(enjoying gnocchi alla sorrentina in italy)
We specifically picked Italy as our honeymoon destination so that we could enjoy amazing food and wine. We explored the farmers' markets, took cooking classes, and stopped off for aperitivos.
We ate pasta at every meal (well, not breakfast - that would be weird, no?). I could not get enough of the delicate raviolis, the tagliatelle, and the gnocchi.
We came across this Gnocchi alla Sorrentina on our way from Pompeii to Positano. We dined right next to the beach and drank a half liter of Rose. Just thinking about that afternoon makes me instantly relaxed.
We've both coined this dish as the "adult version of macaroni and cheese." It's ooey-gooey wonderfulness, but so much better than the blue box. (And that's saying alot because I personally love the blue box).
The key to this dish truly is the fresh gnocchi, but it can be a time commitment. You're not actively cooking the whole time, but you need to sort of be near the kitchen. A perfect Sunday meal. If you don't have the time, stop by a local Italian market and see if they have fresh gnocchi in the fridge that you can purchase.
Adapted from Michael Chiarello's recipe from the Food Network
1 pound russet potatoes
3 large egg yokes
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting board and dough
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spread a layer of salt on a baking sheet, arrange potatoes on top, and bake until fork tender - about 45 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle, cut in half, and scoop out flesh.
Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer. Make a mound of potatoes on the counter with a well in the middle. Add egg yolks, cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix well with hands. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour and press into the potatoes. Fold the mass over on itself and press down again. Keep adding bits of flour, folding, and pressing until it just holds together. Try not to overknead it. The dough will be firm but yielding.
Form dough into ball and divide into 4 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a rope about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut in 1/2 inch pieces. Gently press side with tines of fork to create gnocchi ridges. Lay on cookie sheet and lightly dust with flour. Let gnocchi rest and dry for about 20 minutes.
Bring salted water to boil, drop in the gnocchi, and cook for about 90 seconds from the time they rise to the surface. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a skimmer and shake off the excess water.
Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina
Bring 1 1/2 cups homemade tomato sauce to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Mix in 1 cup chopped buffalo mozzarella. Mix in homemade gnocchi. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce coats all the gnocchi. Top with freshly chopped basil and enjoy!