There's an old saying that you should not go grocery shopping when you're hungry. So true! You end up buying more than what is on your shopping list and often come home with too many snacks.
Well, I think there might also be a good case against gardening when you're hungry. The other day I decided to go out and weed my little garden before the heat of the day set in. It was beautifully cool and quiet and the only company I had were the bees, butterflies and birds. The problem is, I went out before I had any breakfast. I thought I'd only be out there for a half an hour and could eat when I was done. Well, a half an hour quickly became a couple of hours of weeding and I was really hungry!
Looking at those chubby little bees hungrily feeding on nectar made me realize that they looked like gnocchi. Delicious, two-colored flying gnocchi! Obviously it was time to head inside and grab a bite to eat.
Gnocchi are simple to make and are especially delicious made with local farm potatoes that are now in season. The secret to light-as-air (or light-as-a-bumblebee) gnocchi is to use starchy potatoes, such as the common Russet or Idaho baking potato.
I haven’t quite perfected my recipe for two-color gnocchi that look like bumblebees but basic potato gnocchi are absolutely delicious. I love the fact that you don’t have to spend a lot of time making a fancy sauce. Of course, you can take the time to make a wild boar ragu to serve with them but, when it comes to gnocchi, I always think the simpler the better. Serve them with a classic brown butter and sage sauce or a light coating of marinara or pesto.
2 ¼ pounds starchy potatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons salted butter
6 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
In a pot of boiling, salted water cook the whole potatoes until soft, about 20 minutes. While they are still hot, peel them and immediately press them through a potato ricer or mash them.
On a clean, floured surface sift the flour over the potatoes and, using your hands, combine to form a smooth, elastic dough.
Roll the dough into ¾ inch diameter logs and cut into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece onto the back of a fork to make little ridges. These ridges will help to hold the sauce.
Put a medium pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.
While the water is heating up, make your brown butter sauce. In a small pan on low heat melt the butter until it is lightly browning and stir in the sage leaves.
Cook the gnocchi in gently boiling water until they float to the surface. This only takes about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the gnocchi to warmed dishes. Drizzle on the melted butter and sage, and top with a little parmesan, salt and pepper.