Sunday, August 29, 2010 @ 7:20 PM
fun with my foodmill
I don't know why, but lately I've had an itch to make food from my backgrounds. It's almost as if each part of me (Irish, Italian, Hungarian, Polish and German) is battling for control of my tastebuds (and my kitchen). Last week it was Hungarian paprikash
. Tonight it was potato gnocchi and sauce. It all started with yesterday's trip to Reading Terminal Market
. I was strolling through the center of the market and happened upon a featured local farmstand selling baskets of beautiful bright red tomatoes. I've been longing for a garden since moving to my boxed-in high-rise apartment because I miss the taste of freshly grown tomatoes. Naturally, I bought a basket, intending on eating my heart's content of tomato sandwiches. I walked about 3 feet from the stand before I had the brilliant idea to make spaghetti sauce from scratch. Afterall I had
just brought up my food mill from my mom's house (is it weird that I own one? maybe, but I did
ask for a Ronco food dehydrator for Christmas when I was 9 and a George Foreman grill when I was 10). What better way to break it in and pay homage to my Italian roots than with a little marinara?
I decided to wait until this afternoon to make my sauce, but in the interim, the strangest thing happened. I was reading about Irish History for class and I started craving potatoes. Mind you I was in Ireland for the majority of the summer, eating potatoes to my heart's content, but I had never had such a spud hankering before. I thought to myself, "Why not make gnocchi? It's potato-ey and you can use your food mill!" Perfect.
I set out on my mission half-heartedly, as I figured that my bad luck with dough and past failed attempts at making pasta (my pasta roller was a Christmas gift when I was 12...) would result in a gluteny, chewy mess of potato and flour. I had tortellini in the freezer in the event that such a nightmarishly messy scenario became a self-fufilling prophecy. My Italian grandma must have been with me in the kitchen because no such thing happened. My bright red tomatoes boiled down to become a rich red-crimson sauce and my gnocchi were perfect pillows of potato. I credit my grammy with instilling in me my deep love of baking, but I'm pretty sure she passed down some Italian kitchen skills, too. If you're looking down on me, gram, I hope I made you proud!
Summer tastes like a garden-ripe tomato.
Ready for some heat!
Double, double (no) toil and trouble. Fire burn and dutch oven bubble.
1 1/2 lbs of russets ready for the oven.
After a trip through the food mill
, my potatoes cool off on a cookie sheet.
Tossed with a cup of flour.
Make a well, add an egg and some salt. Stir until everything is just slightly moistened. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until dough comes together. Divide the dough into four pieces and roll each into a long tube about 3/4" in diameter.
Cut into pieces with a knife.
Boil in a simmering pot of salted water for 4 minutes (or cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days).
Light potato dumplings and tart, hearty sauce. Given my trepidation, I can't help but be proud of myself when I look at this photo.
Labels: food mill, gnocchi, italian, potatoes, sauce
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