Tuesday 29 January 2013

Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

It’s now several months since I attended a cooking class in Rome. I had tried out some of the items learned but still had not made gnocchi. Now seemed a good time.

I boiled some potatoes and, when they had cooked, peeled and mashed them. They were then weighed and I added plain flour in a quantity that was ¼ of the potato weight. Some salt and pepper were added and the mixture was beaten until a soft dough formed. I avoided over beating it.

The mixture was taken in small portions, rolled out on a floured surface until it formed a sausage shape. At lessons we were taught to cut it into pieces but I just broke off the pieces and rolled them in my hands to make small balls. I used a fork to rub across and make the distinctive marks of gnocchi. Unfortunately I had forgotten that we had in a cupboard the special board that gnocchi are rubbed along to form the marks. The fork did work well though.

I put the gnocchi aside and got the sauce going. I was not overly keen on the sauce learned in the cooking class so made up my own. I chopped half an onion and sautéed it in a small saucepan until it was soft. I then poured in a can of tomatoes. I did not break then up at this stage but left them as they were and simmered the lot for about an hour. At this stage I added some chopped basil leaves and a few sliced olives. The sauce was now broken up with a fork so that it still had a lumpiness to it. It was tested and a little salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar was added. It was ready.

A large pot of salted water was brought to the boil and the gnocchi added. When they rose to the surface they were given about a minute more and they were ready. They went into serving plates, the sauce was poured on and some grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on the top.

They turned out to be wonderfully light. They were so easy to make that I don’t think I would ever buy the commercial ones again which tend to be a bit on the chewy side.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

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