Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gnocchi with Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce

Dishes like this are very typical, very traditional Italian staples.  We eat it as a meal, however, in Italy this would be one of the first courses, before a main entree with meat and vegetables.   I wanted to make something quick, easy, and satisfying enough for my boys to not look at me like I'm trying to starve them.  Pasta sounded good, but kinda boring so I decided to get some gnocchi, which are little dumpling like balls of potato pasta dough that get boiled just like pasta, until they are the perfect consistency. 
I wanted to make a meatless meal tonight as well, so I figured a good tomato sauce would be nice, and since I was at Trader Joes, I could have gotten a pretty decent sauce in a jar from their shelves and everyone would have been happy, however, I decided to make my own sauce with two baskets of mini heirloom tomatoes I got on Sunday at the farmer's market.  Oh!  I also had a huge bunch of fresh basil that was gonna go bad in another day or so if I didn't use it, so homemade sauce it was!!!

 The gnocchi I used were found in my local Trader Joes in the pasta section of the store.  Most grocery stores will now carry gnocchi.  If you can't find it easily, ask, perhaps you're looking in the wrong place.  Sometimes they'll have it in a refrigerated section with fresh pastas. 

Believe it or not that's pretty much it, you'll need a large pot of boiling water, some garlic, and some cheese for the top, and that's it.  Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce in under an hour!

THE PLAYERS: (your grocery list)

Gnocchi (two packages of gnocchi will make enough to feed four to five people.  find it in your grocery's pasta section.) Tomatoes (I used mini heirloom tomatoes, cut in half, which provided a very nice variety of color in the sauce. You can also use regular size heirlooms, or organic tomatoes on the vine.  You'll need a total of 4 cups of cut up tomato.)  Fresh Basil (in your produce section.  You'll need about 1/2 cup cut in a chiffonade.) Garlic (you'll need 4 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed.)Red Wine (I used a bordeaux.  You can use any good quality  dark red wine.)


Chop your tomatoes into 1 inch chunks.  If you're using mini ones like we did, cut them in half, leaving the very small ones whole.
Add about 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a large Saute pan and heat on high until oil is sizzling. 
Add tomatoes.  

The tomatoes will go through a couple of stages while they cook.  First the juices will escape into the pan, then the water in the tomato juice will cook off, and the tomatoes will begin to fall apart.  Then the tomatoes will begin to reduce into a thick consistency.  

Add crushed garlic to the tomato mixture. 
Put on a large pot of water over high heat, cover with a lid. 

To chiffonnade your basil, stack the leaves, roll them like a cigar, and then cut thin slices to make a shred. 
Add 1/2 of the bottle of red wine to the tomatoes and stir in the basil.

The wine will re-liquefy your tomatoes, so now you'll put a lid on it and turn the fire down to simmer this for 20 minutes.  

 When your pot of water starts to boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and your gnocchi. 
The gnocchi will sink to the bottom.  
Bring back to a boil. 
When the gnocchi float to the surface of the boiling water, allow it to cook for 2 minutes more.  
Then drain immediately. 
Check your tomato basil sauce, it should be slightly thicker.  Turn the fire off.  
Add gnocchi to your saute pan and toss with the tomato basil sauce to coat the gnocchi. 
Serve with thin slivers of parmesano reggiano cheese, perhaps a bit of fresh ground pepper, and hot, crusty bread. 



No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your comments or questions here!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

So, Brig, what does your music sound like?

Email for bandsQuantcast