Monday, September 27, 2010

Gnocchi with tomato sauce

This is my favorite gnocchi recipe. It is based on a recipe from "Das große Buch der vegetarischen Küche", but I changed a few things.

For three to four normally hungry persons, or two ravenous vegans.
Preparation time: about 1 hour.
Suggested music: Giacomo Puccini - Tosca (or some other random italian opera)

For the gnocchi:
  • 500 g cooked and peeled potatoes (can be fresh or from the day before, but let them cool a bit)
  • 250 g flour
  • 30 g vegan margarine
  • salt & pepper
  • nutmeg

For the sauce:
  • 1 kg tomatoes, peeled and diced (canned tomatoes work just as fine, use 1-2 cans)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 125 mL red wine
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, coarsely minced

What to do:
  1. In order to obtain a dough, the potatoes must be mashed. This can be achieved easily by passing them through a metallic sieve or through a noodle press (Spätzlespresse). There are also extra tools for mashing potatoes. Mix mashed potatoes with flour and margarine, until an elastic dough formes. I usually use a food processor with a dough hook (Knethaken). Do not process the dough for too long, otherwise the gnocchi will become to hard. Add a pinch of nutmeg (freshly ground is best!) and salt and pepper to taste. 
  2. Bring pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce: Combine tomatoes, garlic, and red whine in a pot and heat on the stove. Let simmer until the liquid is reduced, then add salt and pepper to taste. Add the basil leaves just before serving.
  3. Form the gnocchi: Take a bit of dough and roll to form a log 2-3 cm in diameter. Cut off slices, about 1 cm thick. If you are not too hungry, shape the pieces into really nice gnocchi by making them oval round and pressing in one side with a fork. If you are hungry and/or lazy, you can leave out that step (the gnocchi in the picture above are in fact such "lazy" gnocchi). Add the gnocchi carefully to the boiling water. Prepare the next batch while they cook. The gnocchi are ready to be fished out of the pot when they swim on the surface. (Sometimes they stick a bit to the bottom of the pot, so stir from time to time.)
  4. When all gnocchi are done, serve with the tomato sauce. You can add some vegan parmesan - there is an excellent recipe in "Käse veganese".