It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year…

Finishing the Week Right… 

After a full week of social engagements, too much boozing, and dinners out (not to mention drunken taco binges at 1am), I was relieved to have finally made it through to Sunday… my only day of rest and the only day I didn’t have any commitments apart from relaxing and sleeping in.  Given that my Saturday night was spent getting rather plastered at a good friend’s annual Christmas party, I’m not exactly sure how I woke up sans-hangover (a Christmas miracle I’d say!) or how I was able to sleep past 7am.  I must have narrowly escaped it the former through the consumption of the two generous bowls of fettucini I had after I stumbled home at 2am.  

I digress though – Welcome to my new blog, where I will take you on a magical journey through my cooking, recipes, meal-planning, dining and wining endeavors, occasional travel, and generally degenerate escapades! Let’s get started…

Sunday’s finished product:  Homemade gnocchi with taleggio cream sauce and shaved black truffle

I slept in until 11am on Sunday, which is pretty much impossible these days given my advanced age, weekday wake up call time of 6:30am, relentlessly harassing cat, and general guilt over laying in bed past 9am.  I made a trip to Eataly (if you’ve never been, I suggest visiting!) with big plans to make homemade gnocchi and purchase a truffle for said dish. 

The ricotta was my favorite… along with the Parmesan cheese, dipped in honey (if you’ve never dipped Parmesan in honey, try it – you will never want one without the other again)!

I arrived in need of a glass of wine (red, naturally), so my boyfriend and I had shared a cheese plate and partook in some vino rosso before continuing with our shopping.  

I must say, as great as Eataly is for pretty much anything Italian (cheeses, pastas, cured meats, candies), fresh meats and seafood, and even fresh produce, the truffles seemed a bit over-priced.  Chelsea Market has much better pricing for truffles, and next time I will remember that. 

The gnocchi takes about 2.5 hours to prepare from start to finish, so this is the perfect recipe if you have a free week-night or slow-paced Sunday free of time constraints (***most people would argue a meal that takes almost 3 hours to prepare is anything BUT relaxing… kneading and chopping shit helps me relax). 

I never measure anything by weight or measuring cups when I cook – I go on taste and knowledge only (it’s only really necessary to measure accurately when baking). Because of this, I am not the best at translating my recipes for other people’s use… a lot of things in cooking are trial and error, knowing what flavors compliment each other, and also knowing when too much is too much (ie. salt, oil, sugar, etc.).

For the gnocchi:

  • 3 large russet or Idaho potatoes, or 4 smaller ones
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup – 2 cups flour
  • Pierce the potatoes with a fork and bake at 425 for an hour.  You can check to see if the potatoes are baked long enough by stabbing with a fork when you take them out (if the fork doesn’t go smoothly in, they need more time). 
  • Cut the potatoes in half while they’re still warm, and scoop the insides into a large bowl (no skins!)
  • Use a fork or a whisk to mash down the potatoes… try to make sure there are no lumps
  • Once the potatoes are a smooth consistency, add in (1) beaten egg and mix; add in the Parmesan, salt and flour next, stirring and then kneading to a dough consistency (keep adding flour as kneaded… dough should not be sticky or you won’t be able to roll it out)
  • Once the dough has a good consistency, separate it into quarters and roll into ropes on a WELL-FLOURED surface or counter top.  The dough ropes should be no thicker than your thumb 
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the ropes into the gnocchi – they should look like little pillows and each be about the size of a piece of a chiclet 
  • Optional:  for added texture, and for the purposes of holding more sauce, you can use the tines of the fork to make indentations on each individual gnocchi (this will add another 45 min on the process)
  • Add the gnocchi to a pot of BOILING (and yes, it must be boiling) and heavily salted pot of water…. have a slatted spoon ready to scoop them out – they only take about 2 minutes to cook since they’re fresh and homemade

You can use pretty much any sauce you want, store bought or homemade…. gnocchi are like pasta and very versatile.  If you prepare them right, they should be light and fluffy, and not heavy or dense.  I like to use fresh tomato sauce, or as seen above, make a cream sauce using heavy cream and melted cheese (taleggio, gorgonzola dolce, or any other soft cheese works well).  It’s best to use a double boiler for this step (Google can show you how). 

I topped it all off with that expensive AF truffle, pictured above.  That lil’ baby was $50 for 12 grams!  A little bit goes a long way though.  I would also recommend a good truffle oil if you cannot find fresh truffle – the oil is often times more flavorful and fragrant I find 🙂 

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I love cooking, eating, entertaining, dining out, fine wines, not-so-fine wines, partying, shopping, wearing heels, my boyfriend, my family, my friends, and my cat. I dislike boring people and activities, judgmental people, boring foods, and places that don't serve wine.

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