A Couple of Tarts

We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink, for dining alone is leading the life of a lion or wolf. ~ Epicurus

Thursday, September 07, 2006

gnocchi come vuoi

I am very grateful that the restaurant is closed on Sundays. It is the perfect excuse to prepare a homey Sunday supper. My inspiration for these meals is rooted in the Tuscan countryside. I was on vacation several years ago with Dave and my friends Torrey and Stephanie. We were staying in the picture perfect town of DiComano in an equally picturesque villa. I will never forget the wonderful smells radiating from the homes on our first afternoon. Since this trip, I have tried to become more aware not only of the food I eat, but how it is prepared. Lately, it also comes out of necessity since there is a shortage of Italian restaurants in the area. After reading an excerpt from Bill Buford's book Heat, I was compelled me to buy a pasta machine. For whatever reason, I have been craving dishes that are rustic and get your hands dirty.

To help guide me, there is the Italian Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis. It is what every good cookbook should be. The well-tested recipes are accompanied by wonderful tidbits and anecdotes. Gnocchi has always eluded me in the past. Didn't I need some fancy equipment to prepare them? It turns out all you need is a ricer, fork, a little patience and your own 2 hands. The ingredients are probably in your pantry already. I may have been happier with a moule, but my $3 ricer worked out fine. Because I don't take direction well, I doubled the recipe and ended up with enough gnocchi to feed a few guests. (and their families) These delicious dumplings freeze well and have found a home in my freezer next to some parpadelle and tagliatelle. I believe there is a nonna in all of us. There is something very satisfying and tasty about creating something so simple. C'est parfait..scusi perfetto.


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