So it was a lazy Sunday afternoon when I realized that the leftover turkey I had planned for dinner had been nibbled at (substantially) and I was without a plan for dinner. Then the dreaded question struck: what’s for dinner? A moment of panic ensued and then I calmed and rationally debated with myself on weather to go simple or elaborate. I think I fell somewhere in the middle though many would consider making homemade gnocchi to be anywhere near simple.
Inspiration struck. I would make gnocchi, use up the last of my fresh tomatoes, use up the last of that white wine, make good use of that last lonely leek…and grilled shrimp. Of course I had to pull out some trusty previously grilled and frozen chicken for hubby who won’t go near shrimp. Some tragic childhood experience…but I digress.
The result was a fabulous, fresh tasting and comforting dish perfect for one of the last days of summer.
For the gnocchi:
2 lbs russet potatoes, skin left on and boiled until tender. Leave them whole
1 cup flour plus some extra
1 tsp salt
1. When the potatoes are cool, remove the skins and press them through a ricer into a large bowl. Let them cool to room temperature. Do NOT try to rice cold potatoes unless you have huge biceps.
2. Dust the potatoes with the cup of flour using a fork to combine until all coated.
3. Make a well in the center of the potatoes and mix in one raw egg, slowly incorporating the potato from the sides of the bowl until all is mixed.
4. Turn the gnocchi out onto a floured surface and gently knead the dough slowly adding flour until it no longer sticks to the board or your hands.
5. Divide the dough into 4 sections and roll out each section into a long log. Cut the logs into 1/2 inch sections then continue until all the dough is cut.
6. Working with one at a time, using your thumb or finger press the gnocchi down along a cheese grater or other gadget to put ridges or holes into them.
7. When all are prepped, working in batches slowly add them to salted gently boiling water. Remove them from the water as they rise to the top and drop them into a large frying pan with 2 tbsp of melted butter in it. This is so they don’t stick. Lightly brown them if you like, they’re yummier that way! serve with the sauce.
For the Sauce:
1 leek, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 lb fresh tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tiny pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1. Clean the leek and slice into rounds and cook the sliced shallot, leek and garlic in the butter until softened.
2. Add the tomatoes and white wine and simmer until the tomatoes have dissolved, leaving some chunks behind is great for texture. Let simmer about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.
3. Add the balsamic and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped parsley and basil before serving.
4. Serve on top of the hot gnocchi with grilled shrimp or sliced grilled chicken.