Mrsfoodiemumma – Marie Muccio, foodie, wife, mum of three and granddaughter – inspiring you to get excited about food!
We all have that friend or family member that you refer to as the great cook. When you get invited over for dinner you can’t help but get excited about what they will be making for dinner. For me that person is my Nonna! I’ve always enjoyed watching my Nonna in the kitchen whether it be baking a fresh batch of biscotti or rolling out fresh pasta for her lasagne.
In the last 5 or so years I’ve gotten so busy with my own little family that I’ve taken her for granted and it wasn’t until the other day when I was looking through the cookbook “Jamie Cooks Italy” that I thought of her. You’ve probably seen the TV show, Jamie Oliver travelled Italy for 2 years cooking with Nonnas, researching and creating recipes for his cookbook.
I only had to go 15 minutes down the road to Altona North to my Nonna. So today I made the time! No excuses! We had espresso coffee together and biscotti and then we got down to business and she taught me how to make the most fluffiest pillows of fresh gnocchi. The kind that just melt in your mouth.
I know it can be hard to find time to make fresh pasta or gnocchi when life is so busy but once you have found the right recipe that little bit of extra effort is so worth it. If you have ever tasted fresh gnocchi straight from the pot then you know what I mean! You will not go back to the packet ones! I had the best morning with my Nonna, chatting and rolling and learning a beautiful Italian tradition. I am honoured to share my Nonnas recipe with you. Please do yourself a favour and give these a try!! If you do I would love to hear from you!
Nonna Vera’s Gnocchi
2.5 cups plain flour
For the sauce
1 small brown onion very finely diced
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 bay leave
1 jar Passata
1/2 tsp sugar
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes using a colander and set aside to cool. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and place them through a ricer and into a large bowl or onto a clean work surface.
Make a well in the centre, crack in the egg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Adding a cup of flour at a time start to work the mixture until a dough starts to form. When it’s workable, place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes. If the dough is sticking to your hands add a bit more flour.
Cut the dough into 4 parts and working with one part at a time roll into a sausage shape 1cm in diameter and cut the gnocchi with a knife approx 2cm long using a fork gently roll the gnocchi to shape it and then roll into plain flour to stop them from sticking.
To cook your gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and gently cook in batches to avoid clumping together. They are ready once they float to the surface.
For the sauce: Heat 1tsp olive oil in a pot or large frying pan and fry your onion until soft. Add the garlic and bay leave and cook for a few seconds before adding the Passata. Add half a teaspoon of sugar to regulate the acidity of the tomatoes, season to perfection with salt and pepper and leave to simmer for 25 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon gently transfer the gnocchi to the sauce and toss ever so gently so they are evenly coated. Divide into serving bowls, top with Parmesan cheese and basil leaves and serve with a garden salad and some crusty bread to soak up all that lovely sauce.