I have a little list in my head of all the foods I want to try making. Gnocchi was definitely on my list and now I can check it off thanks to the newest cookbook in my collection, Spork Fed by Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg. I pre-ordered it and just got it in the mail yesterday and immediately flipped through to see what yummy recipes the Spork Sisters packed into their first cookbook. There are so many that are going to be made (Sopapillas, Tempeh Bacon Stuffed Potato Pom Poms, PB Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Toasted Pecan Spelt Coffee Cake, Homemade Tofu, Chive and Cheddar Skillet Omelets, South Carolina BBQ Tofu Sandwiches, BBQ Style Spelt Pizza...okay I will refrain from listing off the entire book but you get the point, lots of yummy!) but the first one that had to be made was the Potato Gnocchi with Basil in a Roasted Shallot Cream Sauce. The picture looked so enticing, they promised they were less tricky than you have heard and the ingredients (except the basil) were all things I happened to have on hand. It was like it was meant to be!
This was also an opportunity to use two kitchen utensils I had never before used...my potato ricer and gnocchi board. I picked up the gnocchi board one day at a local gourmet shop simply because I knew one day I would try them and it was like $3. And the ricer has been there forever waiting to be used but I have never actually picked it up. Ricing is so much fun, kind of reminded me of this Play-Doh set I had when I was little that was a barber shop kinda deal. It made short work of them too and the potatoes were all uniformly mashed even with the peel still on them.
They are definitely easier to make than I thought they would be with the most time consuming part being the shaping of the actual gnocchi. The sauce came together very quickly and so easy in the Vitamix to get it completely smooth. The shaping took the most time but was also fun and even attracted Mac's attention who soon became my assistant and helped me roll them down the gnocchi board. My assistant quickly became distracted with eating the dough (a favourite hobby of Mac's) and dancing...you know the gnocchi dance right? Every great chef does it I'm pretty sure. Anyways, a quick one minute boil and a saute later, the gnocchi get smothered in a deliciously creamy sauce and served. We served them with some peas and maybe a little toasted dinner rolls...you know some carbs with your carbs! They were so tasty, rich and delicious. The peas worked really well with them too, something about cream sauces scream peas or green veggies of some kind to me. The gnocchi themselves were surprisingly light (for some reason I thought they would be heavier) and tasty themselves since they are seasoned as well. I kept some aside from the sauce so I could try them later with pesto as well like the Spork Sisters suggest in the intro to the recipe.
I definitely recommend the book (and will be posting as I make more of the recipes) and the online cooking classes the Spork Sisters host. I've been a member for about six months now and I really enjoy the recipes and videos they put out monthly. I just wish I lived where they did so I could take more classes in person!