I learned how to make gnocchi in Rome last year. It’s really not that difficult, but I will warn you that it is a bit time consuming. In Rome I used a special gnocchi paddle, but a fork works just as well in my book. You can shape and freeze gnocchi ahead, so at dinnertime you can just boil them and make the sauce.
For many families Christmas Eve is about the Feast of the Seven Fishes before heading out to Midnight Mass. Here is an easy crab pasta recipe that will fit in nicely into your Christmas Eve dinner.
This Pumpkin Lasagna is delicious, hearty, and the perfect fall dinner dish. Leftovers are excellent for weekend lunches.
Hey, it’s Columbus Day today, so you might as well make this simple Italian dish for dinner tonight. Feel free to add additional ingredients such as peas, tomatoes, or any favorite vegetables. Just stir them in and simmer.
Basil is the most well-known pesto herbs, but many other herbs can be used to make different flavorful sauce combinations. The key is to use ample garlic and nuts, and cut the richness with an acid like lemon juice.
Easy, delicious, and meat-free this pasta dish is a weeknight winner. You may use either fresh or dried orecchiette (little ears) for this delightful pasta dish.
Many people like to eat turnip tops (turnip greens). Make sure the greens on the end of turnips are fresh and free from decay. Tip: Turnip tops can be a bit bitter.
Did you know that couscous is not a grain, but a tiny Moroccan pasta made from semolina flour? Here is a basic couscous recipe and some delicious variations.
1 1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Dark Seedless Raisins, Dried Currants, Dried Cranberries or Dried Cherries (Optional)
1 Tablespoon Butter
3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
In a 3-quart saucepan, combine water, raisins (if using), butter, and kosher salt. Heat to boil over a high heat. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Transfer to serving bowl. Makes about 3 cups or serves 4 as side dish.
Lime Couscous: Prepare as directed, but leave out raisins and add 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime peel to water.
Moroccan Couscous: Prepare as directed, but add 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin to water.
Dried Tomato & Green Onion Couscous: Prepare couscous ad directed, but leave out raisins. Add 1 sliced green onion and 5 chopped dried tomato halves to water.
Almond Couscous: Prepare couscous as directed but leave out raisins. Add a pinch of ground nutmeg and pinch of dried thyme to water. Stir 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds into fluffed couscous.
© Victoria Hart Glavin
Gnocchi With Asparagus
Gnocchi With Asparagus is the perfect weeknight dinner. Either make your own gnocchi or purchase freshly made from your local market.
1 Pound Fresh Gnocchi (16 Ounces)
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
1 Bunch Trimmed & Chopped Asparagus (Leave Tips Whole)
Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1 Lemon
3/4 Cup Pasta Cooking Water
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (Plus More For Topping)
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil
Make the gnocchi or purchase fresh gnocchi from the market. Bring a large-size pot of salted water to a boil. Transfer fresh gnocchi to a colander and shake over a baking sheet to remove any excess flour. Add gnocchi to boiling water and cook for just 4 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large-size skillet over a medium-high heat. Add asparagus and lemon zest and lemon juice. Remove gnocchi with a strainer or slotted spoon and add directly to the skillet along with 3/4 cup pasta cooking water. Cook, stirring gently, for 3 to 4 minutes until gnocchi is coated and asparagus is tender. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan and basil. Remove from heat and transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan. Serves 4
© Victoria Hart Glavin
The best gnocchi I have ever tasted was in Rome. I was also lucky enough to make them with a wonderful Roman chef last October when I traveled to Rome. Gnocchi are very delicate and the procedure to make them is fairly simple. It may take some trial and error to understand the proper consistency of the dough. It must be soft, but not wet.
2 Pounds Yellow Finnish Potatoes
1 Beaten Egg
1 to 2 Cups Unbleached Flour (Divided)
In a medium-size pot add unpeeled potatoes and enough cold water to cover. Bring water to a boil over a high heat and continue cooking potatoes until they are tender. When potatoes are tender, drain and peel them. Put potatoes through a ricer and place riced potatoes in a medium-size bowl until cool enough to handle. Add egg and 1 cup flour to potatoes. Using your hands mix in the egg and flour. Knead, as you would bread dough, but as little as possible. Too much mixing will make the gnocchi tough and we don’t want that. The batter should be soft, but hold its shape when formed. Add more flour, up to 2 cups if necessary. The amount of flour used will depend on the humidity and on the type and age of the potatoes). To form gnocchi, break of pieces as big as a child’s fist. With floured hands, gently roll dough into cylinders about ¾ inch in diameter. Lay cylinders on floured board. Using a sharp knife cut off pieces the width of a finger. To shape gnocchi hold a fork in one hand and place a gnocchi pillow against tines of the fork. This gives it the lines. Make sure to be gentle, but assertive enough with the fork. Lay finished gnocchi on a well-floured board or tray. Take care to keep them separate to make sure they don’t stick together. Let dry for 10 minutes or more. Serves 6
To cook your fresh gnocchi just bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Turn the heat down so that the water simmers, and gently drop the gnocchi into the simmering water. Gnocchi are done when they float to the surface. Serve with any sauce that your heart desires or just serves garnished with a handful of Parmesan cheese.
© Victoria Hart Glavin