Saturday, October 20, 2007

Gnocchi Pomodoro

Gnocchi are Italian dumplings. They can be made of potato, semolina, flour, or even ricotta. I love gnocchi, and while I have been thinking making it myself at home, I saw some potato gnocchi at Sam's Club recently (made by Colavita) and thought I would give it a try. It's obviously not as good as homemade or what you'll find in a good Italian restaurant, but it was still good, very convenient, and I will probably buy it again in the future.

The recipe I found includes instructions on how to make your own gnocchi from scratch, but I just used the sauce recipe since I already had the pre-made gnocchi on hand. I've included the recipe for the gnocchi as well, in case anyone would like to try it.

Gnocchi Pomodoro

Pomodoro Sauce:
1 (28-ounce) can whole Italian tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (I used 2 tbsp)
Salt and pepper
Crushed chile flakes
6 to 8 large fresh basil leaves, chopped (I used about 12 - I love fresh basil!)
1/2 cup cream

6 large baking potatoes, like russets
2 egg yolks
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, melted
Pinch salt
Pinch white pepper
Fresh grated nutmeg
2 cups flour

Grated Parmesan, to serve

To make the Sauce: Take the tomatoes out of the can, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and reserve the juice. In a saucepan, add olive oil and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and chili and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. If necessary, add the reserved juice. Add the basil. Finish with cream.

To make the gnocchi:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Bake the potatoes for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until tender. Scoop each potato out of its skin into mixing bowl. Mash the potatoes to a fine consistency.

In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, melted butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the egg mixture to the potatoes and mix together. Add flour to mixture, 1 cup at a time, and mix until smooth.

Scoop out and make finger sized rolls on floured board. Cut with knife into bite sized pieces. Roll each piece over the back of a fork to make a round form. In a pan, freeze until hard enough to handle, and put into portion sized bags.

Fill a large pot with water and add a pinch of salt and boil. Drop gnocchi into boiling water 3 or 4 at a time so the water doesn't stop boiling. The gnocchi is ready when it floats to the top. Drain gnocchi and scoop out into bowl and add sauce. Add fresh Parmesan and serve.

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