Monday, October 1, 2007
Homemade Gnocchi and Sauce in 30 Minutes or Less
Really, its true. It can be done. You can make gnocchi from scratch along with pasta sauce in under 30 minutes. I did it, but I doubt Rachel Ray could.
Where everyone I seems to go wrong is that they dont microwave the potatoes. This is a step that takes about 7 minutes or so a potato and cuts down on prep time and dirty dishes. Boiling or steaming the potato doesnt impart any special flavor, so you should just skip that step and nuke them instead. Brilliant, I know!
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce
2 sweet potatoes
1 egg yolk
1/3 t. nutmeg
3/4 c. cream
1/4 white wine
3 roasted garlic cloves
handful of roasted tomatoes
Nuke the potatoes. The ones the grocery store sells individually wrapped are perfect for this meal. Generally the potatoes take about 7 minutes but if you are microwaving a few at once you may need to increase the time.
Scoop the innards of the potato out and mash it with the back of a fork. You do NOT need a potato ricer to make gnocchi. Add the egg yolk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mush to combine.
Start by adding a cup of flour. Once that is combined slowly add more until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Some people use electric mixers with success but I dont have one so I do this all by hand. I think I ended up adding a total of 1 and 3/4 cup of flour to my potatoes. The amount of flour varies based upon how moistness of your potatoes.
Start heating your water to boil.
On a floured cutting board, separate the dough into several workable balls. With your hands, roll each of the balls out into a dough dowel. Cut the tubular dough into little pillows less than 1 inch in size. Initially the 1 inch size will seem exceedingly tiny, but once you try and bite the little suckers you will find they are the perfect size.
Heat a skillet to make your sauce in.
Once you get through cutting up the first tube of dough throw the gnocchi in the pot of boiling water. Wait about 3-5 minutes until they float to the top of the water. Once they float you will need to remove them with a slotted spoon. Repeat the rolling, cutting, and boiling stage until all your gnocchi are cooked.
During the boiling of the gnocchi, add butter to the sauce skillet and brown it. Once browned, add the wine and a few minutes later, once its reduced, add the cream. Stir in the roasted garlic. *Dont forget to scoop out the gnocchi.*
Line your plate or bowl with fresh spinach (it will wilt with the heat of the gnocchi and sauce).
Place a fair number of gnocchi on the spinach. Remember, they are more filling than they first appear.
Douse the gnocchi with a liberal amount of sauce and top the entire dish with roasted tomatoes.
The particular bit I like about this dish is that all the fall colors make the food seem special. Even though I made this meal for myself in yet another attempt to destress, it turned out to be presentation quality. It looks and tastes like a million bucks but only took a few minutes to throw together...appearances and reality at work yet again!
BTW, after I took the pretty little photo for y'all, I combined all the ingredients and took a picture of it the way I would typically eat it. Apparently I am not fancy enough for my own food!