Pasta has always been a staple in my pantry. Tossed with vegetables and garlic, drizzled with olive oil, and topped with any cheese I have on hand -- it makes for an inexpensive and easy weeknight meal. Nick, however, is not a fan. As a result, our mutual appreciation for gnocchi has grown over the last few years. We generally keep a package of the dehydrated stuff and a jar of pesto around for sleepy, uninspired nights.
When we are feeling more ambitious, homemade can't be beat. We've experimented with a variety of recipes that have produced mixed results. The biggest foe to our gnocchi efforts often seems to be too much moisture. If the balance isn't correct, the little pillows risk breaking apart in the boiling water or producing gummy forkfuls.
How is a cook to avoid this? We've found that recipes that call for baking, not boiling, the potatoes work best. The other secret to light and silky gnocchi is a potato ricer. You can get away without one by mashing the potatoes well, but to ensure a smooth dough, a ricer can't be beat. Elise of Simply Recipes posted a great (baked) potato gnocchi recipe last year that I would recommend trying first (though, be warned, it makes a lot).
To complete the meal, buy a crusty baguette and make this simple, rich sauce:
Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbl butter
1 C whipping cream (or 3/4 C milk and 1/4 C cream)
A few ounces Gorgonzola cheese (we use about 3 oz)
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute.
Add cream and cheese and bring to a gentle boil. Whip 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the sauce is slightly thickened.
Add salt and pepper to taste (careful, the cheese is a bit salty to begin with) and toss with the gnocchi.