Gnocchi (and Football)

Matt was psyched for the first Patriots game of the season last Sunday and we had been talking about making homemade gnocchi for awhile, so we combined the two and made a day out of it. We slow-roasted some amazing tomatoes from my neighbor’s garden and pureed it into a sauce to go with the gnocchi.

I had never made slow-roasted tomatoes, probably because I don’t usually have the time or patience. Matt insisted that it was worth it, so we cut them in half, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with plenty of salt, and let them sit in a 175 degree for about 4 hours.

Eventually, they shrivel up and get super sweet. You can actually roast them on an even lower heat overnight if you plan ahead.

We followed Mario Batali’s Gnocchi recipe, which calls for just russet potatoes, flour, an egg, salt, and oil. The recipe is really simple; the key is to use a food mill to mash the boiled potatoes so that they are smooth, but not gummy from being overworked.

Our shaping of the gnocchi was kind of…rustic. At least they looked homemade! We first rolled out the dough into ¾-inch dowels (roughly):

Then, we cut them into one-inch pieces and “flicked” with a fork:

To cook the gnocchi, we dropped them in batches into a huge pot of boiling water and took them out as soon as they floated to the top (about a minute). Then, we shocked them in ice water and tossed them in olive oil to keep until our sauce was ready.

When the tomatoes were done, we pureed them whole and then strained to get rid of most of the seeds and skin. What resulted was an intensely flavored, sweet tomato mixture. The only thing we decided to add was some garlic, which we sautéed in a skillet with some olive oil before adding the tomato puree. We cooked that down until it thickened a little and then added some of the gnocchi, cooking just until they were heated through.

We tossed in some torn basil leaves at the very end and topped with some parmesan cheese. Finally, time to eat!

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