Traditional Family Favorite Dishes
Gnocchi was one of my favorite traditional family meals growing up and an amazing dish that I remember fondly as a child. It is a very simple dish to make with practice. Gnocchi are potato dumplings that are cooked like pasta. Gnocchi should be very light and delicate. If they are heavy, you’ve used too much flour. In this recipe, you’ll want to slowly add the flour a little at a time. This recipe calls for three simple ingredients: potato, egg and flour. It’s a very budget-friendly meal to make for your family. Serve it with your favorite sauce. Today, I made a Roasted Pepper and Spinach Sauce. This is the first time I created this sauce and it came out rich and creamy.
Gnocchi with Roasted Pepper and Spinach Sauce
8 Russett potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup flour
Fill a large pot with cold water. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Add potatoes.
Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender throughout, approximately 45 minutes or easily pierced with a fork. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon. Do not get rid of the water, you will use it later when cooking the Gnocchi. Let potatoes cool.
Once cooled, spoon the potatoes into a potato press. I happen to have a great potato press kitchen tool that not only lets me press potatoes, it also is a cookie press. Very easy to use. (You can visit my link to the Kitchen Store on my homepage for this perfect kitchen tool.) Press potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Using a spatula or simply your fingers, press the potatoes lightly together.
Whisk the egg and add to potatoes. Add flour a little at a time. Using a spatula, incorporate the ingredients together making sure you scrap the bottom and sides of bowl have flour thouroughly incorporated and a light dough consistency. The dough should be moist, but not sticky.
Taking a little at a time, roll out into a log shape. Cut with a serated knife at an angle.
Place on a cookie sheet. You can shape the Gnocchi with a fork, your thumb or simply leave them as they are. Cover with plastic wrap if you are not using right away.
Reheat the water from boiling the potatoes and bring to a boil. Drop Gnocchi in boiling water in batches.
I usually cook 20 at a time. They are done when they float to the top.
I usually give them one quick light stir and remove them with a slotted spoon onto a serving dish or bowl, making sure all the water is drained off. Soggy Gnocchi doesn’t taste very good. Continue to cook the Gnocchi until all are cooked.
Add your favorite sauce or I chose a new creation; Roasted Pepper and Spinach sauce (see recipe below) to individual dishes or bowls of Gnocchi. It should be a light dressing of sauce, you want to be able to taste the Gnocchi and not just the sauce. Grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over the top and serve.
Roasted Pepper and Spinach Sauce
I found this great jar of Zergut Peppertizer, Roasted pepper appetizer sauce I really had no use for other than serving over cream cheese. It can be used as an appetizer dip or side dish. It’s made primarily with peppers, eggplant, onion, and hot peppers.
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup Zercut Peppertizer sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chopped frozen spinach, drained
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 1/2 cups half n half (I improvised as I ran out of heavy cream)
1 cup milk
Pinch of parsley
Pinch of Oregano
Salt and pepper
In a large pot add butter and olive oil.
Add onion. Saute 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and Zercut Peppertizer sauce. Mix together until incorporated. Simmer on Low-Medium heat so your sauce is not popping out everywhere.
Add spinach and garlic. Give it a quick stir and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add half n half or heavy cream and milk. Stir in spices. Taste before you add the salt and pepper and adjust measurement to your tasting.
It’s always a good idea to taste as you go. Cook for another 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Spoon over Gnocchi.
I’ve made gnocchi many times and I love the different variations. Some make with Ricotta cheese and Parmesan with a lighter tomato sauce or even a pesto sauce or a brown butter sauce are fabulous. Enjoy your traditional family favorites.
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