Saturday, November 27, 2010

spinach gnocchi

I had a can of San Marzano tomatoes sitting around, and basically I was just trying to come up with a vehicle for some tomato sauce this afternoon. Having an overabundance of leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving got me thinking about gnocchi. The recipe seemed simple enough, so I figured I'd give it a whirl. I had a bag of baby spinach that needed to be used up too, so I figured I'd add it in.

In retrospect, the spinach made the process a bit harder than it likely needed to be. I squeezed all the water I thought that I could out of the cooked spinach, but it still contributed quite a lot of moisture to the dough. I found myself struggling to get enough flour into the dough to get it to hold together, but I did finally get it to a point where it worked. I'm glad I took the advice in the recipe (Mark Bittman to the rescue for the umpteenth time) and plopped a few of the gnocchi into the water to see how they cooked up before I went and rolled them and cut them all.

Once I got the dough to the right consistency, the whole process was pretty easy and had a rhythm to it that I enjoyed: roll out a rope, cut the bits off, roll off the tines of a fork, plop into the boiling water, give it a stir. By the time they were floating and ready to come out, the next batch was all cut, rolled and ready to go.

The gnocchi came out on the slightly chewy side, but I think it was because I really overworked the dough trying to get the right amount of flour into it. Even so, they had nice flavor (I put a little nutmeg in them) and went really well with the tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is just my normal formula of onions, San Marzano tomatoes, a few cloves of garlic, and some dried oregano, which is totally full of win and I would eat it on just about anything.