Friday, May 17, 2013

Tastefuls Wonders

Once upon a time when we lived in Alaska we had the experience of having authentic Italian Gnocchi (Thank you Mr. McM!) Even though these dishes are vegetarian in nature, we meat-lovers love it too.  I am sure it would be awesome with a little Italian sausage marinara.  mmm.  Here are two recipes that are relatively easy to make (unless you get magic smoke as I did last time I made it) and make your kitchen smelt like burnt plastic all evening.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Gouda Cheese Sauce

1 pound sweet potatoes, baked until able to be pierced easily with a fork (400 for 1 hour)
6oz ricotta cheese 
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 t salt
1 3/4 cup flour

2 cups milk, warmed
1/2 t onion powder
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 T butter
3 T flour
1 cup Gouda cheese (about 4oz)

After potatoes have baked.  Cool completely.  Mash.  Incorporate cheeses, salt and flour(1/2 cup at time).   Roll into 4-20inch snakes.  Cut each snake into about 20pieces.  Place each piece on a lined-baking sheet.  Let dry out slightly.  Boil some water with 1T salt.  Drop some gnocchi into boiling water (just a few at a time in order so they don't stick together).  Cook about 5-6minutes until pasta is floating   Remove with a slotted spoon to a oven-safe serving dish.  Place in dish in a warm oven as they come out of the boiling water.  Repeat until all gnocchi are cooked.
While gnocchi are cooking make sauce.  Heat milk in microwave with garlic chunks.  In a medium saucepan melt butter with onion powder; stir in flour.  Add warmed milk.  Stir until thickened.  Remove garlic chunks and from heat.  Stir in Gouda cheese until melty and gooey. Pour over warmed gnocchi.  Serve with a fresh spinach salad....mmmm.

Basil Gnocchi (I use spinach) - these are similar to the ones we had in Alaska.
adapted from: Food Network Magazine

1 1/2 cups instant mashed potatoes
1 cup fresh basil (spinach)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 cup flour

Sauce (I have never made this sauce)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 shallots, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, diced

Mix potato flakes with 1 cup boiling water.  Let them absorb water (about 3minutes).  Puree basil with 1/4 cup cold water.  Stir in potatoes, egg and Parmesan.  Gradually fold in flour.  Divide 'dough' into 3 portions; roll into snakes.  Cut off smallish (1inch) sections.  Place on lined-cookie sheets.  Refrigerate.
For the sauce: heat oil.  Add pine nuts; toast.  Remove toasted nuts to a small plate.  Add garlic and shallots to pan; saute until soft and clear (about 3minutes or so).  Add wine; boil.  Add tomotatoes.  Cook until just soft.  Remove to a serving dish.
Cook gnocchi (as in the other recipe); dropping to boiling water a few at time until floating.  Toss in sauce.  Serve with pine nuts and extra Parmesan. 

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