Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce

I'm pretty good at storing food in the freezer.  In fact, just last night, I pureed a bag of persimmons and put 1-cup portions into freezer bags.  Where I go awry is using said frozen food before it's too late. It's almost as if the freezer has a magic hole that stuff disappears to, only to return when freezer burn has taken over!  I try to keep an inventory but, along the way, it all falls apart. It seems I'm always disposing of something I froze. So it probably should not have surprised me that I found some homemade gnocchi, that I had made in October, in the freezer while looking for the walnuts.  I worked hard to make those gnocchi, I'm amazed I forgot I froze some! Old age taking over? Anyway, I grabbed the bag of gnocchi and rearranged my dinner menu to include them.
 This is just a simple tomato sauce, simmered a while for the sauce to reduce and thicken and the herbs to add some subtle flavor. In fact, Pomodoro sauce basically means tomato sauce, it just sounds fancier!  I always have San Marzano tomatoes in my pantry, a can is the foundation of many a quick meal around here. Other brands can be used,  I think San Marzano tomatoes make superior tomato sauces.

Of course, homemade gnocchi is not required here.  There are wonderful packages of gnocchi in most grocery stores these days.  A package of gnocchi works well with hectic weeknight dinner schedules.

Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup heavy cream
16 ounces potato gnocchi
8 ounces mozzarella
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in 10-inch ovenproof pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, lowering the heat if needed so the onions don't brown.  Cook until the onions are transparent, about 5-7 minutes.

Crush the tomatoes with your hand (or blender) and add to the pan, along with the juice.  Season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.  Simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the sauce reduces and thickens.  It should be thick enough to coat the gnocchi.  Stir in the heavy cream and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi in a pan of salted boiling water. The gnocchi are done when they rise to the top.  Drain and place the gnocchi into the cooked sauce. Top with mozzarella (shredded or halved mozzarella balls) and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Broil for 5-8 minutes, until the cheese melts and the tops become crispy. 

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