Gnocchi and more

I wanted to make gnocchi, and get it right finally, but I got a little overboard. So here is a whole Friday meal, prepared by yours truly, with my mom as the dish washer (and the kitchen owner). Thanks mom!

First course: Fresh sardines salted, served with fennel, creme fraich and horseradish.

Sardines were covered in salt for several hours, and then transferred to a plat and covered with olive oil, lemons, thyme and tarragon until served (some more time in the spiced oil would have done them good).

Second course: Eggplant soup.

Eggplants were roasted for about an hour in the oven (180 C). Onion and garlic were chopped and steamed with butter until tender. Then the eggplants went in (only the ‘meat’) and cooked with spices (salt & pepper, some thyme and nutmeg). Then went in the chicken stock (home made) and cooked until ready (when is it ready? when u decide it tastes ready). Grounded, and ‘spiced’ with some heavy creme, served with some nuts.

Main course: Gnocchi (that came out perfect!)

For the gnocchi:

We used 1400gr potatoes. Baked then in the oven until tender, and mashed them with this potato masher that looks like a giant garlic masher… We had 950 gr potatoes after baking. We used 250 gr flour+ a little more,and one small egg. We spiced the mash with salt at this point, since they were not cooked with salt. I shaped some gnocchi for a trial to make sure they are good (and actually fixed seasoning and flour to the above amounts). Then I shaped them all and kept them with plenty of flour till serving.

For the sauce:

I roasted beetroot, chopped it and then covered it with butter in a pan (with a little sugar, salt and pepper). I melted plenty of butter in a large pan, added spinach and spiced (salt, pepper…). Then the just cooked gnocchi (in salted boiling water, until the gnocchi float +30 seconds) , and tossed a bit.

I served the gnocchi with the beet cubes and some prosciutto (and Parmesan on the side)

Last but not least: Ricotta and pine nuts tart

The base is simple tart dough.

For the  filling you will need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 100gr (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 400gr (1 1/2 packages) ricotta (or ricotta +creme cheese or white cheese)
  • 50gr (3tbs) melted butter
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 80-100gr (1 cup of less) pine nuts

beat the eggs with the sugar until light and pale. and all the rest on the ingredients, with only half of the pine nuts. Put in the prepared dough (rolled in a tart pan) and in a preheated oven (180 C) for 45 min.
Fry the rest of the pine nuts with some butter until golden, and sprinkle over the cake when it is out of the oven. Brush with smooth jam mixed with cognac (preferably apricot).
Recipe from Aharoni’s Italian cookbook.

Enjoy

p.s
I have tried making gnocchi before, but this is the first time I actually made GOOD gnocchi. And they were GOOD! I am so proud!

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