Monday, June 3, 2013


Today, in honor of a new season of Real Housewives of New Jersey starting last night (which, along with Beverly Hills, is my favorite), I've decided to share an Italian recipe that I can cross of my "12 before I turn 28" list: Gnocchi. Gnocchi is an Italian potato dumpling dish that goes with various types of pasta sauces.

Making gnocchi was somewhat intimidating, not so much because I thought it would be hard, but because I kept reading how hard it was going to be in all the posts of the recipes I was finding. Everyone talks about how time consuming and fickle gnocchi can be. The idea that you can spend hours on a dish, just to have it fall apart in the last step (boiling the gnocchi) sounded depressing. But, I can attest, while it was very time consuming (all together it took me about 3 and a half hours from start to finish), if I can do it successfully, anyone can do it successfully. 

I also want to reassure my half Italian husband that this non-Italian can make good Italian food for our future part-Italian children.

Gnocchi Pomodoro
Adapted from
6 large russet potatoes
2 egg yolks
1 stick melted butter
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
1 28 oz. can whole Italian tomatoes
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. chopped garlic
Crushed chili flakes
6-8 large basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper

Cut the potatoes in half and place in a pot of boiling water. Let boil for 40-50 minutes. 

Once finished, carefully take the potato halves out of the water, one at a time, and peel off the skin (using utensils since the potatoes will be hot). Process through a potato ricer. If you do not own a potato ricer, you can just mash the potatoes. 

Let the potatoes sit for about 10 minutes to let them cool just a little bit.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks, melted butter, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Sprinkle the egg mixture, along with the flour, one cup at a time, on top of the potatoes, and mix/lightly knead until combined.
Take out a handful portion of the mixture, and roll out into a finger sized roll. Cut into bite sized pieces. 
Press and roll each piece against a fork to make a round form. 

Take out another handful of the mixture, roll, and repeat with the remaining gnocchi until finished. 

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop gnocchi into the boiling water (I did about 10 at a time). You know it is done when it floats to the top, at which time you can scoop them out. 
While the gnocchi is boiling (even though you should still keep a good eye on them) it is a good time to make the sauce. 

Take the tomatoes out of the can, cutting each in half and removing the seeds, and then chop into small pieces. In a saucepan, add the olive oil and garlic and saute for about a minute. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and chili to the pan, and let simmer for about 5 minutes. 

Once finished, add the basil and the cream.

Combined the finished gnocchi with the sauce.

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