If you’re looking for a romantic dinner to enjoy this weekend, here’s a morsel of inspiration!
It’s Week 2 of my series:
Today, I’m hanging out with Jeanie again over at Create & Babble sharing my adventures in foods I’ve never made.
(BTW, if you are a crafty person, then you will love Jeanie’s site!)
This week, I decided to try my hand at GNOCCHI!
Gnocchi are Italian potato dumplings, and though you can buy frozen ones at the store, they tend to be heavy and gummy.
This recipe, which I took from tried-and-true Fine Cooking Magazine, creates soft, fluffy gnocchi that are just divine when tossed in brown butter and herbs or a simple tomato sauce.
So skip the crazy restaurant lines this Valentine’s weekend and create memories in your own home with this warm, filling dish.
Gnocchi in Brown Butter and Herbs
Typically, gnocchi is tossed in sage butter, but since I can’t seem to leave my house thanks to the ice storms, my collection of dried herbs had to do.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add 1 Tablespoon dried Herbs de Provence or rosemary and swirl butter until brown in color.
Add half a batch of prepared gnocchi (see tutorial at Create& Babble) and toss until completely coated in butter.
Transfer to a platter and repeat this process with more butter, herbs and the second half of the gnocchi.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt and serve as a starter or as a main dish. (It’s really fun finger food, if you ask me.)
Gnocchi in a Simple Tomato Sauce
Small-dice one small onion and saute in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until translucent (about 5 minutes). Grate one large clove of garlic and add to the onions, cook one minute.
Pour in 28 ounces of crushed San Marzano tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce is thick (about 15 minutes).
Add gnocchi and toss to coat. Serve with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. (If you’re able to leave your house to buy some, that is.)
Thanks for joining me on this second adventure in the kitchen.
Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!
- 2 lb. russet potatoes (about 4 medium), scrubbed
- 6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour, more for kneading and rolling
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Put the unpeeled potatoes in a large pot. Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes by at least 2 inches and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, partially cover the pot, and simmer the potatoes until they are completely tender and easily pierced with a skewer, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes, let them cool just enough that you can handle them, and then peel them. Cut them in half crosswise and pass them through a ricer into a large bowl. Let cool until almost at room temperature, at least 20 minutes.
- Lightly flour a work surface. In a small bowl, mix the flour with the salt. Add the egg to the potatoes and then add the flour mixture. Mix with your hands until the flour is moistened and the dough starts to clump together; the dough will still be a bit crumbly at this point. Gather the dough together and press it against the bottom of the bowl until you have a uniform mass. Transfer it to the floured surface and wash your hands.
- Knead gently until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough is soft, smooth, and a little sticky, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (Don’t overmix it, or the gnocchi will be tough; the dough should feel very delicate.) Move the dough to one side, making sure the surface underneath it is well floured. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel.
- Cover two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment and sprinkle lightly with flour.
- Remove any lingering bits of dough from your work surface and lightly reflour the surface. Tear off a piece of dough about the size of a large lemon and put the towel back on the rest of the dough so it doesn’t dry out.
- With the palms of both hands, roll the dough piece on the floured surface into a rope about 3/4 inch in diameter.
- With a sharp knife or a bench knife, cut the rope crosswise every 3/4 inch to make roughly 3/4-inch-square gnocchi. Arrange the gnocchi in a single layer on the parchment-covered baking sheets, making sure they don’t touch. Repeat until you run out of dough, reflouring the work surface as needed. When all the gnocchi have been cut and spread out on the baking sheets, sprinkle them with a little more flour.
- If you’re going to use the gnocchi within 2 to 3 hours, they can sit out on the counter. For longer storage, see the make ahead tips below.
- Make Ahead Tips
- You can serve freshly made gnocchi right away or within a couple of hours, or you can freeze them for later use. Put the gnocchi in the freezer while they’re still on the baking sheets and freeze until they are hard to the touch, at least one hour. Transfer them to a large zip-top bag or several smaller bags and freeze for up to two months. Cook frozen gnocchi in boiling water in two batches. Frozen gnocchi cause the temperature of the cooking water to drop, so they’ll fall apart before the water returns to a boil if there are too many in the pot. Don’t refrigerate fresh gnocchi for more than two or three hours, as they tend to ooze water and become soggy.