Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Gnocchi Pomodoro - Jen's Savory Summary

I was very nervous for this week's recipe.  I had previously told you all about my pasta making problems... i.e. the constant sweat from overworking the dough.  I tried to find my inner Meryl and be a sex kitten while making the gnocchi.  Needless to say, I was not successful.  My greatest fear was to have all of this sweat be a wasted effort and turn out to be a plateful of dense mounds.

I started like Joanne did, early in the morning roasting away these potatoes.  I used yukon gold potatoes because I had read somewhere they make fluffy gnocchi.  I was doing anything to make fluffy gnocchi. While they were roasting, I ran out to my local cheese shop, Fromaggio Kitchen, for some nosh before dinner.
When I was there, I saw some fancy pasta flour and thought hey why not.  It was made by the same people who make the polenta I cook frequently.  Jason doesn't consider a meal complete unless there is some sort of meat element.  I wrote about this yesterday where I made those chuck steaks into glorious braised, tender morsels.  
Thinking light thoughts

When I got home from my shopping, I checked on my potatoes.  They were taking FOREVER.  I ended up roasted them for close to two and a half hours. Since I am extremely impatient, I did not wait for them to cool, hence my burned finger temps today.  I had also read that ricing potatoes make fluffy gnocchi (are you sensing my fear taking over every single one of my decisions).  I would of done a rain dance if I read that would make a light fluffy gnocchi.  When making the dough, I definitely amped up the nutmeg.  I love nutmeg and feel like it elevates the dough so much.  One other thing I did, because I read it makes a light fluffy gnocchi, is not overwork the dough.  I slowly caressed them, sang to them and thought fluffy thoughts.  I lightly rolled them out, put my fancy fork marks on them and set them in the freezer, again thinking light thoughts.

Onto the sauce.  Once again I used my go to San Marzano tomatoes.  I should buy stock in this company. One childhood ick moment that I can't get over is chunks of tomato.  It makes me gag.  I took out my immersion blender and pureed those tomatoes to smithereens.  I tripled the red pepper flakes, toned down the cream to just a dash, and added some nutmeg.  I figured what the heck maybe it will make the sauce light and fluffy as well.

After boiling the gnocchi for four to five minutes, I immediately tasted them thereby securing a burnt mouth to go along with my burnt fingertips.  Sweet Jesus they were light and fluffy...like little clouds floating!  I loved this recipe and I am already thinking of ways to adapt it.  Next time, I'm thinking some sweet potatoes with cinnamon and, of course, nutmeg.  Hopefully my gnocchi anxiety will not be there and besides I need to use up this giant bag of pasta flour I bought....

Completed dish with sauteed spinach and braised chuck steak
Hope you enjoyed it as much as did!
Happy Cooking!!


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