Saturday, February 28, 2009


I woke up this morning with an irresistible urge to make gnocchi ..I have to say that when someone asks me what is my favorite food to make .. gnocchi always comes to mind .. not only do I love to make it but I love to eat it ... drizzled in butter and sprinkles with locatelli cheese or covered lightly with a vodka blush sauce ... coated with a rich Gorgonzola sauce ... any way I can get it !!
I am a cook by nature ~far more interested in loose measurements & creative substitutions than following a strict recipe . Gnocchi fits that description ...

There is something about having my hands in flour that must come from generations of Italian in my family making and rolling pasta.

I love gnocchi ~ a light cloud of pasta these little pillows are simmered in water till they float to the top and then smothered with sauce . When made correctly these little pasta dumplings are a heavenly experience
Making gnocchi equals my lust for eating them .

Fresh ricotta cheese, creamy & light is the main ingredient for ricotta gnocchi. It is lightly mixed with a wonderful and fragrant grated locatelli romano cheese, a little bit of flour& a egg to bind it and a sprinkle of salt . The dough is mixed gently and laid to rest under a kitchen towel .My mother used a kitchen towel to cover anything she was cooking .. .. as a little girl I would venture into the kitchen to peek under the towels to see what was for dinner !

After about 30 minutes rest the gnocchi is ready to roll .. this is my favorite part! I sprinkle some flour on a large wooden pasta board .. one that has been handed down to me by the generations of women in my family .. this pasta board has been the workhorse of many pasta dishes .. from 'homemades " to tiny and delicate raviolis .

I flour my hands & begin.. that age old ritual of rolling gnocchi~ first a ball is rolled into a thin rope , with a light touch I cut the rope into small 1/2 inch pieces~ now the fun part begins ~ each piece is rolled gently towards me with 2 fingers and a tug ~ the pasta wraps around my fingers and slips to the end of the board .. where a nice little pile is already forming .

As a novice I did this motion slow and sure but now I am a pro .. gnocchi are flying everywhere .. I take pride in my gnocchi and the sureness of my fingers .. it is a motion of practice and maybe a little heritage to boot !

As my pile of gnocchi grows I bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil .. an old pot .. burnt on the bottom , one handle missing .. it is a treasured possession .. this too has been passed down through generations of women in my family.

The gnocchi are tossed into the boiling water and after a few minutes start to gently float to the top .. I take them out with a slotted spoon and smother them with a delicious blush sauce .. it is a feast not only for the taste buds but for all the senses .. .. a celebration of life !

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