Monday, March 14, 2011

Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce


Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

picture from marthastewart.com


Recipe for the marinara:

Ingredients

Serves 6
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole plum tomatoes with juice, crushed by hand
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 sprigs basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Gnocchi
  • Thinly shaved parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add wine; cook until most liquid has evaporated. Add tomatoes and juice, tomato sauce, basil, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until slightly thick, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
  2. Bring a large pot water to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt. Add half of the gnocchi; when they rise to the top (after about 2 minutes), continue to cook until tender, about 15 seconds more. Transfer gnocchi with a slotted spoon to pan with sauce. Repeat process with remaining gnocchi.
  3. Reheat gnocchi over low heat; gently toss. Serve with cheese shavings.
From The Martha Stewart Show, December 2007
Read more at Marthastewart.com: Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce - Martha Stewart Recipes
Recipe for the gnocchi:

Ingredients

Serves 6
  • 2 pounds Idaho or russet potatoes
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Coarse salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Place potatoes in a large stockpot. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer, about 40 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash potatoes using a potato ricer. Set aside on a baking sheet until completely cooled.
  2. On a cool, preferably marble, work surface, gather potatoes into a mound, forming a well in the center. In a small bowl, stir together eggs, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour mixture into well. Using both hands, work potatoes and egg mixture together, gradually adding 2 cups of flour. Scrape dough from work surface with a knife as necessary. This process should not take more than 10 minutes. The longer the dough is worked, the more flour it will require and the heavier the dough will become.
  3. Dust hands, dough, and work surface lightly with some of the remaining 1 cup flour. Cut dough into 6 equal portions. Using both hands, roll each piece of dough into a rope 1/2-inch thick. Continue dusting as long as dough feels sticky. Slice ropes at 1/2-inch intervals. Indent each piece with thumb, the tines of a fork, or the back of a semicircular grater to produce a ribbed effect.
From The Martha Stewart Show, December 2007
Read more at Marthastewart.com: Gnocchi - Martha Stewart Recipes
I love this pasta dish!  Gnocchi is my favorite Italian food because it reminds me of biting into soft, creamy pillows.  Actually, any Italian food is good (in my opinion).  While dining in Italian restaurants, I particularity love the candlelit atmosphere.  When I lived in Los Angeles, my favorite Italian restaurant was C&O Trattoria.  The ambiance was appealing and so were the prices- especially for a college student.   As a carb-lover and romantic, both the carbs and the atmosphere are important to me while dining out.  The Italians have ambiance and taste covered( in my mind I'm thinking about my encounters with Italian men.  They know how to make a girl blush! True romantics those men are).  I've never walked away from an Italian meal dissatisfied.    
Here it is...C&O Trattoria just the way I remember it.


Well, let's find out where gnocchi comes from, shall we?  I'm excited to find out.

Gnocchi can be made from semolina flour, potatoes, wheat flour, or bread crumbs.  The word gnocchi is derived from the Italian word nocchio which means knot in wood.  It has been said that gnocchi has made Italian priests choke because they ate it so quickly!  I would agree, once made fresh and eaten that same day (as opposed pre-packaged or day-old) you won't want it any other way. 

Potatoes, eggs and flour make these delicately soft dumplings that are soooo good!


I highly recommend this recipe.  Plan on starting dinner early though, as this meal takes a long time to prepare.  I decided to double the recipe for future convenience.  Often times I will do this when cooking a more elaborate dish so that I can take a break from cooking intensely the following day. 

Thanks to my mother-in-law Debra, Ben was able to drive my gnocchi to her house for the broiling (our oven is still broken).  These “dumplings” are a definite cool weather favorite, as the warm sauce and soft noodles warm the body nicely.  Yes, food does more than nourish the body, it comforts our souls. 


                                             Live Well,

                                                    Morgan


 Photo Gallery
The potatoes!  Aren't potatoes good?  I used 5 pounds for my doubled recipe.
My kitchen needed another plant.  This is Bella.  She loves gnocchi! 
I had some wine in my cabinet.  So, I decided to pour myself a glass to get things brewing in the kitchen.
After about 40 minutes, the potatoes were tender and ready to be put into the ricer.
The floured trays
Peeling the potatoes
And more potatoes.
The ricer...this is a very useful kitchen gadget.  It is used to create a finely pressed mash.
This is taking me back to my playdough days...I think I had a cooking-playdough set that made fries or something?  This reminds me of that!
A few eggs were used.... I just think brown eggs are so cute.  I know, a little odd?
Rolling out the dough with Little Miss Sarah
She already makes wonderful Italian food!
Still cooking...Once the dough was made, I made two lumps(I doubled the recipe remember?).  Next, I am going to separate it into sixteen smaller balls.
I couldn't resist.  What else is star anise good for?
Our gnocchi.  It looks like a tiny leaf.
I think I made 200 of those things.
This is only part of it!
Once formed, boil the gnocchi in batches.  The gnocchi will begin to float once it is ready to be taken out of the water.
After cooking the gnocchi, I put it into a baking dish and layered it with sauce, ricotta cheese and parmesan.  Ben left to broil it at his mother's house because our new stove is on back order.  Patiently awaiting :)
He also decided to bring home a baby goat. Ben's mother gave me this goat to raise (bless her heart).  The goat's mother died and she needs a goat-mama.  I'm doing my best.  Her name is Alice. 
The baked gnocchi with tomato sauce. 

~Dinner Was Served~

2 comments:

yinzerella said...

1. I am jealous of your massive wood, cutting board.
2. This dish looks fab.
3. Since gnocchi is definitely in one of the DiS! meals, I might be soliciting you for gnocchi advice.
4. Perhaps I should buy a ricer.
5. I want a baby goat. But I don't think that my landlord would allow it.

TheGreenMama said...

Dear Yinzerella,

First, can I just tell you how thrilled I am to finally get a cooking enthusiast in here?!! I am so excited!

1. The cutting board is great for cutting large quantities of veggies. It is a Boos block and it’s worth the investment.

2. Thank you very much!

3. I'd be more than happy to help you with any gnocchi questions. Might I make a suggestion? Okay, I will. DO NOT make these late in the evening for dinner that night. Make them early in the day.

4. Perhaps you should buy a ricer. It is very helpful and saves on paper towel use.

5. Alice said that she wouldn’t mind speaking with your landlord-her persuasive skills are phenomenal. ;)

There was an error in this gadget