Potato gnocchi with tomato – garlic sauce… Inspired by – an empty fridge!

“Vegetarians are cool. All I eat are vegetarians – except for the occasional mountain lion steak.”  Ted Nugent 

“For cool vegetarians” and those, who love the genius of the simplicity in Italian cuisine! And… Referring to the quote in the title – the only vegetarians I eat are those that swim in water.
This is a huge bowl  – enough to feed 4 very hungry or 6 semi hungry people. And in our case – with a few extra bites for two labs.
The dish was made a few weekends ago. Honestly – the inspiration came from being lazy to go to the store for groceries on a dark and foggy Saturday night. My justification was that with limited ingredients the brain is forced to be more creative. The result proved it right. Another reason to go for gnocchi – it is comforting and filling and if done right – doesn’t give the feeling of heaviness.
Preparation and cooking time – around 40 minutes to 1 hour.
* 1kg potatoes
* 1 egg
* ~200 g of all purpose flour + more for dusting the work surface
* 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes / 1 kg of fresh tomatoes
* 1 onion
* 3-4 garlic cloves
* Olive oil and butter
* Herbs
* Salt, pepper
In this case fresh tomatoes were used – blanched in water with the stems removed and the skin cut-in so it could be removed easier.
Heat up some olive oil in a big pan and add some butter. Then add the cut onion rings and chopped garlic, sprinkle with salt and add herbs. Once the onion and garlic are tender, add the chopped tomatoes, cover the pan and simmer over low heat.
In the meantime scrub and boil the potatoes – about 20 minutes or until tender, drain and let sit till they cool down enough to peel the skin. Mash or grind the potatoes (whichever is easier), add the egg, flour, salt and pepper and knead the dough until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and a ball is formed. Add a bit more flour if the dough is too sticky, but don’t overdo. Roll out the dough in batches – 2-3 cm thick and cut it into 1 cm wide pieces.
Drop the gnocchi into lightly salted boiling water and cook till they float to the surface – about 1 minute. Scoop them out into a bowl. I did add a bit of butter on the gnocchi so it doesn’t stick. When all of it was cooked, that was about time the sauce was ready – pour it over gnocchi and serve.

Bon appétit!

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