A few years back, browsing Julia Child's book "The Way to Cook" I noticed in the ingredient list of many recipes the tarragon. I couldn't recognize this word so I looked it over in the dictonary but it wasn't of any help. I haven't ever heard of "dragoncello" either in my young life.
So I became even more curious and I started searching for tarragon everywhere. Nowhere to be found in any supermarket of my -small- city.
One day running some errands into the historic center of Siena, I passed by a local greengrocer which had a blackboard outside the door with the message "Fresh wild tarragon!". I stopped in the middle of the road and I couldn't believe it.. I've found it!!
- Funny story, a while later I found out that wild tarragon is quite popular in my region. So, every greengrocer usually have it in season. I just never ever noticed it because I wasn't searching for it.. ah! -
Anyway, herbs and spices are one of my biggest passion and I always try to find a way to use them differently. When I bought the fresh tarragon - despite all the Julia Child's recipes - I didn't know exactly what to do with it. So it came up the idea to add it to the gnocchi dough as a twist!
Useless to say, it quicky became one of my favorite gnocchi recipes.
If you never tried (fresh) gnocchi before, you MUST try this recipe! (you can omit the tarragon and have the simple basic potato gnocchi).
What are Gnocchi?
Gnocchi are delicious fluffy little balls made of mashed potatoes and flour. They're usually eaten with only melted butter and fresh sage.
Gnocchi are not considered Pasta per se, but they're still in the category of Primi Piatti in Italian Menus. Primi Piatti are "first main courses", which includes carbs like Pasta, Rice and Gnocchi. The Secondi Piatti (second main courses) instead, include proteins such as meat and fish.
Gnocchi, like Pasta, are quite versatile and can be made with different flavors, different kind of potatoes and served with a variety of sauces.
For more Gnocchi Recipes check these:
- Stuffed Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola
- Spicy sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Caprese stuffed Potato Gnocchi
- Ricotta Gnocchi
Tip about Flour:
Don't follow the measurements to the letter. The quantity of flour really depends on the type of potato you are using. I suggest to add the flour slowly until you reach the right consistency of the dough.
The dough should be soft and only slightly sticky. It may take some trial and error to find the right amount of flour for your dough.
If you use too less flour, the gnocchi will be too soft and might melt in the boiling water. If you use too much flour, instead, they will become tough and chewy.
Tarragon Potato Gnocchi
- 1 ¾ cups Potatoes
- 1 cup Flour
- 3-4 twigs Tarragon, fresh
- 1 tbsp Salted Butter
- 2 tbsp Ricotta Salata or Parmigiano cheese, grated
- Peel, cut in small cubes and boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until they become really soft (about 20 minutes).
- Mash the potatoes evenly and add the finely chopped tarragon leaves and the flour when they are still warm (overwise they'll become sticky). Mix well until you get a nice non-sticky dough.
- When you have an even dough similar in consistency to the bread dough, cut it in smaller parts and roll them with your palms on a wooden board to get a long snake thick about 2 cm (less than 1 inch) of diameter. (Keep the surface and the dough smooth with flour to prevent stickiness).
- Now with a dough-cutter, cut the gnocchi about 2-3 cm long (approx 1 inch). (You can then roll them on a fork or on a gnocchi board to get the typical gnocchi texture). Let them rest on a clean towel sprinkled with flour.
- In a large pot, bring to boil salted water and then toss the gnocchi one by one so they won't stick to each other. It will take 1-2 minutes to cook. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan.
- As soon as the gnocchi float to the surface, it means they are ready. Take them out with a skimmer and toss them in the pan with the melted butter.
- Plate the gnocchi and on top add the grated ricotta salata and ground black pepper to garnish.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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Thank you so much!