Goodbye long weekends 😦 This was the first full week back at work for me after two 3 day weekends in a row….I had a look ahead for those of us working in Australia, and the next one is on June the 9th… that’s like a whole month away. And it really doesn’t help waking up when its getting so cold in the mornings. But with colder weather comes more opportunities to simmer away some delicious warming comfort food.
Italians especially, are masters at flavour packing comfort food with their pastas and rustic stews. As I posted previously, I was inspired to try making my own tagliatelle the other day, and because I had some 00 flour left over, I decided to have a go rolling out some gnocchi. My previous attempts have been a hit and miss. I once ended up with a whole batch of rubber bullets… mmm. I think it was because I used too much plain flour and forgot to take out the egg white.
This time I trusted my touch a bit more and didn’t really follow a recipe. I ended up using:
- ~400g sebago potatoes (I cut mine into quarters)
- 00 flour
- 1 egg yolk
- Salt and pepper to season
- I started by peeling and steaming the potatoes until they were soft. Then I let them cool.
- I didn’t have a potato ricer which would have been ideal, so instead I pressed the potatoes through a seive into a large bowl.
- I then mixed in the egg yolk. Roughly but gently. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t thoroughly mixed in. Season.
- Next, I add one big spoon of sifted flour into the potato mixture. This is the part where I used my hands and started folding the flour through the potatoes.
- Little by little, I added the flour and started kneading gently. Keep adding flour and kneading until the ball of gnocchi dough feels like its sitting on the border between wet and dry.
- I then tipped it out onto a floured wooden chopping board and divided the dough up into four sections.
- Taking one of the sections, I rolled it out until its diameter was sausage size and then cut it up into 2-3 cm chunks. Place in a single layer on a floured tray
- You can do that fancy thing where you roll the gnocchi on a fork but it’s fine if you don’t.
- Boil a big pot of water, salt, then drop in gnocchi
- When they float, boil for another 10 seconds and scoop out, drain a little and place into sauce.
For the sauce, I went with a simple one with tomatoes, chilli and garlic
- Olive oil
- 3 tomatoes chopped roughly. Best if they are still trussed
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped roughly
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 2 chillis chopped finely. Seeds removed.
- Handful of torn up fresh basil leaves if you have them
- Fresh oregano if you have it.
- Salt and pepper
- Half a ladle of water
- Parmesan to garnish
- Heat oil in pan on medium-high heat. Add chopped garlic and chilli. Stir a bit and make sure you don’t burn it.
- Add in tomato paste and fry for a bit until you see the oil turning orange in colour.
- Add in tomatoes. Mix for a bit and let the juices come out. Add in the water and season
- Add in the herbs. Cover and let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. In the mean time boil the water for gnocchi
- Open lid and taste sauce. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Let it keep simmering away and let the sauce reduce for another 5-10 minutes. Keep tasting. I wouldn’t mind making the sauce a little bit saltier than preferred as the moisture from the gnocchi would mellow the sauce out when you put them in.
- You can probably boil the gnocchi and once they’re ready, drain and place into sauce.
- Gently, use a spatula to fold the sauce through the gnocchi. If you’re skillful (I tried and failed) you can use your wrist motion to toss the gnocchi with the sauce and let them mix together.
- Dish out and garnish with parmesan.
I had some lamb chops as well and fried them off to make it a meal. Yumm