Homemade Gnocchi in a Simple Tomato Sauce

Gnocci with Homemade sauce

This year’s tomato harvest at Creekview Farm was never ending! From San Marzano’s to beautiful Herilooms, we had enough harvest for two large batches of tomato sauce, two large batches of bloody mary mix, endless caprese salads and beyond. To help me warm up on these cooler nights, I decided to pair our homemade tomato sauce with a simple gnocchi recipe topped with shaved Pecorino and fresh herbs.

Tomato Sauce

  • Tomatoes (I used San Marzano tomatoes from Creekview Farm)
  • Fresh oregano
  • Fresh basil
  • Bay leaves
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Carrots, chopped
  • Onions, chopped
  • Celery, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Creekview Tomato Strainer

I started off by pureeing the tomatoes using our super old-fashioned tomato food strainer (I remember my Mom using this all the time as a kid). The strainer helps separate out the skins and seeds, while keeping the yummy pulp and juices. And what I love most about making tomato sauce is the fact that you really can make it your own and add in whatever herbs, vegetables and seasonings you want. For this sauce, I kept it very simple by adding in a few chopped vegetables and herbs and letting it simmer all day on low until it reached the perfect consistency.

Creekview Herbs

Add chopped vegetables and garlic to a large heavy pot over medium heat, add olive oil and cook for about 5 minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic). Add tomatoes,  chopped herbs of your choice, 1-2 bay leaves and sea salt and simmer on low heat until tomato sauce has darkened and you’ve reached your preferred consistency. I simmered mine for about 8 hours on low – make sure you are constantly tasting the sauce through out the day, adding in more herbs if you desire. Season sauce with more salt and freshly ground pepper.

Ground Pepper

Store in an airtight container for a week in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer. TIP: when freezing, make sure you freeze in 2-4 serving portions.

Gnocchi

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Fresh basil

Begin by boiling the potatoes (skins on) until soft and tender. While they are still warm, peel them and pass them through a potato ricer (if you don’t have a ricer, you can use a hand masher or fork – just be sure to not overwork the potatoes). Gather the potatoes into a mound and form a well in the center. Add the egg and salt and begin to mix together with a fork, gradually adding in the flour. Once mixed, begin to knead the dough gently until dough is slightly dry to the touch.

Aprons Gnocchi

Form dough into log and slice off 1-inch pieces. Take one of the pieces and roll into a rope about 3/4 inch in diameter. With a sharp knife cut the rope crosswise every 3/4 inch. Continue the same process with the rest of the dough.

Aprons Gnocchi

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once ready, drop in the dumplings for about 2 minutes (they will begin to float). Remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Remove them quickly from the bath and drain on a paper towel.

Aprons Gnocchi

When ready to serve, heat your sauce and toss gently with the gnocchi. Garnish with freshly shaved Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil. Enjoy with Sangiovese or Merlot.

Happy Holidays!

Homemade Farmers Cheese

Farmers Cheese

  • Half gallon of milk
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • Cheesecloth
  • Seasoning of choice: olive oil, lemon zest, fresh herbs

Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add salt and stir occasionally to avoid burning the milk. As soon as the milk starts to simmer (about 180-190 degrees), pour in the lemon juice and vinegar and stir. The milk should begin to curdle – if not, add in a little more lemon juice or vinegar. Turn off the heat and let the milk rest for about 10 minutes. Line a colander with at least two layers of cheesecloth. Pour curdled milk into the cheesecloth, tie cloth and hang over a bowl for a 1/2 hour – hour to ensure all the whey has drained (be careful not to let it hang too long, as the result will be too dry).

Farmers Cheese Cheesecloth

Once drained, open cheesecloth and either refrigerate cheese immediately or transfer to a plate to serve. If serving immediately, season with your favorite items: olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper and/or favorite fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley and oregano.

Farmers Cheese

This mild cheese is great on crackers or on your favorite crostini. I recently served it up over a crostini topped by tomatoes, basil and olive oil.

Every Pound Saves A Hound

Grounds & Hounds Aprons & Stilettos

I like coffee. A lot. So much in fact, our home houses a French press, pour over and espresso machine… ready to brew the perfect cup of coffee for our morning adventures. But what I love equally as much is the driving force behind Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co.

As a lifelong dog lover (and coffee fanatic), I was ecstatic when my friend Jordan Karcher launched Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. An incredible company committed to using a percentage of sales from their organic fair trade, specialty coffees to support the no kill rescue organizations providing safe-havens for pups between homes. Did you know that every year, approximately 2.1 million dogs are euthanized in the United States animal shelters due to the shortfall of suitable homes, however 90% of these pups are deemed adoptable but simply run out of time. That’s roughly 1.9 million dogs that are killed every year.  Fortunately, there are thousands of no kill shelters all throughout the US, but these shelters are challenged by fully relying on public donations and adoption fees in order to remain open. That’s where Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. steps in to join the fight to save these adorable dogs, young and old, by donating 20% of sales to no kill shelters nationwide.

Grounds & Hounds

So how did this amazing company get started? Jordan’s journey to launching Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. began through two key life experiences. His first experience goes back to a cold winter day in Pittsburgh, where Jordan took his first sip of coffee at the age of 12. From that moment on and for the last 15 years, his passion for the perfect brew has steered him to seek out remarkable coffees all over the world.  His second experience happened unexpectedly when Molly, a malnourished brown and white Dalmatian, crawled into his lap at a dog adoption operating on the side of Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. Jordan wasn’t planning, nor prepared, to adopt a rescue animal when he left his house that spring morning, but Molly would forever change his (and more pups in need) life.

After Jordan adopted Molly, he began working with rescue organizations to help in any way possible. While working with the groups as a volunteer, he became more cognizant of the issues facing animals (as well as non-profit animal rescue groups) in the country. The more he learned, the more committed he became to finding a solution to the mistreatment of at-risk animals in our country, which eventually led to the creation of Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. 

Ground & Hounds Coffee

Let’s talk coffee. I’ve had the pleasure of trying almost all of the coffee options from Grounds & Hounds’ portfolio and let me tell you – it’s amazing. Jordan and his team are extremely passionate about carefully sourcing the most delicious and sustainable coffee beans from the very best growing regions in the world. Their coffee is 100% Fair Trade (learn more about what Fair Trade is in a nutshell here) and Organic certified. They then roast each and every batch to bring out the beans unique characteristics, ensuring you have an amazing experience each and every time you brew a cup of Grounds & Hounds.

Some of my favorites include their Alpha Blend™, a dark roast coffee made from Arabica beans grown in Colombia, Guatemala, and Sumatra and the Sit & Stay Blend™, a medium roast with notes of clove and chocolate.


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I’m extremely proud of the work Grounds & Hounds has done over the last two years they’ve been open for business. You can find Jordan and Molly on their daily walks around the park, enjoying a baseball game or visiting shelters nationwide. Click here to learn more about the wonderful rescue organizations they support around the country and click on the below video to learn more about their amazing mission.

Jordan