Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce – A History Steeped in Tradition
Indulge in the timeless charm of Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce, a recipe that has enticed the taste buds of generations. This simple yet flavorful dish originated in Italy and has since spread its culinary wings globally, becoming a classic in Old World cooking.
The recipe’s foundation is built on the humble potato, a food that was initially considered an inferior source of nutrition. Gnocchi was a creative way to transform this rugged vegetable into a culinary delight. It’s believed that gnocchi first appeared in Italy during the 16th century and was considered a direct descendant of Roman dumplings.
Traditional gnocchi recipes comprise of mashed potatoes, flour, and eggs, but modern versions may also include herbs and spices. The gnocchi’s signature shape, small dumplings with slightly sunken centers, is achieved by pressing the pieces against a fork tine, giving it a ribbed appearance and helping sauce cling to it.
The addition of tomato sauce elevates the gnocchi’s decadent texture, creating a balanced, flavorful dish that is sure to impress. This recipe is quick and straightforward, making it perfect for any night of the week or special occasions.
Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or an enthusiastic beginner, Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce will satisfy every palate. Try your hand at this classic recipe, and indulge in a dish rooted in history and culture.
Ask the Chef: Pro Tips for making Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce
Use the Right Potatoes
To make the perfect gnocchi, use starchy potatoes like Russets or Yukon Golds, which are best for baking and mashing. Avoid using waxy or new potatoes, which won’t produce the proper texture and could cause the gnocchi to fall apart.
Be Careful Not to Overwork the Dough
When mixing the dough, make sure to handle it gently and not overwork it, as this can result in tough gnocchi. Mix the ingredients until they just come together and form a smooth dough.
Add Flour Gradually
When adding flour to the mashed potatoes, add it gradually and in small portions, until the dough comes together and is no longer sticky, but not too dry either. Too much flour will result in dense gnocchi and too little will cause the gnocchi to dissolve in the water.
Do Not Crowd the Pot
When cooking the gnocchi, boil them in small batches and in plenty of salted water, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Overcrowding will cause the temperature of the water to drop and the gnocchi to become mushy.
Keep the Sauce Simple
To pair nicely with the soft and chewy gnocchi, the tomato sauce should be simple. Don’t add too many ingredients or spices that will overpower the flavor of the potato. The classic combination is just onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, and olive oil.
Save Pasta Water
Reserve a cup of pasta water before draining the gnocchi. You can use the starchy pasta water to thicken the tomato sauce and help it cling to the gnocchi better.
Gnocchi is best served immediately after it’s made. They’ll quickly lose their texture and become mushy if left to sit and absorb sauce for too long. Also, gnocchi and tomato sauce are best served hot out of the pot.