Having Italian heritage I'm proud that I can make sauce and gnocchi from scratch, but I learned it on my own from cookbooks, not from family. Gnocchi is an Italian potato dumpling. If you have made noodles, this is very similar. My daughter prefers these sprinkled with just grated parmesan cheese and she could eat almost a whole box of the storebought kind by herself. It's handy that I know this recipe.
Mixing the dough is not hard but the slightly time-consuming part is forming the gnocchi into rounded shapes and marking them with the tines of a fork by pressing them against the fork with their cut ends out.
I work ahead by cooking extra potatoes and mashing them without butter or milk or seasoning when I make mashed potatoes for one dinner. Then I have them for the next day when I start to make gnocchi. To cook them, you drop them in boiling water. They are done when they float to the top.
4 cups mashed potatoes (without added milk and butter)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 egg yolk
4 teaspoons olive oil
3 quarts water
In a large bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, flour and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, yolk and olive oil; add to potato mixture. Turn onto a heavily floured surface; knead for 3-5 minutes or until smooth. Divide into fourths. On a floured surface, roll each portion into 3/4-in.-thick ropes; cut into 1-inch pieces.
In a Dutch oven, bring water to a boil. Cook gnocchi in batches for 45-60 seconds or until they rise to the surface. Remove with a strainer. Serve spaghetti sauce over gnocchi; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 8 servings.
Nutrition Facts: 3/4 cup gnocchi with 1/3 cup sauce equals 283 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 82 mg cholesterol, 934 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 9 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.
Originally published as Potato Gnocchi in Light & Tasty April/May 2006, p49
MINI CHICKEN SAUSAGE MEATBALLS WITH GNOCCHI AND TOMATO SAUCE
by Rachael Ray "365 No Repeats"
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1 tablespoon grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)
1 teaspoon, 1/3 palm full, fennel seeds
1/4 cup tender sun-dried tomatoes (available in pouches or tubs in produce section)
1 cup, 20 leaves fresh basil, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some to drizzle
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, eyeball it in your palm
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 pound gnocchi, potato dumplings, homemade or from pasta or refrigerated or frozen foods aisles of supermarket
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, 1/2 cup – a couple of handfuls, plus some to pass at table
Crusty bread, to pass at table
Bring a pot of water to a boil for gnocchi. Salt boiling water but wait a while to drop in gnocchi.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place chicken in a medium bowl with grill seasoning and fennel seeds. Pile sun-dried tomatoes on top of each other in small stacks then slice into thin strips. Coarsely chop the thin strips and add to bowl. Stack the basil leaves together then roll them up into a log. Shred the basil by thinly slicing the log. Add the half the basil to the bowl. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the bowl. Mix chicken together, roll into mini balls, 1 1/2 inches across, and arrange on a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 to12 minutes or until firm and lightly golden.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. To the hot skillet, add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan then the garlic, onions and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and season sauce with salt and pepper.
Drop gnocchi in boiling water and cook 5 minutes or to package directions.
Stir basil into sauce to wilt it. Drain gnocchi and arrange on a platter. Remove balls from oven and add to gnocchi, equally distributing them. Sprinkle cheese over meatballs and hot dumplings then top with sauce by carefully ladling it all over and around the platter. Gently toss to combine then serve with crusty bread.
Nutrition Facts: 2/3 cup equals 232 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 68 mg cholesterol, 373 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 6 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1-1/2 fat.
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
Cook butter over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add garlic and sage; cook for 1-2 minutes or until butter and garlic are golden brown. Add gnocchi; stir gently to coat. Yield: 4 servings. Source: Taste of Home