I had nothing to make for dinner on Monday. My fridge was bare, Jack wasn’t coming home for dinner, and I was desperately fighting the urge to get takeout for dinner or eat cereal. Don’t get me wrong, I love cereal for dinner, but I knew that the fridge being bare and eating alone were going to be common occurrences for the week, and for the weeks to follow. So I needed to save those really lazy nights for really desperate times.
I had a craving for carbs as they are my go to comfort food-they satisfy my hunger and occupy a lot of cooking time, er preparing time- exactly what I needed on a rainy Monday night alone, well alone with a cat. I turned to my new Mark Bittman cookbook and found an easy but delicious recipe for basil gnocchi. A stray from the norm, but nothing overly exotic other than a potato ricer. Essentially all that I needed was 3 ingredients, and a little bit of man power. Needless to say, the gnocchi was fairly easy to make, easy to roll, and easy to multiple quickly! 2 cookie sheets later, my hands were tired from rolling and pinching and pressing dough.
As mentioned before, the only really bizarre tool you need, or rather, is desired to have, when making gnocchi is a potato ricer. I picked mine up at Target for about $10. The clerk mentioned that she hadn’t seen a potato ricer in 50 years. It made me feel old, but slightly proud that I knew what one was, and how to use it. Otherwise, this recipe comes together fairly quickly after the potatoes have been boiled. It makes quite a bit, and the gnocchi is very easily frozen. The potato pasta tastes best with any red sauce that complements basil, though I used my standard olive oil, garlic salt, and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Basil Gnocchi from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything
1lb potatoes-boiled until tender and peeled
½ cup basil
Put a pot of cold water on to boil. Place potatoes in cold water, bring to boil, and continue boiling until soft enough to peel and push through ricer. Take potatoes out of water. Allow to cool for a few minutes, but not long enough to harden again-roughly 5-10 minutes. Peel potatoes, and cut in half. Push through ricer. Add APF, basil and mix until a ball of dough forms. Take pieces at a time and roll out into ropes. Cut into bite size pieces and for added decoration, press down on pasta with fork. Place on a floured baking sheet. At this point you can freeze the gnocchi overnight and then bag, or place in pot of boiling water to cook. Fresh gnocchi only need about 4-5minutes to boil. Serve after draining water.