By Cassandrea Gascoyne, Chews and Brews, Spruce Grove, Alberta
Gnocchi has always been one of my favourite dishes. The first time my husband and I tried making it at home, it was on a winter night that was -30ºC, so now making and eating gnocchi always makes me feel warm and cozy. This recipe is a little different than traditional gnocchi in that it is made with a light tomato broth instead of a rich cream or cheese sauce.
When we were making the broth that cold winter night, the kitchen windows fogged up from the steam. The whole house smelled of tomatoes and garlic. The broth is light and complements the gnocchi well.
As we ate our heaping bowl of gnocchi and broth I can remember thinking this is the perfect winter dish! The best part is that the gnocchi and broth are freezable, so you can come home from work during a blizzard and know you can look forward to a warm bowl of comfort food that will be ready in just a few minutes.
Cassandrea Gascoyne loves to cook and eat, and now has a passion for writing about and sharing everything she cooks and eats. She also enjoys wine, craft beers and good coffee. When she isn’t eating or drinking you can find her camping and hiking with her husband in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Her kids have four legs and are fuzzy and are named Bob and Sam.
If you like a traditional-looking gnocchi, use a gnocchi board or gnocchi stripper. Garlic toast compliments the dish and soaks up leftover broth!
For the broth: In large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Saute until vegetables have softened and onions and garlic have started to brown.
Pour in wine and stir, scraping up browned bits. Cook until wine has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in chicken stock, tomato puree and basil; reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the gnocchi, bake potatoes in 400ºF oven for 1 hour or until easily pierced with a knife. Let cool.
Peel cooled potatoes and grate into large bowl. (Or use a potato ricer, instead of grating.)
Stir in beaten egg and salt. Add all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, ½ cup (125 mL) at a time, mixing until the mixture forms a soft dough that isn’t too sticky.
Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for about 4 minutes. Divide dough into quarters; roll each quarter into a long rope, about ¾ inch (2 cm) in diameter. Cut rope into ¾-inch (2 cm) pieces.
Place gnocchi on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. If desired, freeze gnocchi on tray, then transfer into a freezer bag.
To cook the gnocchi, drop into a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook the gnocchi about 2 minutes, or until they float. (If cooking from frozen, let them cook for 3 to 4 minutes.) Drain.
To serve, put 10 to 12 cooked gnocchi in each bowl and top with hot tomato broth. Garnish with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese.