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Verses from my Kitchen: Homemade Gnocchi with Blush Sauce

April 5, 2011

Homemade Gnocchi with Blush Sauce

Sunday night settles in on us slowly. It`s a day that feels like a visit from family, relaxed and comfortable and unassuming. It's the one day of the week that has its own identity and mood. The stress of the week slowly trickles off our shoulders with each passing hour as we breathe in and breathe out. Exhale and escape. I'm reminded of the freedom that awaits me whenever I greet the light of the day. 

We wake up a bit later than the other days and I fight back the morning as the covers hold on tighter. I can see my wife dreaming, the beautiful sunshine splashing on her face. It`s really the perfect way to start the morning. Late, relaxed and without plans pulling at us. I need just a shot of coffee to help get the day started.

We settle in and lean back and unwind knowing that Sunday is meant for family and staying around the house. That's our plan usually. I make breakfast as my wife edits away upstairs. We lose track of each other temporarily as the time dances around the clock. Hours lost, but we`re not paying attention. We`re stuck in the moment doing household things. And working on jobs around the house. Fun jobs, the real stuff is saved for weekdays.

 Let me take this story back to a time long before this day ever started. I`d have to glue back the pages on long-since-tossed-away calendar days to remember the first time it happened. A couple years ago probably. It feels like yesterday.

My wife suggested we head out for dinner one mid-week evening. We went to an Italian place in town and as I perused the menu my wife shot out with glee, "I know what I`m having. Gnocchi!" It was settled faster than the time it takes to turn on a light. There is one certainty when my wife and I head out to dinner at a place that serves Italian, she's having gnocchi. She loves the stuff.

That was then. Now? No different.

This particular Sunday was lazier than most. It felt like the comfy chair you grew up on and never wanted to get up from. The afternoon rolled around faster than usual. Sunday's usual slow down and flirt for a bit. Not this day. So I asked my wife what she wanted for our Sunday dinner. I knew what was coming next and caught the words leaving my lips.

Gnocchi. Homemade Gnocchi with Blush Sauce, Basil and Parmesan to be exact. It was really the perfect day for it. Not too cold, not too warm. We had a late lunch so settled on these light, pillowy bits of heaven. When made right, this dish can transform the way you make food. Simple and easy and fresh. That`s all you need to remember. We tend to over complicate things.

Me too.

I got right to work with the potatoes and before long I was kneading and rolling out the mixture into long ropes that resembled the skip ropes I first saw as a wee kid. I cut them down to size and rolled them off my fork. It`s not hard, but it`s not easy. The hardest part is probably making the proper shape with the fork lines and indentation so the sauce has somewhere to hide and stick.

It`s worth any amount of prep you need to do. One Sunday dinner like this will have your house happy, rejuvenated and ready for whatever the week can give you. Bring it on.

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!

Homemade Gnocchi with Blush Sauce

The Goods:
  • 6 large Russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (you might need more)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced basil (garnish)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (garnish)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pierce potatoes all over and bake until soft, about 1 hour or so. Don`t cool. Handle with a tea towel and peel the skin from the potatoes. Scoop hot flesh into a potato ricer or food mill and rice the potatoes onto a rimmed baking sheet. Spread out gently to cool a bit, about 10 minutes. Not quite room temperature.
  2. Transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl and add in the Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Create a small well and add in the yolk and mix until moist throughout. Gradually add in the flour and spill out to a lightly floured work surface. Knead until blended. Add more flour by the tablespoon if too moist and sticky. Form a ball.
  3.  Cut the ball into 4 or 5 pieces. Roll out each piece between both hands on floured work surface and into a 2cm rope. Cut each rope about 2cm apart. Roll down a fork to form indentations and shape.
  4. Working through the batch a bit at a time, cook gnocchi in a large pot of water that`s salted generously. Wait until they rise to the surface and cook one minute longer.Remove carefully with a slotted spoon, transferring to a bowl. Add to the pan of sauce and coat the gnocchi and serve.
  5. Serves 4 dinner portions.

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At April 5, 2011 at 10:37 AM , Blogger A Thought For Food said...

Despite my love for it, I don't immediately go for gnocchi when I see it on a menu. So many times, it's tough and chewy. But when it's good... oh man, it can knock your socks off.

This looks terrific and just the way I like it prepared.

At April 5, 2011 at 12:11 PM , Anonymous Fresh and Foodie said...

This looks fantastic and I love the simplicity of the sauce. Very nice. I've never tried making my own gnocchi, but now I want to!

At April 5, 2011 at 1:01 PM , Blogger Maria said...

This meal looks perfect!

At April 5, 2011 at 1:56 PM , Anonymous Christina said...

This looks like a perfect Sunday supper!

At April 5, 2011 at 2:06 PM , Anonymous RavieNomNoms said...

I really wanna try to make this sometime, I haven't tried to make these before and I really want to.

At April 5, 2011 at 3:18 PM , Anonymous Medifast Meals said...

The empty plate says it all.

At April 5, 2011 at 3:48 PM , Anonymous Paula - bell'alimento said...


At April 5, 2011 at 5:24 PM , Blogger Lucy said...

I've never had gnocchi - I am putting this on my list to try this week!

At April 5, 2011 at 6:26 PM , Blogger Wilde in the Kitchen said...

This sauce of yours looks amazing. Beautiful photographs too!

At April 5, 2011 at 10:22 PM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Thanks Brian. I know what you mean! The same applies with most homemade pasta. It's touch and go.

Fresh and Foodie, thank you! You should give it a shot. You'll be surprised at the results!

Thanks Maria! It was for us!

Christina, exactly like we felt. Thanks!

Ravie, go for it!

Thanks Medifast! I love empty plates!

Thank you Paula. You would know!

Lucy, let me know if you try it. I hope you like it as much as we do!

Vicky, thank you!! Much appreciated!

At April 5, 2011 at 11:37 PM , Anonymous Christy said...

I'd love to hear the blush sauce recipe!

At April 6, 2011 at 4:35 AM , Blogger sara said...

but but but... recipe for the sauce?

At April 6, 2011 at 12:28 PM , Blogger nancyanolan said...

Blush Sauce recipe please... = )

At April 6, 2011 at 12:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful looking dish. I adore gnocchi, tried a lot of sauces, love your idea:)

At April 6, 2011 at 9:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! Blush Sauce recipe, please, please.

At April 9, 2011 at 6:38 PM , Blogger Jason said...

Hi, where's the Blush sauce recipe? Looks delicious.

At April 10, 2011 at 12:08 PM , Blogger Diethood.com said...

I love those photos... I'm practically drooling! Beautiful gnocchi!

At April 10, 2011 at 10:56 PM , Anonymous Tiffany said...

Gorgeous sauce!

At April 12, 2011 at 12:34 AM , Blogger JACQUELYN said...

this looks awesome, I make homemade gnocci all the time, worth every minute, heaven but the blush sauce looks interested, are you posting that recipe please, please?

At April 24, 2011 at 11:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks great, but can you please post the recipe for the sauce? Thanks!

At April 25, 2011 at 1:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same ? as everyone, would love to know about the sauce. Thanks!!

At April 26, 2011 at 7:42 PM , Anonymous Caroline said...

Where is the sauce recipe?


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