Potato Gnocchi in Tomato Broth

March 30, 2016 | By | Reply More

potato gnocchi

People who are really into (insert obsession here) have a way of overcomplicating things or letting tradition and snobbery get into the way of good things. Is it high art or low art? Is he/she old money or new money? Is the wine a good vintage? Is the gnocchi made the way my Italian friend’s mom would make it? The answer to this one is likely, “NO.”

Gnocchi is something that novice cooks are usually intimidated out of trying to make. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by making a homemade dough and then when you try to make those little ridges with a fork…oh just forget it! But, I was encouraged to try Deb Perelman’s recipe for potato gnocchi from her wildly popular cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook in part because there are no little ridges necessary!

potato gnocchi

 

 

 

These gnocchi are so easy to make and they are light as air – not at all the typical gut bomb that is gnocchi. The dough is easy to work with since it holds together nicely and isn’t too sticky. When you cook them up, ladle on the flavorful tomato broth made with canned whole tomatoes (maybe even from your own garden!), and sprinkle with fine ribbons of fresh basil, you will achieve dinner greatness.

potato gnocchiPlanning ahead will help with this recipe, especially if you plan to serve it for guests. For instance, the tomato broth can easily be made way ahead of time. You can even make the dough or the potato gnocchi themselves and store in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. Or, make the broth after you’ve baked the potatoes and are waiting for them to cool. The recipe for the broth and gnocchi serves four, but the leftovers are wonderful too if you have them – simply store gnocchi and broth in separate containers, and you single cooks can enjoy them too.

Tomato Broth

potato gnocchiIngredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 medium stalk of celery, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1/2 cup dry white wine

28-ounce can whole tomatoes

Small handful of fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving

2 cups vegetable stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper

potato gnocchiStep one:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 medium stalk of celery, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add carrot, celery, and onion. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

potato gnocchiStep two:

1/2 cup dry white wine

28-ounce can whole tomatoes

Small handful of fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving

2 cups vegetable stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Add the wine and deglaze the pan with it. Cook for a few minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with your wooden spoon. Stir in the basil leaves and stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Allow broth to barely simmer for about 30-40 minutes, until slightly reduced.

Set a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and ladle the stock into it, separating the liquid from the vegetables. I let the mixture cool significantly and I really, really press the solids into the mesh with a wooden spoon so that I get all that tomato goodness into the bowl. If the mixture is cool enough, you can use your hands as a final step to squeeze the vegetables and get even more liquid out. Season broth to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer broth back to a saucepan until ready to use or store in the refrigerator.

potato gnocchiPotato Gnocchi

Ingredients

2 pounds Russet potatoes (about 3 large)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup to 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

Step one:

2 pounds Russet potatoes (about 3 large)

Heat oven to 400° and bake potatoes, skin on, for about 45 minutes until they can easily be pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and grate them using the large holes on a box grater and put the grated potatoes in a large bowl. 

potato gnocchiStep two:

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup to 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

To the potatoes, add the egg, salt, and 1/2 cup of the flour. Stir to combine. Add one more 1/2 cup of flour and mix again. Finally, add 1/4 up flour and see if this is enough flour to make the dough come together. It should stick together and be easy enough to form into a ball, use your hands if necessary to incorporate all the flour. I knead the dough in the bowl just a couple of times before forming it into a ball. Don’t over work the dough – the less you manhandle it, the fluffier your gnocchi will be. If you need more flour, add another 1/4 cup, but add it one tablespoon at a time until you feel you have a good dough.

potato gnocchiStep three:

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Lightly dust your work surface with a little flour. Don’t use too much – the less flour you incorporate at this point, the better. Cut your dough ball into 4 equal-ish pieces. Working with one dough ball at a time, roll each into a long rope by rolling it back and forth and applying a little pressure. The rope should be about 3/4-inch thick. Now, cut the rope into little 3/4-inch long nuggets and place them on your parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Once they are all done, you can either cook them right away at this point or pop the whole baking sheet into the fridge covered with plastic wrap until you are ready to cook them.

potato gnocchiTo cook gnocchi, get a large pot of generously salted water gently boiling. Drop one-fourth of the gnocchi into the water and boil for a few minutes. They will float to the surface when they are done. Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon and set them back on the baking sheet until ready to serve.

To serve, heat up the tomato broth. Put gnocchi in a shallow bowl and ladle tomato broth over. Sprinkle with thinly sliced basil and freshly ground black pepper. If desired, top with thin shavings of Parmesan or a dollop of whole milk good ricotta cheese.

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Category: Food, General, Main Dishes, Recipes, Winter

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