Published on November 18th, 2013 | by Gareth2
Gnocchi with tomato and balsamic sauce
As part of a recent work team day, I participated in a Myers Briggs psychometric test. It basically involves answering a series of questions that are designed to reveal your psychological preferences or ‘type’. By having a better understanding of your colleague’s personality and how they like to work, you can improve how you work with them. I self assessed myself (part of the exercise), as an introvert. Most of the people in the introvert group felt otherwise. In truth, I’m almost equal introvert and extrovert. I’m a fence sitter.
And this is how I feel about today’s recipe, gnocchi. It’s the ‘other’ Italian carb, feels like it should be a type of pasta even though it isn’t, it bathes in the same sauces, gets presented in the same tableware. Neither veg nor pasta, gnocchi is a fence sitter too. But there is one key difference, it’s much easier to make than pasta.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1hr 10 minutes (includes time to bake the potato)
- 600g floury potatoes
- 1 egg yolk
- 100g plain flour – sifted
- 1 tbls. Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 1 kg plum/roma tomatoes – seeds and skin removed (optional), roughly chopped
- 1 can tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 shallot – finely chopped
- 2 clove garlic – crushed and finely chopped
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 rasher of streaky bacon or prosciutto – roughly chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and cook the bacon until it begins to brown.
- Reduce the heat and add the garlic and shallot. Cook for a minute or two. Do not allow to brown.
- Add the bay leaf, tomato paste, sugar, fresh tomatoes and canned tomatoes.
- Bring to the boil then lower temperature, simmer and reduce the sauce for 40 minutes.
- Wash and bake the potatoes for 1 hour at 180 degrees’. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
- Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the white potato, this should give you about 300-400g of potato. Discard the skins.
- Ideally put the potatoes through a ricer or a medium sieve. Mashing tends to make for heavier gnocchi. If you don’t have a ricer or suitable sieve, use a fork.
- Stir the egg, Parmesan, flour and seasoning into the hot potato.
- This will form into dough; add a tablespoon or two of flour if it’s still too wet.
- Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a sausage shape.
- Cut into 2cm pieces and make an indent in the middle of each piece with your finger. Alternatively, roll each gnocchi piece, down the inside curve of a fork. This will create ridges for the sauce to stick to.
- Add the gnocchi, 20-30 pieces at a time, to the boiling water.
- When the float, it means they are cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and allow to drain in a colander.
- Add to a bowl and spoon the tomato sauce over.
- Garnish with chilli flakes, fresh basil leaves, Parmesan or pesto.
Whats your favourite, pasta or gnocchi? And do you ever feel like you sit on the fence?