Archive for the ‘main course’ Category

Wherein Ashley Spends Forever in the Kitchen Making Gnocchi

Image by Robert S. Donovan, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License. Click for link.

Play-Doh sculpting is a life skill ... just ask my sister Ashley. Image by Robert S. Donovan, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License. Click for link.

Ed. note: This is the third of four posts about a recent supper club meal my sister prepared. I found this recipe for spinach gnocchi on simplyrecipes.com and instantly decided (since I have a life-long love of homemade dumplings, pasta, and noodles) it looked both fantastic and reasonably do-able, so I forwarded it to a few close friends. Ashley was the first to try it out, and here are her results. Enjoy! jf

Last time, I talked about my love affair with artichokes.  Incidentally, it also happened to be the side dish I served for the last Supper Club I hosted.  Today, I’m going to discuss the main course.

The entrée I served was a bit of a gamble.  Now, my sister refuses to cook a recipe for company without having tested it beforehand, and I agree, this is an excellent policy.  However, I usually like to throw caution to the wind and embark headlong into culinary odysseys, even if I wind up somewhere I don’t really want to be.  Besides, that’s what Supper Club is for!

A word to the wise on this, when making things that you’ve never tried from online recipes, always, always check out the comments section to see the issues/tweaks other people have made to the recipe…this can save your keister (I think Allrecipes.com does an excellent job of this).  So, having been forwarded a recipe for Spinach-Ricotta Gnocchi (not potato based…even I know my limits), I knew I’d found my entrée.

The gnocchi dough came together relatively easily via food processor; the tricky part came during the roll out.  At this point, I needed to channel all available Play-Doh skills I might have retained into adulthood  and I was praying Calculus hadn’t pushed them clear on out.  The basic technique was to divide the dough into manageable portions and roll them into log-shaped pieces about the size of your finger.  Easy enough, right? [Right! Reminds me of this. : ) jf] I found it near impossible to keep the dough at the correct level of tackiness that enabled smooth rolling.  I finally just decided that it was something attained with practice and muddled my way through best I could.

Also in the instructions for the gnocchi, was a step to use fork tines to leave dainty little impressions in each one.  Now, as romantic as making your own pasta sounds, the truth of the matter is it’s time consuming as all get out and as much as I love Supper Club (and my friends), my time was more valuable than putting fork tines in gnocchi (I’m running a one-woman show…that laundry ain’t going to do itself).  I quickly abandoned the effort…call me a cheater.  Five cajillion gnocchi later, I finished.  I did this the day before, which was fine, but I forgot to cover them with plastic wrap, so they did dry out some overnight.

The sauce came together super-fast right before I was ready to serve the meal.  It was very minimalistic and basically consisted of stewed tomatoes and goat cheese.  Cooking my pasta, which was another super easy task (I dumped them in boiling water and waited until they floated to the surface to remove them), also occurred at this time.  I topped the entree with grated parmesan.

I have to say, that while the finished gnocchi did resemble neon green fish bait, the taste was amazing when paired with the sauce.  It was definitely a scrumptious success.

My next post, Part 4: Oozing food is never good, should follow soon.

“If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” – Catherine Aird

p.s. If anyone else tries this recipe out, let us know your success with it! I’m going to be trying it soon myself and will report back as well. jf


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