What a year! I cannot believe we are already in 2022 and this blog has been in existence for one year. Thank you everyone that has read the blog and followed my culinary journey. I will admit these last few months have been pretty nuts and I hadn’t had much to say. Also the food we were making was essentially the same old same old. However we got new cookbooks for Christmas and inspiration is back!
We are going back to an old favorite from when we lived in an apartment. This recipe can be made quicker with premade items from the grocery store (vodka sauce & gnocchi). I decided that I wanted to try my hand at making gnocchi for the first time and make my favorite vodka sauce. The vodka sauce can be made ahead of time to save a valuable hour on a work night. I enjoyed our dinner tonight and hope you enjoyed reading about it!
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 1⁄4 cups vodka, premium quality, will make a difference
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
- About 1 (5 1/2ounce) can tomato paste
- About 1/4 cup of grated parmesan (add more to taste)
- 2 pounds russet potatoes
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter 1 teaspoon
- 1 tablespoon salt
Cheesy Gnocchi Dinner Ingredients
- 1 lb. gnocchi (Recipe above)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 lb. frozen chopped greens (we used fresh kale and spinach)
- 24oz. vodka sauce (recipe above)
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- Sauté onion, garlic, and olive oil in large sauce pot until translucent, do NOT overcook or brown.
- Add 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, and vodka.
- Cook about 1/2 hour or until all alcohol has burned off.
- Add heavy cream, basil, and red pepper flakes
- Add tomato paste to your discretion, although sauce should be of a thick consistency.
- Let sauté about 1/2 hour.
- Add grated parmesan. Taste sauce and add more red pepper flakes if needed.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Poke each potato 8 times with paring knife over entire surface. Microwave potatoes until slightly softened at ends, about 10 minutes, flipping potatoes halfway through cooking. Transfer potatoes directly to oven rack and bake until skewer glides easily through flesh and potatoes yield to gentle pressure, 18 to 20 minutes.
- Holding each potato with potholder or kitchen towel, peel with paring knife. Process potatoes through ricer or food mill onto rimmed baking sheet. Gently spread potatoes into even layer and let cool for 5 minutes.
3. Transfer 3 cups (16 ounces) warm potatoes to bowl. Using fork, gently stir in egg until just combined. Sprinkle flour and 1 teaspoon salt over potato mixture. Using fork, gently combine until no pockets of dry flour remain. Press mixture into rough ball, transfer to lightly floured counter, and gently knead until smooth but slightly sticky, about 1 minute, lightly dusting counter with flour as needed to prevent sticking.
4. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and dust liberally with flour. Cut dough into 8 pieces. Lightly dust counter with flour. Gently roll piece of dough into ½-inch-thick rope, dusting with flour to prevent sticking. Cut rope into ¾-inch lengths. Holding fork with tines facing down in 1 hand, press each dough piece cut side down against tines with thumb of other hand to create indentation. Roll dough down tines to form ridges on sides. If dough sticks, dust thumb or fork with flour.
5. Transfer formed gnocchi to sheets and repeat with remaining dough.
6. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Using parchment paper as sling, gently lower gnocchi from 1 sheet into water and cook until firm and just cooked through, about 90 seconds (gnocchi should float to surface after about 1 minute). Using slotted spoon, transfer cooked gnocchi to a bowl and set aside.
Bringing it all together
- Mince the two cloves of garlic and add them to a large skillet with the olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for about one minute, or just until it’s soft and fragrant. Once soft, add the drained gnocchi and continue to sauté until the gnocchi gets slightly golden brown and crispy on the outside (don’t stir too often or you’ll prevent it from browning and crisping).
2. Once the gnocchi is slightly crispy, add the vodka sauce and chopped greens. Stir to combine, then allow to heat through (about 5 minutes). Sprinkle the Parmesan over the skillet, then the shredded mozzarella. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the cheese to heat and melt. Once melted, the gnocchi is ready to serve.