Its finally fall! And I'm still making pasta! At least its finally cool enough to tolerate cooking in our 3rd floor apartment (have I mentioned we live in a brick building and that in the summer it is quite literally hellish in our kitchen.) The best thing to happen during this span of 10 days was that I FINALLY broke down and did tests for my own gnocchi recipe.
I made a big batch of dough, weighed and divided it, and changed the amounts of flour in each in an attempt to make a firm, but still light and fluffy gnocch. (I've decided this is the cute singular version of gnocchi) I've given you the recipe at the end, try it out, let me know how it goes. It's a fast and easy recipe, that looks kind of impressive when it's all cooked up. If there are any leftovers you will be the envy of all your co-workers tomorrow.
The Tastiest: Eggplant Mezzaluna with smoked mozzarella and cherry tomatoes
This was delicious and, no surprise here, it was from the fantastic Flour and Water cookbook. This shape was easy and forgiving too, a circle with filling, folded in half, and sealed with a fork. The only unappealing thing about this dish was the color of the filling, but that really was the least of my concerns because the taste was so good and NEW. Its not that I don't like eggplant or smoked mozzarella, its just I've never really gotten around to buying them or even making anything with them. After a million days of pasta it was nice to try something new and have it be an outstanding success.
The Most Exotic: Whole wheat double shovels with heirloom tomatoes and ricotta
I really wish I had made more exotic flavors of pasta while doing this project, but this dalliance with whole wheat flour is about as close as I've come so far. That doesn't mean I haven't amassed a kind of large collection of more exotic flours (rice, buckwheat, spelt etc) I just haven't gotten around to using them. Its a bigger risk on a weeknight to experiment with a new flour, especially because then I'd really have to consider the sauce and other ingredients. A lot of people make and eat whole wheat pasta, so it seemed like a safe choice. The pasta itself was sweeter than noodles made with 00, semolina or AP, it stood up nicely with our chunky heirloom tomato sauce which was good. For extra richness I mixed in some handmade ricotta too (any interest in this recipe? making ricotta is actually crazy simple.....) Overall, pretty good but not amazing, I did love this shape though.
The Most Disappointing: Saccotini filled with gorgonzola in fig sauce
Remember a while ago, when I made carmelle filled with figs and caramelized onions in a gorgonzola cheese sauce? I really liked those flavors, but decided to "challenge myself" by "mixing it up" and filling these with the cheese and making a fig sauce. I'm literally laughing as I type this, because the fig "sauce" was more like sad fig mush. It was bland, the cheese flavor didn't come through, and it was kind of too sweet. We had a friend over for dinner this night, and this poor guy has now eaten two of my more experimental dinners. I definitely owe him a good one. Lesson learned, one should hide any unsightly ingredients inside pasta.
The Prettiest: Igannapreti with Sausage and Kale
So exciting - Emily made the greens/sausage/pasta thing again... wow.... But really, if you haven't tried it yet you should because its easy and delicious. This pasta shape is one of my favorite yet, it has a few different names and even more meanings. I've heard that it resembles a belly button (not my favorite description) but more commonly than not its described as a deceptive pasta because from the top it looks like a filled pasta. I guess priests (its always priests in these stories) would bite into them expecting a tasty cheese filling only to find it was just plain old pasta. The finished dish wasn't groundbreaking or particularly good looking, but this shape is great which is why its the prettiest of these 10 days.
The one you could make tonight: Potato Gnocchi with alfredo sauce
This feels a bit like a cop out. I've listed gnocchi in this category before... but didn't provide a recipe. But I have one now! This is a smaller serving size than most recipes because there are just two of us, but you can definitely double the batch and freeze what you don't use. Serve these up with cheese sauce, red sauce, bolognese, or even just a little butter. Originally I was going to put the recipe here, but for those of you who are just here for the pictures (I get it, its cool) I figured that would be a lot to scroll through- so it now has its own post! which I will post tomorrow. because we have limited internet right now and attempting to upload/download pictures is driving me crazy. trust me though, its worth the wait.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from these 10 days, to see photos of all 10 finished dishes check out this link to my #100daysofpastafresca on instagram!