Gnocchi A community recipe from Daen

Cook along with your community or share your own recipe for others to enjoy!

About My Recipe:

Cooking this family favourite meal is not just about flavour or smell, it’s also about sound.

For me it’s those sounds of my mum’s apron flying off the hook and her pulling the two strings behind her waist for them to be tied.

The sound of pots clattering together as you push your arm to the back of your pantry to find one large enough to hold the sauce.

The sound of my Nanna tucking my hair behind my ears and throwing it up into a loose bun so my hair will not fall into the food.

The sound of eggs clicking together as dad carries them back from the chicken pen ever so gracefully to avoid even the smallest crack.

The sound of afternoon birds chirping in our backyard telling us it’s time to start cooking dinner.

The sound of my market trolley as I weave it in and out through a sea of people.

The sound of paper bags full to the brim of tomatoes being placed onto the kitchen counter.

The sound the sauce makes as it bubbles away and we wait for something delicious to cook.

The sound of my cats meowing begging for me to feed them as they watch me cook with adorning eyes.

The sound of my family laughing as we cook together.

The sound of my family bickering as we cook together.

And let’s not forget those sounds of cutting, chopping, sautéing, mixing, crushing and boiling.

I chose to submit this recipe as it holds a very strong place in my heart being my late Sicilian Nanna’s recipe. She used to make this sauce for me all the time to be tossed through pasta, poured over crumbed meats or roasted veggies or, my personal favourite, to be eaten with ricotta gnocchi.

I also wanted to select a recipe that is relevant and appropriate within these strange and trying times. You will be able to find most of these ingredients in your pantry and you will be able to store the leftover sauce and gnocchi in your freezer for 2 – 3 months.

Buon appetito!

Recipe:

Ingredients:  

Tomato & Basil Sauce

  • 2kg ripened tomatoes*
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bulb garlic crushed
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 700g passata
  • 1 large bunch of fresh basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

*Ask your local fruit and veg shop for their passata ready tomatoes. They usually keep these out the back or buy your tomatoes a few days before cooking this meal.

Ricotta Gnocchi 

  • 3/4 – 1 cup “00” flour or plain white flour
  • 250g ricotta
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons shaved parmesan
  • Salt to taste

Method:

Tomato & Basil Sauce 

Place an x like score at the bottom of each tomato. Place the tomatoes into a large pot with boiling hot water so the skin can soften and be easy to peel off. Leave to soak for 5 minutes. Once the skin has become loose, discard of the hot water and peel the skin off the tomatoes. Roughly chop the tomatoes and set to the side.

In a large cooking pot, add the olive oil and the crushed garlic. On a low heat stir the garlic for 3 minutes until fragrant. Keep an eye on the garlic as it can burn very easily and will take on a different flavour.

Add the tomatoes, passata, brown sugar, a generous amount of salt and pepper to taste and basil into the pot and leave to simmer for 30 minutes. Set a few basil leaves to the side to serve. Keep tasting your sauce and adding more salt, pepper or sugar if needed.

While your sauce is cooking, prepare your gnocchi.

Ricotta Gnocchi 

Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix together with your hands until a ball forms. You don’t want your dough to be too sticky so add more flour if needed. The dough should feel soft and delicate.

Lightly dust your working space with flour. Cut your dough into four equal sections and roll out each section out into a sausage shape as thick as you thumb. Using a butter knife, cut into your desired shape.

In a heavily salted pot of water, throw in half of your gnocchi in and cook for 1 – 2 minutes or until they rise to the top of the water. Scoop them out with a mesh strainer and cook the remainder half.

Place your gnocchi into a large bowl, pour the sauce over and mix through. Serve with some parmesan and basil sprinkled on top.