Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gnocchi and Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Ever since I read about this simple tomato sauce one of the blogs, maybe it was smitten kitchen,
I have been hankering after this sauce. Besides my family's Sunday sauce, I haven't been able to enjoy any of the tomato sauces, I've been making in the last few years. This all changed tonight. Sadly it is probably a little too fattening to be be something I'll make often but it's just delicious. Only three ingredients! I'm not going to gush because it seems to that this particular sauce has been blogged to death from what I understand but if you haven't seen it or tried it, you must!

Enough exclamation points for now. Let me talk about the gnocchi. I've made prepackaged gnocchi before, which is very hard. Heavy and sits like a rock in the stomach. I've made gnocchi from instant potatoes which have turned out quite well in the past. After talking with my (Italian) grandmother, it turns out that she almost always used instant potatoes to make her gnocchi.

The following recipe for gnocchi is 2 ingredients and very, very soft and light. From what I have read, that's the goal for gnocchi. The best gnocchi I have ever eaten however, were on special at Aldo's in Baltimore's Little Italy. If you can't travel there to eat them, or perhaps if they aren't on special the day that you, you can make this recipe instead.


1 russet potato
1/2 cup flour, plus a little for rolling out the dough

  1. Peel the potato and cut it into large chunks.
  2. Boil the chunks of potato in water for 20 minutes.
  3. Drain thoroughly and put potatoes through a food mill (or ricer).
  4. Cool potatoes a little and add flour 1/4 cup at a time, mixing the dough together. Be careful not to over mix the dough.
  5. Roll the dough into approximately 1/2" wide ropes.
  6. Cut eat rope into 1" long pieces and roll each piece over the back of fork tines to create ridges for the sauce.
  7. Bring a pot of water to boil and lower gnocchi in using a slotted spoon. Be careful not to break up the gnocchi.
  8. Gnocchi are finished when they rise to the top.
  9. Top with sauce and cheese.
Next time I think I would add a little salt to the dough. No need for egg however.

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
(Adapted from smitten kitchen's adaptation of Marcela Hazan’s recipe from Essentials of Italian Cooking)

1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt, to taste
  1. Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in pot over medium heat.
  2. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes.
  3. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.
  4. Remove from heat, discard the onion, add salt to taste and serve over pasta.

1 comment:

  1. Gnocchi one of my favorite staples. That sauce looks so easy and yet so tasty.