Monday, April 4, 2011

Argentine Noquis

These are John's specialty.  In fact, other than honey-mustard chicken (ingredients: honey, mustard, and chicken), this is really the only recipe John cooks.  Oh, and he sometimes bakes bread, which is actually quite a bit more delicious than mine.  Anyway, here it is.

John's Noquis

Peel 2 kg. (5 lbs) of russet potatoes, cut them into chunks, boil them in salted water, and mash them.  Add 3 eggs to the mashed potatoes and beat well.  Start adding flour 1/4 cup at a time (it ends up being between 1-2 cups, depending on the moisture of the potatoes and the size of the eggs) until it becomes more of a dough than mashed potatoes, but it will still be sticky.  Flour the counter and roll the dough into long snakes approximately 1" in diameter.  Cut the snakes into pieces 1-1/2 inches long and roll the pieces over a fork to give it the classic noqui shape.  Boil the noquis in salted and oiled water until they float, then retrieve them with a slotted spoon and boil some more.

The following portion of the recipe is word-for-word from John.  He's very particular about the sauce.

John's Noqui Sauce  
Heat 1 tbsp. finest extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet.  Add 2-3 cloves of garlic, freshly minced, and saute until fragrant.  Add 4-5 whole bay leaves and 2 [14 oz.] cans of the finest Italian-style diced tomatoes [side note:  Great Value from Wal-Mart have the best texture for this.  The others are too runny.]  and let it simmer while the rest of the ingredients are being prepared.  Then comes the spinach.  Get 1 package of fresh and tender baby spinach.  After rinsing, each stem should be removed and the leaves should be diced.  Add the diced spinach to the sauce.  It will look like a lot of spinach, but it will cook down.  Then dice 1-2 packages of lunch meat ham, only the finest will do.  [Another side note:  We use cheap, cheap, cheap thinly sliced.  Don't believe his "only the finest" garbage.]  Add it to the sauce. Drizzle 1/4 cup heavy cream into the sauce.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and basil to taste.  (The amounts of each of these will depend on what Italian tomatoes you used at the beginning.)  Serve with your noquis.

Back to Em:  Here's the thing.  John's super particular about the sauce and the ingredients when he's making it, but I think it's still delicious when I make it, and I'm not so particular.  Also, the homemade noquis are the worst part, and John's recipe is not the most clear-cut.  I'm sure you can find another recipe out there that uses the same ingredients but gives more specific quantities.  Here's the lesson we've learned, however.  If you add too much flour, the dough is really easy to work with, but the noquis are super gummy.  You don't want gummy noquis.  Oh, and I just buy frozen noquis when it's up to me.  I'm not up to all that work.  :)


  1. Thank you! Attempting them tonight. I'll let you know how it goes...

  2. It was an utter failure. And ended in a meltdown that included a lot of tears. Note to self-wait for John to make them or buy them.
    Thanks for posting the recipe Em. And good luck to anyone who is brave enough to try them out.

  3. Was it just the noquis that didn't work? Or was it the sauce?