Sunday, February 5, 2012

spinach gnocchi with pomodero

 we took a shot at gnocchi (again) i've had some successes and some failures with these little guys so honestly, i never know what we might end up with.  luckily, this one ended up being perfectly, ok not perfect, but perfectly wonderful.  i think our biggest problem with these was that we threw in a bunch of steamed spinach into the dough which makes them want to boil apart a bit while cooking, but they still held together well and tasted like the real deal. yay!
 i've read a bunch of recipes that recommend using egg as a binder for the dough so that you won't have to worry about ending up with goopy potatoey mess, but i have never tried using a binder.  if you do it right, it shouldn't be necessary and you end up with a lighter less dense gnocchi.

our recipe was simple. super simple.
2 large russet potatoes, cut in half and boiled for about 30 minutes until soft.
(next time i think we might try baking them and scooping out the flesh so as not to incorporate any unnecessary water)
about 1 cup flour, give or take depending on the size of the potatoes and amount of water.
 that's it!

after you boil your potatoes, remove from water and carefully peel off the skin.  while still hot, push through a potato ricer, over a cutting board.  let cool and dry a bit about 15 minutes is plenty of time.

next, pull all your potatoes together into a nice mound and add about 3/4 cup flour.  carefully work the mixture together until you have a nice soft, but not sticky dough.  add more flour if needed.  divide into about 8 sections and roll into dough ropes on a floured surface, finger width is a good size to ensure proper cooking.  then cut into about half inch segments. roll the pieces over the back of a fork to form ridges and toss onto a baking sheet dusted with flour until ready to boil.

(we threw in the spinach right after incorporating most of the flour)

boil in batches of about 15 gnocchi at a time.

we served ours with a super simple pomodero sauce this time. though i also love mine with simply butter and sage leaves.  

3 cloves minced garlic sautéed in some olive oil
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes- can't wait for fresh!
1 tablespoon tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
big handful of fresh chopped basil stirred in just before serving.  

it was wonderfully delicious!  don't be afraid, it might not be perfect every time but gnocchi make one very rewarding dinner!

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