After years of dealing with well-meaning relatives and restaurants with no veggie-friendly options but salad and gigantic Portobello mushrooms, Rebecca is excited to share her hard-won recipes, nutrition tips and restaurant dining advice with both fellow herbivorous and omnivorous Central PAers alike.
As the holidays were approaching I decided to look through my cookbooks to find a few recipes that might make festive dinners. I found a simple recipe that a friend had contributed to the collection of recipes given to us at our wedding: gnocchi. I love gnocchi and have often eaten it at restaurants smothered in a creamy vodka sauce. I had no idea it was so simple to make, and now we'll probably be having it for dinner at least once a week.
That's it! You just boil the potatoes and mash them up in a medium-sized bowl. Add salt to taste and mix it into the potatoes. Then add the flour on top, as a heat buffer between the hot potatoes and the egg, and crack the egg on top. Gently fold everything together until the dough is malleable but not sticking to your hands (this may require slight adjustments with the amount of flour). Roll sections of the dough into long snakes, about 1-inch wide, and cut it into small sections (about 0.5-inch wide). Drop these into a pot of boiling water. I usually drop about 1/4 of the dough into the pot at a time so that the gnocchi have plenty of room to move around and not get stuck to one another. As soon as they float, immediately scoop them out of the pot with a slotted spoon, and add more into the pot.
In the picture above I have the gnocchi mixed with a tomato/basil sauce, some olive oil, pepper, and parmesan cheese. I also added corn, because sometimes I really enjoy the crispy sweetness of corn with the chewy savory pasta. The beauty of gnocchi, though, is that you can do whatever you want to with it. I've also tried mixing my favorite pasta sauce with about 1/4 cup of cream cheese, garlic, and basil, which makes a nice and tangy, creamy sauce.
In the coming weeks I'm planning to try using whole wheat or mixed-wheat flours in the recipe, as well as sweet potatoes instead of white. I'm guessing the ratio of flour to potato will have to change in order to get the right consistency, but the nice thing about this recipe is, it's not that hard to make adjustments to only three ingredients!
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