With blue potatoes on hand, I thought it appropriate to create some type of patriotic dish for the 4th of July holiday. Yes, I know they look purple, but bear with me here.
It has been a long time since I've made gnocchi, but that was the first thing that came to mind when I wanted to get creative with the blue potatoes. Paired with the white potatoes my parents brought me from their garden last weekend, and a few surprise tomatoes that arrived in the garden, I had the makings of a red, white and blue creation.
Gnocchi is more of a comfort dish; one that doesn't sound all that appealing in record high temperatures. For that reason, I kept the tomato sauce raw and fresh. The basil gives the dish a refreshing quality that makes it perfectly acceptable for summer.
Blue and White Potato Gnocchi with Fresh Red Tomato Sauce
1 lb blue potatoes, baked
1 lb white potatoes, baked
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp dried parsley, divided
Fresh Red Tomato Sauce
4 medium tomatoes, cored and diced
¼ large white onion, minced
20 – 30 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
Fill a soup pot with water, about ¾ of the way full. Bring to a boil as you make the tomato sauce.
In a bowl, combine the tomato, onion and basil. Add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and Parmesan. Toss to mix the ingredients and set aside.
Place the flesh of the white potatoes and the blue potatoes in separate medium-sized bowls. Real gnocchi calls for sending the potatoes through a potato ricer. I don't have one, so I do my best to mash the potatoes well with a hand-held masher or a fork.
Next, add ½ cup flour to each bowl of potatoes. Then add ½ teaspoon of salt to each, and a ½ teaspoon of parsley. First take the blue potato mixture and combine the flour and potato by hand. Once it holds together, turn out onto the counter and knead as you would bread dough, until a smooth ball is formed.
Roll the potato dough into a thin log. You may need to do this in 2 to 3 batches. Use a knife or dough cutter to cut the log into small ¼ inch pieces. You can leave the pieces as they are, or roll them gently with a fork to create ridges.
Set aside the blue potato gnocchi and repeat the process with the white potato gnocchi.
Prepare a place for the cooked gnocchi by drizzling about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-sized bowl.
Once the water comes to a boil, sprinkle in some salt. Add the blue potato gnocchi to the boiling water in 3 separate batches. Allow it to boil until it floats, about 45 to 60 seconds. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place it in the bowl with olive oil. Repeat with the remaining blue potato gnocchi and then the white potato gnocchi. Toss the cooked gnocchi gently in the the olive oil.
Divide the gnocchi into 4 to 6 portions. Top with the fresh tomato sauce, and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan.
I'd like to devote this patriotic post to my uncle who passed away from cancer last Saturday. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and one of the most positive, caring people I have known. He will be missed dearly.
Happy 4th of July to all my readers in the U.S!