Sometimes [ok, quite often] I get an idea to do something and obsess about it until I actually do it. Other times, I just obsess and do nothing about it. But this is a food blog, so back to that.
For the longest time I've wanted to make gnocchi. I'm not quite sure why...I've only had them a few times and wasn't head-over-heels in love with them, but wanted to try to make them at home. When I found For the Love of Gnocchi!!! post by Avesta, I decided it was time to make it happen.
I halved Avesta's recipe; below is my version of her gnocchi recipe.
Gnocchi with Semi-Home-Made Tomato Sauce
For the gnocchi
3 potatoes, peeled, quartered
1-2 tablespoons salt
1 egg, beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
For the tomato sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
a few sprigs of thyme
1 large can of tomato sauce (I used prepared spaghetti sauce with meat)
1/4 cup heavy cream (this is an optional step...I had some cream leftover from making French Yule Log and decided to use it)
1) In a medium saucepan heat the oil. Add garlic, carrots and thyme, and cook until the vegetables are soft. Remove the thyme sprigs, add tomato sauce, lower the heat and let the sauce simmer.
2) Meanwhile, cook potatoes in the salted water till tender. Drain, put the potatoes through a ricer (Thank you, Anna!) and let them dry out on a cookie sheet.
4) Add the flour to the potato/egg mixture and incorporate it without overworking the dough. (Photos of my hands courtesy of Anna)
5) Divide the dough into manageable chunks, forming each chunk into a log shape and rolling it into 1/2 inch tube on a floured surface. Cut the logs into 1/2 inch pieces. Anna tried to show me how to roll the pieces using a fork, but I decided to go with a rustic look. (Ok, I was just too lazy and was running out of time because I had to go and assist with a cooking class at Sur La Table).
5) While you are bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil, add cream to the tomato sauce and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
7) I must confess that on their own the gnocchi were slightly flavorless, but once I added the creamy tomato sauce, I rather liked them! Too bad I did not have any cheese. Instead, I sprinkled the entire dish with some fresh thyme.