sauce of tomatoes and pancetta is bolstered with
sauteed leeks, shallots and bell pepper. Then prunes
are added for body and sweetness. It's all used to
dress the gnocchi
when I read novels, I get hungry.
home, I told the cook girl to boil enough pots of water and
to chop enough pork and vegetables to make a thousand
dumplings, both steamed and boiled, with plenty of fresh
ginger, good soy sauce and sweet vinegar for dipping."
From "The Kitchen Godís Wife" by Amy Tan.
wonder that I taught myself to make pot stickers. (Thank you
to cookbook author Eileen Yin-Fei Lo.)
"The Fault in Our Stars," John Greenís passage
about green-garlic gnocchi drove me right to my recipe
wonder both these dumpling passages entice the cook in me.
At once, dumplings sound comforting, somewhat mysterious and
exotic. For example, the tender dough that defies nature by
encasing rich broth and other goodies in the soup dumplings
at Joeís Shanghai in New York. Even the traditional
Bavarian leberknodelsuppe (liver dumplings in rich broth)
offers filling warmth and unusual flavor. Italian gnocchi,
with their signature plump, ridge-back shape practically beg
sauce to cling.
(aka dumplings) can be found throughout Italy in various
shapes and flavors. Iím partial to the variety lightened
(if you can believe it) with potato. These take readily to
all manner of seasonings and sauce.
started making gnocchi at home when chef Paul Bertolli
published his recipe in a 1999 issue of Fine Cooking
magazine. Iím happy to report that his recipe remains my
favorite. Six simple ingredients meld into
light-as-a-feather dumplings begging for melted butter or a
simple tomato sauce.
homemade gnocchi when thereís time to enjoy your kitchen
and the company of some Italian opera. Start by squishing
baked potatoes with cream, egg, salt and pepper. Then gently
work in flour with delicate motions into a light dough. You
can roll small nuggets of this dough and tattoo them with
the tines of a fork into their classic gnocchi shape. Or
simply cut the dough into miniature Tootsie-roll shapes.
gnocchi can be cooked the same day or frozen for several
weeks. They cook beautifully straight from the freezer.
tomato, pancetta and orange sauce that follows is a riff on
a palís favorite spaghetti recipe from the Sunshine Tavern
in Portland. At first, the addition of prunes seems odd, but
they melt into the tomatoes, adding a mysterious sweetness
that tastes terrific with the rich pancetta and delicate
good news is that store-bought gnocchi puts this recipe
squarely in my weeknight repertoire. Look for the best
gnocchi in the refrigerated section of large supermarkets or
Italian specialty markets. Select gluten-free prepared
gnocchi (made from potatoes, corn flour and potato starch)
when you need to avoid gluten.
Greenís green-garlic gnocchi, I saute chopped green garlic
in unsalted butter when itís in season at the farmers
market. At this time of the year, green onions and minced
fresh garlic sauteed in butter taste just fine.
about 125, serving 4
from Paul Bertolliís recipe published in Fine Cooking, May
1999. An old-fashioned ricer tool keeps the cooked potatoes
very light in texture compared to a masher. If you donít
have a ricer, use a medium mesh metal sieve and push the
potatoes through it with a rubber scraper or wooden spoon.
medium russet potatoes, about 1 pound total
medium egg, lightly beaten
tablespoons heavy whipping cream
of freshly ground nutmeg
ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) flour
Pierce potatoes with a fork in several places. Microwave on
high (100 percent power) until fork-tender, about 6 to 8
minutes. Let cool just enough that you can handle them but
they are still warm.
Peel the warm potatoes, and push them through a ricer (or a
medium-mesh metal sieve) into a bowl. Stir in the egg,
cream, salt and nutmeg.
the flour onto your work surface, and make a well in the
center. Add the potato mixture to the well. Use a pastry
scraper, or your clean hands, to cut the flour into the
potato mixture. Keep working until the dough comes together
and is soft, supple and a little elastic.
Roll the dough into a large log and then cut into 3 equal
sections. Working on a floured surface, roll 1 section of
the dough out into a long rope about 3/4 inch in diameter.
Use a knife to cut the rope into 1/2 inch long nuggets. Dip
the tines of a fork in flour; roll each nugget against the
tines to score the nugget and create a rough oval. Use your
thumb to create a dimple in the oval. Drop the oval onto a
floured baking sheet. Repeat to roll and shape all the
dough. At this point you can refrigerate the gnocchi for
several hours. Or, freeze the gnocchi on the baking sheet
until they are solid. Then put them into a plastic freezer
bag to freeze up to several weeks.
When ready to cook, heat a large pot of well-salted water to
the boil over high heat. Drop the refrigerated or
still-frozen gnocchi into the water and cook until they
float, 2 to 4 minutes.
Serve immediately, topped with tomato sauce or melted butter
information per serving: 298 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g
saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 55 g carbohydrates, 1 g
sugar, 8 g protein, 458 mg sodium, 3 g fiber
WITH TOMATO-PANCETTA SAUCE
for prepared plain gnocchi in the refrigerator section of
specialty stores. Mild or spicy Italian sausage, removed
from the casing, can be used in place of the pancetta;
increase cooking time in step 2 to 10 minutes.
cup olive oil, plus more for serving
ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
small leeks, root end trimmed, white and light-green portion
large or 2 small shallots, halved, thinly sliced
small or half large red or orange bell pepper, seeded, diced
diced fire-roasted tomatoes with juices
cup chicken broth
cup pitted prunes, thinly sliced
teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
zest and juice of 1 orange
freshly ground black pepper
recipe homemade gnocchi or 1 package (16 to 17 ounces)
cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
tablespoons each, fresh chopped: chives, flat-leaf parsley
sauce, heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add pancetta, and cook until slightly crisp but still
tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut leeks lengthwise in half, and rinse under
cool running water to remove any grit between the leaves.
Pat dry, and cut crosswise into thin slices.
leeks, shallot and bell pepper to skillet. Cook until soft
but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and boil
hard, 1 minute. Add chicken broth, prunes, red pepper
flakes, and orange zest and juice. Reduce heat to
medium-low; cook until sauce is slightly reduced, about 4
minutes. Season with salt (about 1/4 teaspoon) and pepper.
(Sauce can be made up to several days in advance and
refrigerated covered. Rewarm before serving.)
Heat a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook
gnocchi until tender but still toothsome at the center (al
dente), usually 2 to 3 minutes. Scoop out and reserve about
Ĺ cup of the cooking water. Drain the gnocchi.
Rewarm the sauce in the skillet if necessary. Add cooked
gnocchi, 1/4 cup of the cooking water and 1/4 cup Parmesan
to sauce. Toss to coat. Drizzle in some of the remaining
cooking water if needed. Season again with salt and pepper
to taste. To serve, sprinkle with herbs and more Parmesan
and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.
information per serving: 606 calories, 24 g fat, 7 g
saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 83 g carbohydrates, 15 g
sugar, 15 g protein, 1,018 mg sodium, 8 g fiber
GREENS WITH RED WINE VINAIGRETTE
4 servings, with leftover dressing
tablespoons olive oil
tablespoons red wine vinegar
teaspoons Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper to taste
(5 ounces) baby lettuce mix
vinaigrette, put oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and
sugar into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well to
mix. (Store at room temperature for several hours or
refrigerate for up to a week; use at room temperature.)
salad, put lettuce mix and arugula into a large serving
bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and refrigerate for a
few hours to chill.
serve, remove towel. Drizzle 2 or 3 tablespoons of the
dressing over salad and use tongs to coat lettuces with the
dressing. Serve immediately.
information per serving: 94 calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated
fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g sugar, 1 g
protein, 71 mg sodium, 1 g fiber