As I've mentioned before, big Sunday dinners hold a special place in my heart. Childhood Sunday dinners always involved mountains of yummy food - and if I was lucky, potatoes of some kind. I am a potato-lover. Mr. ValleyWriter, not so much. Because of this, we rarely have potatoes. I just feel bad if I make something I know he won't want to eat.
But one day we were discussing this potato aversion and I found a potential ray of light. When I asked him what he thought of gnocchi, he said he'd be open to it. Yes! So last night, I finally got around to making it. And it was a success!
Covered in a tomato, pesto, basil and garlic sauce, it tastes quite similar to pasta. But I still know I'm getting my potatoes. I will definitely be making this again! I looked around at a bunch of gnocchi recipes and combined a couple, but mainly relied on Elise's recipe over at Simply Recipes. She has great pictures of the process, too.
Here's my version, with my sauce recipe -
Homemade Gnocchi with Pesto, Tomato, Basil and Garlic
For gnocchi -
3 large baking potatoes (about 2 lbs.)
1 1/4-1 1/2 c. flour
1 pinch salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1/4 c. pesto
5-6 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub potatoes, poke liberally with a fork and bake for 1 hour until skin looks wrinkly and potatoes yield when squeezed.
Carefully cut potatoes in half and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Remove skin from potatoes and pass chunks of cooked potato through a potato ricer into a large bowl. (I used a garlic press because that was all I had).
Add egg and salt to potatoes and begin mixing in flour with your hands just until potato forms a ball you can easily handle. (You don't want it to be too sticky or moist or it will fall apart in cooking.)
Break ball into 4-5 pieces.
On floured surface, roll each piece of dough back and forth, pressing outward (not downward) to form a long log. Repeat with each piece of dough.
Cut rolled pieces into 1/2" to 3/4" pieces. Roll each piece over the tines of a fork to create grooves.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Drop the gnocchi in the boiling water in batches (about 15-20 at a time). When gnocchi rise to the surface, continue boiling about 1 more minute until removing with a slotted spoon. Keep each batch warm by placing in a bowl covered with foil.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant. Add tomatoes and pesto. Cover and let simmer until all of the gnocchi is cooked.
Add the fresh basil to the sauce and let cook 1-2 minutes.
Pour sauce over gnocchi and serve.