Wednesday, July 3, 2019

turinepi19: gnocchi park

As customary this 6th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital included a cooking class. However, this year, we decided to move outside the kitchen to show our guests a part of Turin, otherwise they would never get the chance to visit.

*Barbara of Orti In Piazza showing the urban garden

We got in touch with Giuliana Dorrucci of Associazione Orti in PiazzaMaria Grazia Mondo, a Turin architect turned accessory designer - who has always made gnocchi all her life, and we took advantage of the easy to reach location of Piazza Risorgimento (just 6 subway stops from the Porta Nuova train station).

Unfortunately, on Wednesday 26th, Giuliana couldn't show us around the urban garden that supported by the Turin municipality and includes 25 plots, rich in herbs and plants, but we were still able to look around and forage our mint, sage and chives to make our summer super aromatic herb gnocchi.

Chiara at the mezzaluna and her mom grating the parmigiano cheese, Antonio De Vecchi ricing the potatoes

Maria Grazia had organized a huge table into two sections, with two ricing and kneading stations. Besides the TurinEpi19 guests, the members of the urban garden association took part too and that evening, we ended up making 22lb - 10 kg of gnocchi!
One specific person took care of hand chopping the herbs with the mezzaluna - a very cherished kitchen gadget to many Italians - unlike a common electric chopper, this specific half-moon shaped gadget helps to retain all the essential oils and thus the scents!

Another person took care of grating the parmigiano reggiano, while a retired restaurant chef, a member of the urban garden association, joined our group and brought his huge pot. Yes, gnocchi need to boil in a huge quantity of water so that they can easily float when ready and you can scoop them up and serve them.

*Cynthia McClour Woodman at the ricing station 1 and Reine Bouton looking at Maria Grazi at the station 2

Making gnocchi keeps its ancestral pleasure of working with your hands reinforcing the link between us and the food we made. They are also quite easy to make and you can make them with many vegetables, not only potatoes like we did.

*bonding while ricing the potatoes

After ricing our 7kg - 15.4lb of potatoes, Maria Grazia showed us how to make the 'fontana' or fountain with the flour, the eggs 'just in case' you need extra help to bind flour, potatoes and herbs.
And then... the kneading process started. Yes, everything was done by hand, taking turns up to this stage and we were blessed by the regular temperatures and sunset.

*Maria Grazia showing how to make the fountain

*Daniele Taverna vigorously kneading the gnocchi dough

After resting 30 minutes,one at the time, the big gnocchi doughs were divided into smaller portions, then into sausages and finally, into soft pillowy dumplings. Given the huge amount to make, we decided not to make the ridges nor the curl, because our sauce was extra virgin olive oil, butter and sage leaves to enhance the flavor of the herbs inside the dough.

*the resting gnocchi dough

Maria Grazia rolling the dough sausages

Christina Conte curling the gnocchi

and ho boy!! they turned out super delish despite the almost 30C - 85F!
Needless to tell you, we had plenty of Barbera red wine and Chardonnay, but everyone just opted for cool sparkling mineral water, iced tea and some a soda too.

*the huge Chef's pot to boil our gnocchi

*Maria Grazia serving Jyothi Aimino and Chef Pier of Associazione Orti In Piazza

In the making process, some Italian snacks were served: Italian chips, oven baked cracker-like chips with olives and torcetti al miele cookies that we bought to celebrate Cynthia McCloud Woodman's birthday like a real Savoy princess!

... and the more gnocchi we ate, the more gnocchi we made 😅

Photo by Reine Bouton 

The TurinEpi19 gnocchi: truly caserecci or homemade, super aromatic, simply scrumptious!
The pleasure of making and eating gnocchi inspired us and we'll definitely be making more as the temperatures go down 😋

*Photo by Alberto Bonis


  1. So much fun! You exceeded my expectations for a wonderful TurinEpi! xo

  2. That was a very fun (albeit very HOT) evening! Loved the social part of the cooking together outside! Lovely!