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Spinach Lasagna Rolls

done

So, there’s this girl I know. Well, not a girl, a young lady really. But when I was her age … and yes, I was her age once, I wasn’t born THIS OLD, ya know … being called a young lady made be visibly blanch. She’s becoming very dear to me. In my family, cooking for and feeding people is a way to show (some) love.

There’s a little glitch in showing this Italian, kitchen-esque type of love to this otherwise lovely girl. She’s a vegetarian. Nothing with a face. Nothing with a soul. Hmmm … tricky. Never gave much thought to strictly vegetarian dishes, and fortunately, she’s not vegan, but tricky going for me just the same.

Oh! We need to add another level of cooking angst here … her sister is NOT a vegetarian (but that’s a whole ‘nuther magilla which we will get to in recipes and days to come) and, of course, there’s the carnivore. How do you feed all these different needs with one dish and keeping your hair on your head and not clenched between your fingers having just been torn from your head?

Must be yummy. Must have no faces or soul. Must be hearty. I can do this. I know I can.

I came across this Giada de Laurentiis recipe from Everyday Italian for Spinach Lasagna Rolls. The original recipe calls for prosciutto (oh, you don’t know what you’re missing) and a bechamel sauce. I opted to leave out the prosciutto and swap the bechamel for tomato sauce. Salad. Garlic bread. Dinner is ready.

And while it has no faces, this dish certainly has soul!

  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
  • 1 C plus 2 T grated Parmesan
  • 1 C shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 3/4 t salt, plus more for salting water
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 T olive oil
  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 2 C marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, mozzarella, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and add a tablespoon of oil.

NOTE: I normally don’t add oil when I’m cooking pasta, but with the lasagna noodles it seems to help keep them from sticking together and becoming a massive clump.

Cook the pasta until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the pasta in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.

Butter or spray with cook spray a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour about 1 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish and spread to cover. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread a large spoonful (about 3 tablespoons worth) of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle.

Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll.

Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, on top of the marinara sauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spoon the remaining 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls.

Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls. Cover with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes.

NOTE: You can gild the lily a bit here and add a cup of shredded mozzarella on top of the marinara. If you choose to do this, after 20 minutes, uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes.

 

 

Bruschetta

Done

Hello, computer, my old friend

It’s nice to type on you again

Brian fixed you, oh, so sweetly

Back on my desk, oh, so neatly …

It’s been a really long slog trying to get my iMac fixed! It just froze and died one day while I was still living in Brooklyn – it’s been dead for over one and a half years!

I tried to have it fixed while I was still living in Brooklyn. Really, I did. Brought it to the Apple store. Sadly, I have only 2 kidneys to give up and the cost would have required 4 kidneys. I found an Apple authorized dealer. HUZZAH! He could fix it for $600. Well worth it, I thought. A new computer would have cost me at least twice much. And then the phone call. Well, you see, says he, there’s far more wrong with the computer than we thought. Aside from the Logic Board, you need to replace the flaggity gimboboo and the lala hosinfeffer. We’ll have to tack another $600 onto the original estimate.

WHAT? Are you kidding me or what, says I. No way. As the time approached for me to move, I considered throwing the darn thing away. Really, it’s a planter at this point. The Dear One, so much more level headed than I, interjected and said, bring it with you in the move. I’, sure we can find someone in Maine to fix it for far less.

Okay.

And it sat.

And it sat.

And it sat some more.

Sigh …

The girls get together for breakfast quite frequently. Occasionally, the boys join us. One morning my friend Jenn’s husband joined us. I was lamenting about having to use only the Dear One’s laptop and how difficult it’s been to blog on the laptop. One, it’s so TINY. Two, it’s not mine and I wasn’t comfortable. I wanted my lovely, big, pretty iMac back! WAAAAAAHHHHH!

Jenn’s husband, the wizard Brian looked at me and said, Bring it to me. I can fix it.

It took a number of months with the summer and traveling and renting of houses and stents, but one day he calls  … he says to me … it’s done. Come and get it!

Well, I wanted to just fall off my chair!

And here I am. Back at my beloved computer, happily typing away, knowing I have a ton of blog posts to catch up on.

Please, dear followers, if you’re still out there, don’t judge the random out of order, spring, summer and fall posts you’ll read pouring out of here!

Brian, you are a genius and a dear friend. Thank you so much for fixing my computer and getting me back on track!

So, back to the Bruschetta … this may be the most requested recipe in our house. Long day, company  coming, misunderstanding, Bruschetta solves it all. Sadly, the Dear One is a little camera/social media shy. If he weren’t I would add a photo of the ginormous smile that spreads across his face every time he eats this.

It’s so easy to whip up. Even with the sins of off season tomatoes, this is wonderful. The rest of the ingredients sort of hide that flaw.

This Bruschetta was made with tomatoes straight from our garden … oh, so was the onion, garlic, and basil!

  • 1 baguette
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 C diced sweet onion
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing baguette
  • 1/2 T balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450. Slice the baguette. brush both sides of each slice with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. In oven until golden.

Mix all other ingredients in a bowl.

To serve, either put a spoonful of the tomato mixture on each toast or the toasts on a platter and the bowl of the tomato mixture beside it and let everyone help themselves.

Enjoy!

Yes, it’s that easy!

 

Pasta alla Checca … sorta …

There’s just a last hurrah of summer left. A few lovely tomatoes, definitely some beautiful basil. I wanted to cook something that really showcased the freshness of 2 of my all time favorite ingredients.

And along came Giada de Laurentiiis and her Checca Sauce from Everyday Italian. Granted, this is a very loose interpretation of her original recipe, but the inspiration is all Giada.

Now, according to her recipe in the book, and as I have written below, the sauce is made in a food processor. And I suppose you could make it in the food processor and it would be fine. But I decided to hand cut everything so that it was slightly chunkier.

  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 4 scallions (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (12-ounce container) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 (1-ounce) piece Parmesan, coarsely chopped
  • 8 to 10 fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 4 ozs fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

NOTE: I used more than a 1/2 pound of pasta. I also used vine-ripened tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes,4 tomatoes should do it. I removed some of the seeds and pulp so it wouldn’t be too watery..

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, 9 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the next 7 ingredients in a food processor. Pulse just until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped (do not puree).

NOTE: I chopped the tomatoes, basil, garlic and cheeses by hand. I really preferred the more rustic approach to this dish.

Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with the tomato mixture and fresh mozzarella in a large bowl. Add some of the reserved pasta water (about 1/4 cup) if the sauce looks dry. Serve immediately.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

From the time I was a child, Sunday night in my house has always traditionally been a pasta dinner. Truthfully, I get so tired of meatballs and sauce. I also wanted a pasta without meat to satisfy the vegetarians …

It’s also been a slow-ish summer for me cooking-wise. Haven’t reached for the books on the shelves recently – and, after all, isn’t that the whole point of this blog?

So, it had to be pasta, had to be good … running REALLY late (as always), so it had to be quick.

You don’t get quicker, or tastier, than Giada de Laurentiis’ Sundried Tomato Pesto from Everyday Italian. Not many ingredients, simple prep, and delicious. Must have been … every morsel was gone, always the sign of a successful dinner!

This pesto is also great as a spread … yum, bruschetta … just leave out the step at the end adding in the pasta water. Oh, and don’t make or add the pasta!

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 C (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, blend the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, and basil in a food processor and blend until the tomatoes are finely chopped.

Transfer the tomato mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the Parmesan.

Add the pasta to the pesto and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper and serve.

 

NOTE: And you’re DONE! In the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta, dinner is ready. Add a loaf of bread and a salad and you’re off to the races!

Tiramisu

Did you know that at some point in the history of Italy the Japanese invaded Italy, Tuscany in particular, and brought along with them and introduced to the cuisine starved Italians that delightful dessert known as TIRAMATSU?

Oh, heavy, heavy sigh. As I type, I am still shaking my head in disbelief, so if my typing is a little wonky, please forgive me.

This is what happens when men are allowed in kitchens. In Italy. Where the Japanese have NEVER invaded (except perhaps the Gucci and Fendi shops in Rome). The wonderful dessert of Tiramisu turns into Tiramatsu – which is apparently served in Florence in a beautiful church that has recently been compared to a Japanese Dessert Warehouse. Oh, ye worshipers at Santa Maria Novella, please send a pox his way!  (now don’t start sending hate mail, fellas, about men in kitchens. It’s nearly the same as your thoughts on women drivers!)

A dear, OLD friend recently went on a dream vacation with his family to Tuscany, and in the midst of this trip a cooking lesson was had at the villa they were staying in. Would have been fun to join in, but quite frankly the narration of it was hilarious.  When asked what they were making, the response received was Tiramatsu. When laughing followed that answer, my reply was … “Japanese dessert?” Feigning insult, I received the reply … now hang onto your mouse … “Italian, Japanese, whatever.” REALLY? This could be sparking an international incident of cataclysmic proportions!

Just to clear the confusion a wee bit, this was an Italian cooking lesson, but shall go down in the annals of history as Japanese Dessert Day. Really, would my Italian ancestors allow this to go by without unmerciful teasing? Anyone who knows me well knows the answer … ABSOLUTELY NOT!

And this brought to mind that I have not made Tiramisu in AGES and probably should soon – if for no other reason than to assure myself that this dessert is QUITE Italian.

Tirami su literally translates to ‘pick me up’, probably due to the espresso and chocolate in the recipe. I don’t remember where this recipe came from beyond my sister, and know she tweaked it and I tweaked it and came out with this delightful version.

So, here we go …

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1 lb mascarpone
  • 1 T dark rum
  • 1 T peach liquor
  • 24 ladyfingers
  • 1 C espresso
  • 1 100 g Toblerone bar

NOTE: You really want Savioardi, which are a crisper version of lady fingers. I buy the liquor in nip bottles as I don’t use those often. Toblerone adds an extra, really nice flavor and texture that just plain old chocolate does. ALso, I ended up using 1 1/2 Toblerone bars.

Beat egg yolks and sugar until light yellow. Add in the mascarpone and liquors.

Whip egg whites to soft peaks.

Fold egg whites into mascarpone mixture.

Soak Savioardi in espresso.

NOTE: You don’t want them to become soggy. It’s really more ‘showing’ the Savioardi to the espresso. A quick flip and out. It will soak up more than you think.

Finely chop the Toblerone bar – and try not to eat as much of it as you can while chopping.

Layer half the Savioardi in the bottom on an 8×8 dish.

Add half the mascarpone mixture.

Sprinkle with half of the chopped chocolate. Repeat.

NOTE: ALSO, don’t put the bowl of hot espresso next to the chopped chocolate. Not sure if you all know this, it’s certainly NEW to me, but chocolate melts next to hot things … so when you gather it to sprinkle it squishes through your fingers and makes an absolutely disgusting mess! In my hair, on my shirt, on my face … (this is what I get for teasing!)

Refrigerate for 1 hour or over night.

DIVE IN!

I was making four different things in my kitchen at the same time, so I had to repeat steps, dumped grated cucumber into the mascarpone, and my kitchen looked as though the Swedish Chef from the Muppets had been channeled into my body … I was COVERED in melted chocolate, mascarpone, espresso … but so TOTALLY worth it!

Hmmm… mascarpone, savioardi, toblerone, not a bit of nori to be found. Definitely Italian. And so there – HA on you, mpd!

Pasta Sbagliata and GIVEAWAY

So, American Express and the Tastemakers at Foodbuzz picked me – yes, me! – to participate in their Dinner@6 promotion and contest. Well, they picked me and 19 others to participate in this promotion.

Not only did they pick me, but American Express gave me a little something for my readers too! But that part will be later on – just a little tease so you keep reading to find out about the giveaway! My very first!

All I have to do is come up with a wonderful recipe that has 6 ingredients or less. A breeze, right? Yeah, a breeze like Hurricane Irene. Does 6 ingredients include things like oil in the pan? Salt and pepper? Flour for dredging? Apparently, at least according to the rules of this contest, it doesn’t include salt, pepper, oil or water. Well, phewwwwww!

Do you know how difficult it is to come up with a dish with only 6 ingredients? Okay! I got it!! One-two-three-four-five-six-seven – RATS! I did this over and over again.

And then I remembered – Pasta Sbagliata!

Pasta Sbagliata – loosely translated means Mistaken Pasta – came from my Mom and tweaked by me. My mother is an amazing cook, always has been. She has always been adventurous in the kitchen. Everything is always delicious (well, except for the lamb pie incident, which I wouldn’t have mentioned, but I can see my mother AND my sister reading this and saying to themselves, yeah, except that damn lamb pie – but I digress) .

As a cook, she has one small fault – she doesn’t always read the recipe through to the end before starting to cook. Dinner will be going along nicely and suddenly you will hear cursing mild expletives coming from the kitchen. It’s usually some major step she missed about 3/4 of the way in. My Mother is the Queen of fix-it-and-it’s-fab cooking.

And that’s how we came to this recipe. This was supposed to be a Rao’s recipe for guidance and a recipe my Uncle Nicky had made in the restaurant one day. Pasta with Sausage and Cabbage. Well, my mother misread a step big step in the Rao’s recipe where the Savoy cabbage had to be cut into strips and blanched and then cooled completely before adding to the sauce. She had decided that instead of using Savoy cabbage, she would use a bag of cole slaw mix. After she added the cabbage straight into the pan, she read the part about blanching.  After a little conversation between she and I, we thought that the cabbage this way would actually be better. There would be a texture to the pasta sauce and make it better and a quicker meal to boot! And so, Pasta Sbagliato was born.

This is probably the most requested recipe in my house – that is, when I can get anyone to actually request something besides “I don’t know”.

(Keep going, the part about the giveaway is coming, I promise ~ but the recipe is good too!)

There are 2 ways to make this recipe. Neither is difficult. One is just … hmmm … semi-homemade!

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb of Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 1 lb shredded cabbage
  • 3 C marinara sauce, homemade or jarred
  • 1/4 loosely packed torn basil
  • 1 lb pasta, cooked al dente

NOTE:  (1) The sausage can be sweet or hot, or a combination. You have to remove it from the casings before cooking. If you can find Italian sausage in bulk rather than link, even better! (2) This really needs a short pasta like penne or rigatoni.  The sauce is too bulky for a spaghetti or linguine. (3) You can shred the cabbage yourself or buy a 1 lb bag of cole slaw mix from the salad section in your supermarket.

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes.

NOTE: By the time the pasta is cooked, the sauce will be done.

Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add garlic. Just as garlic begins to brown add sausage, crumbling it with the back of a spoon as it cooks.

NOTE: I use a pan large enough to hold the pasta as well when it’s finished cooking, this way I can add the cooked pasta into the sauce and serve straight from there.

When the sausage is almost cooked, lower the flame, and add the cabbage.

Cook cabbage, stirring frequently until the cabbage is soft and becoming translucent.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the marinara sauce. Once sauce is heated through, turn off heat, add basil and stir.

Once pasta is cooked, drain well and add to sauce.

Toss well.

NOTES TO MAKE THIS QUICKER:

  • You can use turkey sausage. This doesn’t make it quicker, but if you are limiting red meat, turkey is a good alternative. Don’t do it for the sodium. Turkey sausage has as much sodium as pork sausage.
  • Instead of home-made marinara sauce, you can use a good quality jarred marinara or tomato and basil sauce. A 24 oz. jar is the same as the 3 cups. I don’t suggest using sauces with mushrooms or other ingredients. There is a lot going on with this sauce already!
  • Instead of shredding a head of cabbage, grab a bag of cole slaw mix in the salad aisle of your supermarket. It’s already shredded. It’s the perfect amount. It has some shredded carrots in it, but they add a little sweetness and are good for your eyes. As you can see from the photos, I went the cole slaw route – the cabbage at the supermarket looked terrible!

Whether you’re using the short cuts or using everything from scratch you can have this meal on the table in the amount of time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta (if you’re using marinara sauce that is made already, of course – for my pedantic friends)! It’s great for company or just family.

So, now, back to the Giveaway!

One of the best parts about this promotion is that American Express gave me a $100 gift card toward the ingredients for this recipe. Not too shabby, hey?

Oh, wait, it gets better! As part of the Dinner@6 contest sponsored by Blue Cash PreferredSM, American Express has also provided me with $100 gift card to give out to one lucky Commenter!  To enter is simple! Sound off in the comments to win! What is your favorite six-ingredient recipe?

How’s that for fabulous!?

You can gain an additional entry by doing one of – or all – the following and leaving a separate comment below for each that you’ve done:

  1. Follow me on Twitter – @fromBookshelf – then post here and let me know you did
  2. Tweet the following – I just entered to win a $100 American Express gift card at From the Bookshelf. You can enter too! http://bit.ly/nQlkNf
  3. Like me on Facebook – From the Bookshelf – then post here and let me know you did
  4. Post a link to this post on your FB page – I entered to win a $100 American Express gift card at From the Bookshelf. You can too! http://bit.ly/nQlkNf
  5. Subscribe to From the Bookshelf by email – Just to the right of the title for this post and just under the Twitter birdie, click the link. (You will be sent a link from feedburner. Make sure you click on the confirmation link in their email) – then post here and let me know you did

Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?  Good luck! Entries will close on September 29th at midnight EST. Winner will be announced September 30th. One favor, please make sure to leave your email address so I can find you!

ALL COMMENTS NEED TO BE ON MY BLOG TO BE CONSIDERED FOR ENTRY!

Enjoy the recipe! Thanks for entering! Good luck!

Uncle Nicky’s Gnocchi

While flipping through Lucinda’s Rustic Italian Kitchen, I found her recipe for gnocchi.   I have been wanting to try my hand at making gnocchi for a very long time. Lucinda’s Gnocchi had a pesto sauce with it – and I only eat my great grandmother’s pesto.  Yes, I have some strange food issues, but if you ever try my great grandmother’s pesto, you wouldn’t eat any other pesto either!

While trying to decide what to do with the gnocchi once made, I thought of my Uncle Nicky and his special gnocchi dish.

My family owned a restaurant in New York City called Papoo’s for over 50 years. Some of my favorite memories of my grandparents and uncle – well, my whole family – swirl around in there. My husband and I had our wedding reception there. My sister’s bridal shower and rehearsal dinner. Countless birthdays, special occasions and parties. The very first time I had too much to drink was there – ah, the dastardly Solly Sombre. I still occasionally walk past the original location (lost to us after 9/11) and I swear I can see my Grandmother peeking through the window looking for customers, or my grandfather walking down the street, or my son standing outside selling Italian ices when he was 11. I remember Papoo’s before it was Papoo’s and was The Town Restaurant. Isn’t it funny how most of my fondest memories revolve around food. The loss can be bittersweet at times so I try not to walk past there very often.

Just as an aside, after 9/11 the restaurant moved, but it was never the same. Maybe Papoo’s was really my grandparents and that little tiny restaurant where there was a memory every place you looked. Then the economy slammed everyone – well, you know how that story goes.

Now that I am completely sad and blue, let’s get back to the reason for this post!

When my Uncle Nicky took over as the chef, he would, on occasion – rare occasions that involved a lot of begging and pouting – make this dish for me. I was convinced there had to be some horrible, long involved, painful process, otherwise why wouldn’t he make this wonderful dish for his darling niece whenever she wanted.

He would never tell me how to make it. Uncle Nicky always played it quite close to the vest about recipes and when he did give you a recipe you had to really think through what he said  – who here remembers my debacle with his lamb and ORZO?! Let’s just say it was just shy of Strega Nonna’s Pot!

Anywho – after deciding to make the gnocchi, Uncle Nicky’s Gnocchi (say that a few times fast) was the only thing I could think of – how hard could it really be?

  • 3 best-quality Idaho potatoes, washed and dried
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spear the potatoes lightly with a fork in a few places. Place directly on the oven rack and cook until completely tender, about 1 hour.

NOTE: Really? Three potatoes? Three baking potatoes? I must admit I was really leery.

When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes open, scoop out the flesh, and pass it through a potato ricer to achieve a very fine and light texture.

Spread the riced potatoes out on a rimmed baking sheet and allow to cool completely (very important).

In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 cups of the flour and the salt. Slowly blend the flour mixture into the potatoes, using your hands to combine completely, until the dough pulls away from your hands and feels like pizza dough. Add flour if necessary to achieve desired consistency.

NOTE: I did this right on the baking sheet. I saw no point in dirtying another bowl or trying to transfer the little, light and fluffy wiggles into a bowl!

Once in a ball, sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface. Separate the dough into several pieces and roll out each into the size of a cigar. Cut each “cigar” into 1-inch pieces.

NOTE: I moved to a big wooden board now.

To form the gnocchi, dip a fork in flour, then place the tines on top of a piece of dough. Applying medium pressure, gently roll the gnocchi toward you with the fork, releasing pressure gradually as you roll, until it is completely rolled off the tines. Repeat with each piece of dough, placing the gnocchi on a floured baking sheet as completed. The pieces should resemble tiny footballs with a cup in the center.

NOTE: FORK MY ASS EYE! I have already ordered a gnocchi board for the next go around! Perhaps I am too clumsy for the fork method. Perhaps I just want a new toy. Perhaps my forks are not wide or long enough for it to work properly.

Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When boiling, add a generous amount of salt. Drop about 8 gnocchi into the water at a time and cook until they return to float on the surface of the boiling water, 2 to 3 minutes.

Now, this is where Lucinda ends and Uncle Nicky steps in. (little secret, he used frozen gnocchi – you can too – just bring a pot of water to boil, add the gnocchi, once it floats take it out and let it cool)

In order to make my favorite dish you’ll need –

  • 2 shallots, chopped finely
  • 5 T butter
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • s&p to taste

After you have boiled the gnocchi, let them cool for a bit.

NOTE: When I made tis dish, I let the gnocchi cool completely and put them in the fridge until the next day. I brought them to room temperature before I began. 

Add 3 tablespoons of the butter to a saute pan large enough to hold the gnocchi you are making in pretty much a single layer. Let the butter brown.

NOTE: It seems like a lot of butter, but this was for ALL the gnocchi I had made and no I didn’t count them. Change the amount of butter according to the amount of gnocchi. It goes from brown to black fairly quickly. Also, it browns much faster in an open skillet than in a pot when you’re baking.

Once browned, add the shallots and let cook until almost transparent. Once transparent add the other 2 tablespoons of butter.

Once melted, toss the gnocchi in the butter. And leave, stirring occasionally until the gnocchi is brown in places and become a little crisp. Add in the thyme and pepper to taste – salt if necessary.

Serve!

Now that this mystery has been solved I feel a little like Nate the Great unraveling one of life’s mysteries. I can have this wonderful gnocchi now whenever I want.

I think next time I am going to try sage instead of the thyme.

The gnocchi are soft and pillowy with just enough crunch to make them interesting. The browned butter is wonderful, nutty, adding a nice hint of flavor to the gnocchi. The thyme adds a wonderful layer of rustic something to the dish.

Enjoy!