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July 08, 2007

One Local Summer Week #3 - Gnocchi

This week's post is a little late I'm afraid, but it's still very fresh in my mind (and belly)! (Edited to add that after going to everyone else's blogs, it turns out that I'm actually a little bit early in my posting - not sure what happened there!).

The inspiration for this meal came while watching an episode of Jamie Oliver's show "Jamie's Great Italian Escape" a few days ago. He was discussing the very local nature of food in Italy, and how different parts of the country have such differing opinions about how to make certain things. While watching a group of women teach him how to make orechietti, my daughter and I decided that that would be a fun thing to do for Sunday's dinner. However, a quick stop at the nearby Italian market the next day prompted a request for gnocchi (pronounced NYOH-key) by my son, so we decided to make those instead.

We boiled four large potatoes until they were soft (unpeeled), sliced them in half crosswise, and then put them through a ricer while they were still hot to make them nice and fluffy (putting them in cut-side down made it possible to remove the skins at the same time, just picking the skins out before running the next potato through).

A couple big pinches of salt, a few cranks of pepper, and an egg were quickly stirred in before the egg could cook into a solid lump, and then we added about a cup of flour to make a stiff dough. More flour was incorporated as the dough was kneaded on the counter for a couple of minutes.

The dough was divided into fist-sized balls and rolled into 1 - 1 1/2 inch thick ropes, and then cut into 1 inch wide pieces.

The kids helped me roll each piece up the back of a fork to make a pocket on one side and grooves on the other (to hold the sauce).

I made a simple tomato sauce with canned tomatoes that my mother had left over from last year's crop, stirring in a cube of frozen pesto because the basil in the garden is still too tiny to harvest.

A thick sprinkling of BC parmesan cheese finished everything off and I barely had time to snap this photo before the gnocchi were all gobbled up.

Getting caught up in the spirit of the challenge, my mom made a batch of strawberry/raspberry ice cream, using local cream, raspberries from her garden, and strawberries from a nearby farm (we went and picked another 20 or so pounds each last week).

The only things that weren't local in this meal were the olive oil, salt, and pepper. It only occurred to me after that fact that I could have used local butter to saute the garlic for the sauce (learning as I go) . The sugar for the ice cream came from a local refinery, but I doubt that the cane/sugar beets were locally sourced.

Now I'm off to see what the rest of you made this week!

13 comments:

willow said...

Your recipes always look really tasty. Did you boil the gnocchi first or just cook them in the sauce?

Joanna said...

Your gnocchi turned out so much prettier than mine does! Looks yummy! I like making it because it's fun, and a family affair.

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

I am trying to convince my wife to make some pasta...

Lu said...

OHMYGOSH. Super! And, can you share the ice cream recipe or reveal the source? Merci.

Oh -- the August issue of Eating Well has some great berry recipes in it, including a wonderful raspberry muffin. Also, do you own the cookbook "The Berry Bible"? It's very good!

Shawna said...

That looks DELICIOUS!!!! You are truly inspiring me with your meals. And making it look so easy LOL

I am getting ready to venture into a month of local food purchasing--a little scared as it will take quite a bit of effort, but I want to try. Planning for September since August is filled with family vacations.

Cheryl said...

Willow - Thank you! I did boil the gnocchi first; I guess I kind of skipped that part in my post.

Joanna - It is fun, and really doesn't take that long (especially with extra hands eager to help!).

Tim - You should definitely try, it's really not hard and you can't beat the flavor.

Lu - I'm pretty sure that she just used the recipe for strawberry ice cream that came out of the manual for her Cuisinart ice cream maker. I'll see if I can find out more for you.
I will look for the Berry Bible at the library, thanks for the suggestion!

Shawna - That sounds like a great idea, I can't wait to hear how it goes!

Christy said...

That looks so good! I'm going to have to try the gnocchi, I've never had it. Logan and I made egg noodles a few days ago.

dawn said...

Wow, those are great. I was wondering how to make them, now I see it isn't too difficult so will venture a try, and I am sure they will be better than store bought. I love homemade ice cream too and yours looks wonderful. I did a post on ice cream this weekend, with my daughters poem from last fall. Thanks for the wonderful post.

Carla said...

I love the new header and yum! yum! Does that food ever look good! I throw pesto in my tomato sauce as well. It's great for flavor.

Steffi said...

That´s looks really delicious and makes me hungry!!!I know Gnocchi and other italian food is really good and delicious!
You are a good cook!!

Chelee said...

OMG! I have to make gnocci! What type of potatoes did you use?

Don't you just love Jamie Oliver. His approach to cooking is so awesome.

Liz said...

I don't know how you got ahead, but keep it up... it helps me! :)

Fabulous gnocchi... but you really hooked me in with that ice cream. It looks like the perfect consistency!

Mary said...

WOW! This is going on my must-try list. Your gnocci are beautiful!

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