- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 medium stalk celery, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- Â˝ cup (120 ml) white wine
- One 28-ounce (795 grams) can whole or chopped tomatoes with juices
- Small handful of fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 2 cups (475 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 pounds (905 grams) Russet potatoes (3 or 4)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1ÂĽ to 1Â˝ cups (156 to 190 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surface
- Fresh ricotta or shaved Parmesan to taste (optional)
Tomato broth is light, gnocchi is light, and they donâ€™t fight each other for anything but the chance to be the first thing you taste.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake potatoes for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size, until a thin knife can easily pierce through them. Meanwhile, prepare the tomato broth.
- Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Once itâ€™s hot, add the carrot, celery, and onion, and cook together for 5 minutes, reducing the heat to medium if they begin to brown. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Pour in the wine, and use it to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, then cook the wine until it is reduced by half, for several minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, mashing them a bit with a spoon if whole, and the basil and stock, and simmer until the tomato broth thickens slightly, for about 45 minutes. Strain out the vegetables in a fine-mesh colander, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until needed.
- Let the potatoes cool for 10 minutes after baking, then peel them with a knife or peeler. Run the potatoes through a potato ricer, or grate them on the large holes of a box grater. Cool them to lukewarm, about another 10 minutes. Add the egg and salt, mixing to combine. Add Â˝ cup flour, and mix to combine. Add next Â˝ cup flour, mixing again. Add ÂĽ cup flour, and see if this is enough to form a dough that does not easily stick to your hands. If not, add the last ÂĽ cup of flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough is a good consistencyâ€”soft and a little sticky, but able to hold its shape enough to be rolled into a rope. Knead the dough together briefly on a counterâ€”just for a minute.
- Divide the dough into quarters. Roll each piece into a long rope, about Âľ inch thick. Cut each rope into Âľ-inch lengths. At this point, you can use a floured fork or a gnocchi board to give it the traditional ridges, but I never bother. Place the gnocchi in a single layer on a parchment-lined tray. (If youâ€™d like to freeze them for later use, do so on this tray; once they are frozen, drop them into a freezer bag. This ensures that you wonâ€™t have one enormous gnocchi mass when you are ready to cook them.)
- Place the gnocchi, a quarter-batch at a time, into a pot of boiling, well-salted water. Cook the gnocchi until they floatâ€”about 2 minutesâ€”then drain. (Frozen gnocchi will take a minute longer.)
- Meanwhile, reheat broth to a simmer. Add drained gnocchi and reheat through. Serve gnocchi and broth together, garnished with extra slivers of basil and/or a dollop of fresh ricotta or some Parmesan shavings to taste.