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!

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Herb Crusted Sea Bass & Spring Pea Pancakes

Spring Recipes

I couldn’t be more excited that it’s spring! My favorite produce stand is open, there’s bud break in the vineyards and the warm weather has set in. I’m also excited because at least once a week I get together with my friend Morgan to make dinner and catch up over wine or handcrafted cocktails. Sometimes we plan out our menu in advance, but for the most part we develop our recipe ideas based on which ingredients we have at home.  This week’s menu was inspired by spring and of course the seasonal ingredients we had in our refrigerator or pantry.

After work I swung by my favorite local market, Oliver’s, and picked up some fresh fish and eggs – and that’s it! Morgan and I had everything else to complete this delicious spring menu. Oh, and when you’re at the store, don’t forget the vino. We enjoyed a bottle of Gloria Ferrer Estate Chardonnay, which paired perfectly with the fish and pancakes.

Crusted Seabass

Herb Crusted Sea Bass

  • 1 pound Sea Bass fillets
  • 1 cup Panko
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Combine the parsley, thyme, lemon zest and panko in a large shallow bowl. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and lightly coat both sides of the fillets. Dredge the fish in the panko mixture and set aside. Preheat a skillet over medium-high, add the remaining butter and drizzle of olive oil and cook the fillets for about 5 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Flip, cover skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 8 minutes or until crust is golden brown and middle is white and flaky.  Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your fillets (our fish was about an inch in thickness).

Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 bunch of thin asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Place asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Add the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and roast for about 10 – 12 minutes. Keep warm until you are ready to plate.

Pancakes & Fillets

Homemade Hollandaise Sauce

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of salt

Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl until the mixture is thickened. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler), just make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. (Make sure the eggs do not get too hot or else they will scramble) Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Serve warm over fish and asparagus.

Spring Pea Pancakes with Herbed Yogurt

These tasty treats were so easy to make and paired exceptionally well with our herb crusted Sea Bass.

Click here to view this recipe on Morgan’s delicious blog:
There Will Be Snacks

Pea Pancakes

Share with us some of your favorite dishes you are enjoying this spring! @ApronsStilettos

Here’s to another great day! ~Crystal