Potato Gnocchi with Tomato-Mint Sauce

Total Time: A bit over 3 hours, but I doubled it. It would have taken much less time if I was doing a single batch, between peeling the potatoes, shaping the gnocchi, and cooking the gnocchi.

Source: Cook’s Illustrated’s website

Servings: Probably 4 per recipe. Maaaybe 5 if you’re not as absolutely in love with gnocchi as we are.

The stars aligned over this one. I was talking to a friend about the cooking classes she’s been doing with her daughter and she mentioned pasta, so I decided that I needed to make pasta while I was off this week. Then, my mother-in-law got me a gnocchi board for Christmas. Then, russet potatoes went on sale for $0.88 for a five-pound bag at Safeway. I knew it was meant to be. I needed to make gnocchi. So I went to the Cook’s Illustrated website and found what is probably the only recipe for homemade gnocchi that I hadn’t made yet.

The process for the gnocchi itself was about the same as it always is: bake potatoes, peel and rice potatoes, mix in flour and salt, shape gnocchi, cook a small amount of gnocchi at a time until it floats, repeat. The shaping of the gnocchi was vastly improved (in regards to effort and beauty) by the gnocchi board. The cooking process was impeded by the fact that I decided to flour some of the gnocchi so I could pile it up on the baking sheet without it sticking together, but then the flour came off in the water and the water got thick, thus keeping the gnocchi from floating as readily. So I boiled water in my kettle and did periodic water swaps to keep it from turning into goop without making it cool down too much, and that seemed to work. It’d be better not to flour the gnocchi in the first place, though.

The sauce was super easy. Chop carrots, celery, and onion, cook them in olive oil, dump in a can of tomatoes and some mint leaves and simmer for half an hour before pureeing. I used an immersion blender for the pureeing, and it worked well.

The final product was wonderful. It was decadent without being super duper rich. The mint was just present enough to be interesting without it being overwhelming. It was super filling. I have a deep, abiding love for gnocchi in any form, and this was a nice, new option. Brown butter and sage may still be the ultimate winner, but a tomato sauce makes it feel more like a meal.

And the rosemary focaccia was pretty great, too. I may have wiped the bowl with it.

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