Sundays spent with Francesco and his family are precious. His sister and mom work away making food to feed our family, stomachs and spirits. What better gift to give your family then nourishment? I pull up a chair and watch, listen and learn. The flour is sifted and hits a smooth board. Warm water is gradually placed in the volcano shaped well. Fingers gently incorporate the flour from the sides of the well into the water. A workable mound is formed. Cut and roll. Slice into cushions and roll on a wooden slated paddle completing the transformation into gnocchi. I am fortunate to have grown up sitting around a table most Sundays with my grandparents, parents, sister and extended family. I found that fortune again in Italy.
Simple gnocchi (no potatoes here)
Ingredients for 2
approximately 2 1/4 cups (300 g) flour 00
water as needed
pinch of salt
Boil a cup or two of water. Pile flour in a mound on a flat work surface. Make a well in the center of the flour. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and a few generous spoonfuls of warm water to the center of the well. Use a fork to gradually draw in the flour from the inside of the well. Continue adding small amounts of warm water until all the flour is incorporated. Shape the dough into a ball and cut into four equal pieces. Flour them lightly and cover them with a kitchen towel to keep the dough from drying out. Working with one section of dough at a time, roll into long tube-shaped strips. Cut into small pillow-shaped pieces.We use two methods to shape the gnocchi: a fork or gnocchi paddle. If using a fork, gently roll each piece along the fork tines in a downward motion. If using a gnocchi paddle gently roll each piece along the paddle in a downward motion. Repeat with each piece of dough.Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once water has come to a boil, toss a heaping teaspoon of salt in and cook for 4 – 8 minutes. The will float to the top when they are done. Gently lift the pasta from the water with a slotted spoon. Toss the gnocchi in your favorite sauce and enjoy with your loved ones.