So, Michael Ruhlman says in “Ratio”, that Pâte à choux dough is extremely versatile and that it should be part of every home cook’s repertoire. Ok. I am a home cook who would like to expand their repertoire. This sounded like the perfect opportunity! It helped that two people very close to me are gnocchi appreciators, so I had two able mouths waiting to try my theoretically wonderful gnocchi. I had visions of small, airy, pillows of pasta sitting on top a bed of spinach, lightly coated with butter and garlic. So, I set to work on the dough. 8 ounces water. 4 ounces butter. 1/2 teaspoon of salt. 4 ounces flour. 8 ounces egg. (4 large eggs). And that was it. It seemed pretty easy to me! I made the dough according to the directions: cooking the butter, salt and water together before adding the flour. Then, I took it off the heat and added the four eggs. The batter looked pretty good:
I then piped the dough onto a cookie sheet and stuck it in the freezer. Everything was going peachy. Disaster struck was when I tried to cut them into gnocchi sized pieces and then poach them in boiling water. I poached a tester blob of dough, but took it out way too early and ended up biting into lava-hot, partially cooked dough. Taste Tester 2 thought we should put all the pasta in at once…and so we did.
I wish I had a picture of the boiling mess that this pasta made. I was too concerned that it was going to explode everywhere to take a picture! All the pasta became glued together in one molten mass of butter and flour and looked nothing like the back-up gnocchi I had sitting in my freezer. Taste Tester 2 decided to dump some of the mass into a pan where I had butter, olive oil and garlic waiting. I wish that it would have fixed the problem.
Yep. The gnocchi ended up in the trash and not our mouths. Oh well! Not all was lost. I learned two things: 1, that I needed to eat more butter. The batter was super tasty! 2, champagne is a good problem solver; after two glasses of champagne, who cares if the gnocchi didn’t turn out? Taste Tester 1 did say she’d let me try to make gnocchi again for her..Pâte à choux, you haven’t seen the last of me!