Potato Gnocchi

January 22, 2009

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Potato dough is surprisingly easy to stir together … and gnocchi are the perfect cold weather comfort food. Serve these with everything from marinara sauce to pesto to fine olive oil and feta.

1 pound new potatoes
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (2 ounces/50 grams)
1 tablespoon corn meal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup tomato-basil sauce
grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley for garnish

In a saucepan or stockpot, cover the potatoes with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, cool, and peel the potatoes and put through a ricer on the smallest disk. Add the egg, flour, cornmeal, and oil and stir with a pastry fork until mixture forms a ball. Turn onto a floured surface and with a bench knife cut into quarters. Roll each quarter into a snake 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut into half-inch disks. In a large stockpot or chef’s pan, bring to a boil 3 quarts of salted water. One by one, drop the gnocchi into the water. When all rise to the top, skim them off and place in a warm bowl. Toss immediately with tomato sauce and serve sprinkled with Parmesan and parsley.
Makes 2 to 3 servings.


Lasagna with Italian Sausage

October 21, 2007

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Ah lasagna! Now that’s amore! HARRY

1 3/4 cups marinara sauce [see recipe below]
4 1/2 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles
2 large hot Italian sausages
4 ounces log goat’s cheese, crumbled
4 ounces fresh buffalo mozzarella or regular mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly grease an 8 by 8-inch baking dish. Prepare the marinara sauce below or use a commercial brand. Split the sausage casings, crumble the meat into a hot skillet, and sauté until browned. Layer the sauce, noodles, sausage, goat’s cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil, ending with noodles topped with a thin layer of sauce and Parmesan. In a length of tin foil 8 inches longer than the baking dish, make a 1-inch crease side-to-side across the center. Cover the lasagna tightly with the foil, pulling the crease apart to create a tent. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until browned.
Makes 4 servings.

Marinara Sauce

1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes in purée
1 large onion, peeled and halved
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 (4-inch) sprigs fresh oregano
3 (3-inch) sprigs fresh thyme

In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes, onion, bay leaf, oil, oregano, and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 30 to 40 minutes until slightly thickened. Discard the bay leaf, oregano, and thyme. Remove the onion, slice thinly, sauté in a medium skillet until very tender, and return to the sauce.
Makes 1 3/4 cups.

NOTE: If you can’t find tomatoes in puree, use tomatoes in juice, drained with the juice reserved to add as needed.