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Monday, May 20, 2002

Gnocchi alla Ciociaria (Ciociaria-Style Gnocchi)

One of my favorite recipes, this traditional gnocchi was featured on Mario Batali's television show, Molto Mario. It seems to garner great praise whenever I make it for friends. One time I even took my act on the road and put it together at a relative's house for a family get-together. The only equipment you really need is a big, high-sided skillet.

Gnocchi (an Italian-style potato dumpling) is one of the easiest pasta to make, as it doesn't require strong arms for kneading, or a pasta maker to roll it out. If you want to try your hand a homemade pasta-making, this is definitely the place to start.

The sauce the Batali pairs with these gnocchi is phenomenal. It is one of the most flavorful pasta sauces I have ever found. I usually cut way back on the red pepper flakes so that it doesn't burn your mouth, so much as make it tingle. You can use just about any sauce with the gnocchi including a simple butter, sage and parmaggiano. The secret is to make sure you cook the gnocchi in the sauce for a couple of minutes after they have boiled. This helps the sauce to really hold onto the gnocchi for full flavor with every bite.


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