Gnocchi With Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella
A Hearty Dish Featuring All Your Favorites
Don't know what to make for the holidays? Let Mario Batali help with this creamy Italian dish.
For the tomato sauce
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft.
Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal.
Season with salt and serve.
For the gnocchi
Boil the whole potatoes until they are soft, about 45 minutes. While still warm, peel the potatoes and pass them through a food mill onto a clean pasta board.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and set up an ice bath with 4 cups of ice and 3 quarts of water next to the stove.
Make a well in the center of the potatoes and sprinkle with the flour. Place the egg and salt in the center of the well and, use a fork, stir the egg into the flour and potatoes. Bring the dough together, kneading gently until a ball is formed and continues to knead gently another 4 minutes until the dough is dry to the touch. Cut a tennis ball-size hunk of dough off the main ball and roll into a dowel about ¾ inch thick.
Cut across the dowel to form pellets about 1 inch long. Flick each pellet down the tines of s fork to form the traditional gnocchi shape. Repeat with the remaining dough. Drop a third of the gnocchi shape. Repeat with the remaining dough. Drop a third of the gnocchi into the boiling water. When they are floating aggressively (after3 to 4 minutes of cooking), remove the gnocchi to the ice bath. Repeat with the 2 remaining batches of gnocchi and allow all gnocchi to cool in the ice bath. Drain the cooked gnocchi well, stir in the olive oil cover, and refrigerate until ready to cook. The gnocchi will keep up to 35 hours in the fridge.
Assemble the dish
When you are ready to serve the gnocchi, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 table spoons salt. In a 14- to 16-inch frying pan, combine the pepper flakes, tomato sauce, and 2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer 5 minutes, or until the sauce is as tick as a good porridge. (At this point the sauce could be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until floating aggressively, 4 to 5 minutes.
Carefully transfer the gnocchi to the pan with the sauce, using a slotted spoon. Turn the heat to medium and toss gently for about 30 seconds. Tear the basil leaves into a few pieces and add to the sauce along with the mozzarella cubes. Toss together for 30 seconds longer, pour into a heated bowl, and serve immediately.
This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.