In the two years since I started this blog, I’ve never published a recipe including gnocchi. The truth is that I don’t really make them that often and this is because we usually forget to visit farmer markets or growers, to get the right potatoes. This is, by the way, one of the secrets for obtaining great gnocchi: floury potatoes, which are delicious. We recently got some from someone who grows them in his country house, so we decided to try these gnocchi with cherry tomato sauce and basil, a true Italian classic.
Another really important thing to bear in mind: you have to use old potato or if this is not possible, red or purple-skinned potatoes. Other potatoes are not suitable for gnocchi. Last, but just as important, the best trick for great gnocchi: the potatoes must be cooked in an oven. There are recipes where the potatoes are boiled with their skin, to prevent them from absorbing moisture, but they always absorb some, and we want them very dry, so can we can work better with the dough.
About the sauce: the one I am making today is very typical in Italy, but gnocchi are also frequently accompanied by pesto, seafood, pumpkin or gorgonzola cheese. I sincerely hope you like this version and that you enjoy cooking them and especially eating these gnocchi with cherry tomato sauce and basil!
INGREDIENTS for 4 people
1 kg (35 oz) red-skinned or old potato
250 gr (2 cups) weak flour
140 gr (1 ⅓ cups) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
140 gr (⅔ cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
Salt to taste
A pinch of nutmeg
For the sauce
300 gr (2 cups) cherry tomatoes
An unpeeled clove of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Wrap potatoes individually with salt in aluminum foil and bake them at 195ºC (385ºF) for 45 minutes. While the potatoes bake, make the sauce. Put a little olive oil in a pot or big pan, with the cherry tomatoes. Crush some of them to create a sauce. Add a clove of unpeeled garlic and basil leaves to taste. Cook this at low heat for about 20 minutes.
Open the oven, remove the foil and very carefully peel the potatoes. Now, use a potato press to produce a puree, and then mix the puree with the egg yolks, the Parmigiano, the flour, the butter, the salt, and pepper. Create a ball and divide it into several parts. Take each of those and create cylinders of about 1,5 cm (0,6 inch) in diameter. Cut 2 cm (0,8 inch) bits and use a Riga Gnocchi board or a fork to push each piece and create mark lines in the dough. Place each gnocco in a tray with some flour, so that they dry completely. When you have finished, boil some water with a lot of salt and cook the gnocchi. They will be ready in a couple of minutes when they rise to the surface.
Use a skimmer to remove the gnocchi from the water and put them in the pot or pan containing the sauce. Miix carefully.
Serve and add some grated cheese and basil over them. Buon appetito!
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