Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gnocchi in oven-dried tomato sauce




If you are an Italian food lover, you are going to love this. Gnocchi is afterall one of the tastiest pastas ever! Soft pillowy potato pasta covered in a beautiful tomato- basil sauce. This literally almost melts in the mouth. I was so excited when I first thought of making gnocchi. I hadn't realised that the thought of making pasta at home could be so thrilling. Nevermind the fact that I had never attempted making any kind of pasta leave alone a potato based pasta at home. But I was pumped up. I knew I wanted to give it a try. Afterall if I am claiming to be a gourmet chef- although really really amateur, I have to be bold enough to follow through.

I have to say that I exceeded my own expectations. Throughout the process I was extremely pessimistic, not wanting to let my hopes get too high, expecting something to go wrong at any step. And I have to admit, things didn't exactly go as I planned, and my gnocchi isn't going to be on the contender list for the best looking gnocchi, but I assure you, it will definitely be in the running for one of the tastiest version! Even as I am writing this, I want to eat it all over again. I don't mind doing all the work that goes behind making gnocchi right from scratch. Not that its too much of work but it can be a little tricky. Hmmm... I think....no, I know, I'm going to be indulging in it soon again, now that I have a little experience on my side! 

The recipe requires a few simple everyday ingredients that almost all of us will have at home. Oh but be sure to have sun dried tomatoes or my home made version for the delicious sauce that will coat your gnocchi. 

Serves: 4

Complexity: ***

Time: 1 hour approx


For the Gnocchi you'll need



5 Medium potatoes unpeeled, boiled 
1 cup all purpose flour + additional for dusting
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 egg (optional)
1 tsp dried parsley (optional)
a pinch of love (make it a lot, because gnocchi demands it!)

The fun part- Making the Gnocchi:

For the dough, peel the boiled potatoes and place them on a kitchen towel or an absorbent surface because you want to dry them out as much as possible. You can even pop them in a warm oven for 3-4 minutes just so the wetness reduces. Then with a fork or a potato ricer or a grater break down your potatoes till they resemble a crumbly surface. Avoid using a masher because it tends to make the potatoes sticky, which we don't want. Incorporate the rest of the ingredients and bring together the dough. Use a wooden spoon so you don't over do it. Add flour for dusting if it starts to stick to your fingers or spoon. Be firm and gentle. 

Divide the dough into 7-8 equal portions. Roll a ball of dough like a rope about 3/4th of an inch and around 10" long. I made mine thicker (we want them to be smaller), but you can do better. Make sure your work surface is properly dusted with flour otherwise the dough will stick. Now take a sharp knife and dip it in flour before cutting the ropes into 1" width pieces. They should look like miniature versions of your pillows. Like this.



Now take a fork and press the tines on the surface of each gnocchi (this is an art that I have yet to master). Or you could use a gnocchi board that has groves on it. Or you could also leave it as it is. I should probably have left them alone, but no,  I had to make the ones with the impressions! The result wasn't quite what I had expected because it was after all my first time.



Now have a pot of boiling salted water ready. Dunk about 20 pcs of gnocchi at one time in the pot for a couple minutes. The gnocchi LETs you know when it is ready. It will float on the surface from where you can collect it in a slotted spoon so that the excess water falls off.
(Note: If your gnocchi tears up in the water pot, you need to add a little more flour)

Meanwhile, for the sauce you will need about 12-15 dried tomato pieces, 10-12 basil leaves and shredded Parmesan cheese. Put them in the grinder and blitz them intermittently. We don't want everything to turn into a pulp, but even if it does, doesn't matter because it will then coat the gnocchi more evenly. I kept mine a little chunky cum pulpy. Check for salt and add pepper/chilli if you want. I didn't, no need! 

Plate up your gnocchi, spoon a little bit of your sauce, not too heavily. You wont be able to taste the mellow flavour of the gnocchi if you put tons of sauce on it. Toss it together. Garnish with a slice of the ovendried tomato and few basil leaves. Serve hot and indulge! I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did!





3 comments:

  1. Mayurika Chakrabarti16 December 2014 at 15:19

    Hey! Where do we get Fresh basil leaves in Ahmedabad, apart from hypercity and at what temperature did you slow roast the tomatoes? I couldn't find it in your receipe

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  2. Mayurika hi!! I get them from bajrang at vastrapur or jay gujarat at ambavadi. Also slow roast the tomatoes at about 120° to 150°C and keep rotating the baking tray since u want them to roast evenly. Hope that helps!

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  3. Mayurika Chakrabarti16 December 2014 at 22:53

    Thank you so much Raveet! And I love your blog and the efforts you put for precision :-)

    ReplyDelete