Italian cuisine is known for its classic comfort dishes, and this recipe by TOPPER's executive chef, Kyle Zachary is no exception. Enjoy homemade potato gnocchi with a slow-simmered, hearty meat sauce in a time we all need comfort the most.
2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes (about 5 medium)
1 cup "OO" flour (use all-purpose if not available)
2 tsp salt
1 egg, blended
1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Bake the potatoes for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until tender. *Baking the potatoes results in a dryer potato which results in a better dough.*
2. While they are still hot, cut the potatoes in half and scoop out all of the flesh. Press the potato through a food mill or potato ricer. This must be done when the potatoes are hot, otherwise the potato will become gummy.
3. Transfer the potato to a flour-dusted work surface and make a mound with the puree. Mix the flour, salt, and egg into the potato. Knead the mixture just until a smooth dough forms. *Do not over knead the dough. This will result in a tougher dumpling.*
4. Cut the dough into eight equal parts. Roll each piece into a 1-inch thick rope. Cut each rope into half-inch wide pieces. At this point, you can use a fork or gnocchi board to roll the dumplings, or not. Transfer the dumplings to a parchment lined and floured sheet tray, keeping the dumplings separated. It is helpful to cut the parchment into smaller sections which makes it easier to transfer to the boiling water later. *At this point, you can freeze the dumplings on the sheet tray. Once frozen, you can transfer to an airtight container until ready to use. When ready, boil the gnocchi from frozen, do not thaw.*
5. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil. In two batches, add the gnocchi to the boiling water. Once the dumplings float, they are cooked. Add the gnocchi to your favorite pasta sauce and serve.
Makes 6 quarts.
2 pounds ground beef
2 pounds ground pork
1 1/2 cup onions, small diced
1 cup celery
1 cup carrots, small diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 bay leaves
1 cup red wine
8 cups tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
4 teaspoons salt
1. Season the ground meats with the salt and mix well.
2. In a large pot over high heat, brown the meat. Once browned, drain the meat in a colander to remove the excess fat.
3. In the same pot, over low heat, sweat the onions, celery and carrots. Once they soften, add the garlic and continue to sweat the vegetables for two minutes.
4. Deglaze the pot with the wine and reduce by half.
5. Add the meat back into the pot, along with the tomato sauce, cream, chili flakes and herbs.
6. Bring this mixture to a slow simmer and continue to simmer for about an hour and a half. Adjust the seasoning, if needed.