Friday, March 28, 2008

Gnocchi Bake with Red Pepper Sauce

Not sure what possessed me to make this yesterday, especially since it is not the simplest of meals. It could have been a subliminal message from the Curious George cartoon, where George's cat friend is named "Gnocchi"....or it could have been a recent Food TV show on pasta making. Anyhow, my intention was to make a brown butter sage sauce, but realized that I was out of butter (gasp) and margarine simply won't do when you are going to the effort to make your own gnocchi. Here is what I did:

For the gnocchi:
2 russett potatoes: peeled, cubed, boiled and mashed
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, lightly beaten

Mix all ingredients until it forms a dough that you can work with. Add more flour, if necessary. Roll into logs about 1/2 inch thick and then cut into small pieces, about 1/2 inch long. Roll each piece in between the tines of two forks to get the classic shape. This was tricky and awkward for me...maybe there is some video tutorial out there? Let them sit in the fridge for at least a half hour covered with a napkin. Boil in salted water for 3 minutes or until they float to the top.

For the sauce: In the blender, toss about a cup of roasted peppers from a jar with 1 cup milk, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp. parsley and salt/pepper to taste. I also added about 1/4 cup of marinara from a jar that I had in the fridge. Put half of the sauce in a baking dish, add the gnocchi, top with the remaining sauce and cover with parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes in a 350 oven. Yum!

I suppose you could do the same thing with store bought gnocchi, and it would still be awesome and much easier than this. However, if you are looking for a real homemade indulgence, there is nothing like the fluffy and fresh version.

Happy weekend everyone!

P.S. I found a video for you:

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