. Instagram was set to live....and go! A little ink goes a long way - I had wished I measured, oops. Even I had gone through this process before it didn't change how long it would took. I spent about 1.5 hours making gnocchi. Upon reflection, I would probably add a bit more flour and some bits were sticky. Maybe it wasn't well-incorporated? I also discovered that I need a potato ricer - badly. I had stumbled upon some small potato chunks.
Personal critique aside, I thought it tasted great. The brininess from the squid and it's perfect toothsome texture paired well with a lick of cilantro pesto. Popped these babies in the freezer for a quick lunch in the near future.
Gnocchi SUCCESS 2.0!
SQUID INK GNOCCHI - serves 2-4
2 large russet potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour + extra for dusting
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp squid ink
Bring a medium pot of water with a heavy-handed amount of salt to a boil.
Boil the potatoes until cooked, about 7 - 10 minutes depending on how small/large your potatoes are cut. You should be able to pierce a fork into it easily. Drain, rinse and transfer to a heatproof bowl and mash with a potato masher or ricer.
Add the squid ink, egg, salt and pepper to the mashed potato mixture until well-combined.
Generously flour a clean and flat surface and dump the potato mixture onto the surface. Add a little flour at a time to the mixture and knead until the dough comes together. If the dough is still wet, gradually add a bit more flour.
Once the dough is form, roll out into a cylindrical log and cut the gnocchi dough into 1” pieces. Set each piece on waxed paper or a non-stick surface. You may crimp the dough with a fork or with a gnocchi roller if you have one on hand; otherwise, it is completely optional.
Once ready, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the gnocchi for 5 minutes or until the gnocchi begins to float. Toss with your favourite sauce and serve.