I decided to surprise him this year. His office wasn’t closed for the Columbus Day holiday, and mine was, so I had the apartment to myself and it would be easy. The plan was to make gnocchi – I haven’t done it in over a year, and a friend recently asked for some tips, so I’ve had gnocchi on the brain lately.

I’ve made dozens of batches of these little dumplings over the years, with varying degrees of success. The ones I made last night were my lightest yet, though I think they were almost too delicate. Still, I was pleased overall with the result and more importantly, Mike loved them.

My creation

I’m not going to print a recipe here, because I think gnocchi are something you just need to try and try and try again until you get a feel for them. I’ve always used Lidia’s recipe as a base, and I referred to Heidi and Elise this time around as well. I would estimate that I ended up using about 2 cups of potato, one egg seasoned with about 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, and about a cup of flour – far less flour than I have ever used before.

Dinner:  October 8, 2007

As I said above, this made for extremely light gnocchi, but a few of them just barely held together in the sauce. It’s possible that gnocchi like this would do better in a lighter sauce – sage brown butter, perhaps – as opposed to the wild mushroom cream sauce I served them with last night.

Bindella Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (2004)

The birthday boy had no complaints, though, and he happily downed two helpings between phone calls from our families passing along their well-wishes. We opened a bottle of Bindella Vino Nobile di Montepulciano with our meal, and drank a toast to the year ahead.

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