As I told you yesterday we got to watch Lorna at work in the kitchen today and we even managed to help a little (or maybe stand in the way rather, but ok… 🙂 ) We started at around 10.30 (while rain is still pouring down outside) and at first we sort of watched but very quickly the men got the important job of removing the skin from the potatoes we were gonna use for making the gnocchi. Lorna was still busy removing the hard parts of the beef that would be used for the salad later on.
Thankfully Emily, an American student, was also present for some necessary translations every now and then, but mostly we got along fine with a combination of English and Italian. I promised not to give the recipe of the gnocchi, so I will not do that but let me just tell you that it is made with little more then flour, potatoes and some very special eggs. O and a little bit of milk.
I am sure Lorna was wondering what was going on in her kitchen this morning, as it was quite crowded with the four of us, Lorna herself, her boyfriend who came and filmed the whole thing and Emily. As it turned out it was a perfect practice for Lorna, who will be starting to teach cooking lessons here in September as part of the Slow Food Movement. So if you would like a real fabulous teacher who is fun and patient (mixed in with a real Italian temperament) then you can always ask for Lorna through Ca’Penelope and I am sure they will be helping you further. Of course this was not a planned cooking session but rather we were assisting for the lunch of that day, so the work needed to be done at a certain time. Imagine what you can learn when you get to watch Lorna for two days!
Tom and Marc started to roll out the gnocchi mixture, which is a very important task. Emily told us that Lorna manages to have an exact same weight for each three pieces of gnocchi. That alone is an art in itself I would say.
At first the rolls the guys made were …eh… less then perfect, but soon especially Marc became very good in rolling them out. “Fantastico”, according to Lorna.
After cutting the gnocchi they were separated into portions for two people. The gnocchi itself were spread out across plates with a little flour so that they would not stick together and kept in the fridge until ready for cooking. The cooking part is the least amount of work as that literally takes seconds to prepare. Of course; then there is the sauce to think about, but that recipe…. we have not been told.
Gnocchi a la Soffritto is one of the most famous and ancient recipes from the area of Modena and this particular recipe was passed down to Lorna from her grandmother.
All in all this was a fun way to spend a very rainy morning and we got to eat the end results ourselves for lunch. And while I am writing this is has almost stopped raining, so maybe we can even spend some time outside. Our plan is to also visit one of the Balsamico museums which is not too far from here, but yesterday Tom and I went out by car in the pouring rain and literally the mud came sliding down the hills, so not really a good idea to start driving in that kind of weather. But it does look slightly better now, so maybe… we can actually go outside.