Lazy gnocchi days

One of my favorite things about the summer season is all of the free time to experiment with new recipes and practice various cookery techniques. For example, today's hours were filled almost exclusively with making gnocchi. I've made gnocchi several times before, so this time was merely an attempt for improvement.

I'm a hands-on kind of cook; a messy, squishy, dig-in-and-get-it-under-your-fingernails kind. Naturally, I particularly enjoy working with dough - pasta, bread, danish, pie - whatever. Today's gnocchi fit that bill and I happily spent hours among the potato-y, floury dough. Its silken softness and starchy, eggy scent was a delightful component of my afternoon.

Anyway, I did finally get the hang of forming the gnocchi today as well. I attribute this feat to trading the tines of a fork for the side of a whisk when shaping the gnocchi. Simply flatten the dough against the whisk and roll one end to the other to create a shell-like blob with defined ridges. Beautiful little blobs...I served them with spinach-stuffed chicken and a roasted tomato and pepper sauce. (Great way to use up those aged tomatoes that are too soft/mushy for salad, by-the-by.)

Gnocchi recipe (courtesy of Michael Chiarello) can be found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-chiarello/potato-gnocchi-recipe/index.html

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