At today’s Hael Storm (see earlier post), we did a short class on making cheese Gnocchi, a popular dish at the Hael’s Masked Ball in December. The original recipe is from a manuscript Frammento di un libro di cucina del sec. XIV, edited by Olindo Gierrini in the late 1800s. This redaction is from The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy, Redon, Saabban and Serventi, University of Chicago Press, 1998. If you have made modern gnocchi, you will notice that the technique has not changed in hundreds of years. The ingredients, however, are different; most modern gnocchi recipes use potatoes, which are a New World food. The original translation:
If you want some gnocchi, take some fresh cheese and mash it, then take some flour and mix it with egg yolks as in making migliacci. (Note: interestingly, there is a Corsican specialty bread still made today called migliacci that is made with fresh sheep’s cheese, eggs and flour.) Put a pot full of water on the fire, and when it begins to boil, put the mixture on a dish and drop it into the pot with a ladle, and when they are cooked, place them on dishes and sprinkle with plenty of grated cheese.
3 8 oz. packages cream cheese
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups (more or less) flour
salt to taste
Mash up the cream cheese and mix in the flour with your hands. Add salt to taste and blend in the egg yolks. Keep kneading to form a smooth mixture. It should be about the consistency of a soft bread dough. Separate out balls about as big as your fist, and roll into inch thick ropes. Add more flour as needed to maintain consistency. Cut off pieces (the rolling on the fork thing is a later invention) and dropinto boiling water. When they rise to the top, they are done. You can also cook in broth. For the Masked Ball feast we cooked them in water, and then served them in bowls of broth, just enough to coat, not enough to make soup. Sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Another Hael Storm hit!