The response was smaller for the Week #2 contest, but I’m still excited about the two entries I received. Let’s get right to it.
As a refresher, the challenge was to choose a cuisine with which you are familiar and create something. On the flip side, you could make something within another cuisine that you’ve just never tried before. I took that tack for my own creation.
I present to you Homemade Gnocchi with Arrabbiata Sauce.
- 1 medium baking potato
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 15-oz can diced tomato (I like the Muir Glen ones with no added salt)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Dash of red wine or red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
First up: bake the potato. I stab mine several times and cook it in a 450° F oven for about 45 minutes. Let it cool until you won’t burn your beautiful fingers off handling it. Cut it in half and run the innards through a potato ricer. I don’t have one, so I just scraped the insides stuff out with a fork and then fluffed it up. Put them aside in a small bowl.
In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, and parsley. Add the potato until a dough forms that isn’t too sticky. Add bits of flour if necessary. Prepare a work surface with flour. Pull the dough apart into two to four pieces. Using your hands, roll one piece at a time into a long snake, about half an inch thick. Cut the snake into 3/4-inch chunks. I then rolled mine slightly into misshapen ovals with floured hands. Repeat until you have a bowl full of gnocchi.
Now you get to multitask. Heat water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. While the water warms up, heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper for about 30 seconds, then dump in the diced tomatoes, the tomato paste, and wine or vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes. While the sauce is cooking and once the water boils, throw in the gnocchi. Supposedly they float when they’re done, but it doesn’t always happen. If they are still hanging out at the bottom of the pot after three minutes, give the water a quick swirl. They should start to rise. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and drain. When the sauce is done, just serve it atop the gnocchi.
It’s not polite to brag, but oh my freaking goodness, this meal was incredible. I expected homemade gnocchi to be much more difficult, but it was actually pretty easy and a whole lot of fun. It totally melted in my mouth, too. My taller half – wisely – declared it the best gnocchi he’s ever had. Good boy. I loved the sauce as well. It’s very spicy, as it should be, but if that’s not your thing, halve the crushed red pepper and the garlic. The only thing I would do differently next time is use less oil. I love olive oil, but the dish would have been just as good with less fat.
And now let’s see what you came up with.
Once again, I’m incredibly thrilled and impressed that I received submissions from non-vegans. Neither Tara nor Kate are even vegetarian, so big bonus points for them.
Because I only received two submissions, and both are from local gals, I’ve decided to name them both winners. Ladies, I’ll work out a way to get some goodies to you. How’s about Friday?
I’m off to ballet, but expect the Week #3 contest announcement later on tonight. Thanks again to Kate and Tara!