Gnocchi in Tomato Broth Review

Recipe 39 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

I am very proud of this little dish! I was really nervous making gnocchi because it seems hard but Deb does a very kind job of encouraging her readers to understand it has been made out to be a tad more complicated then they may think.

It was far less time consuming and technical then I expected though mine surely didn’t look very good in the end. Deb even brushes off the aesthetic of rolled gnocchi, saying the gnocchi roller or fork method is over rated…especially for this recipe that ends up more like a soup then a pasta dish. Typically you want the texture on the gnocchi so the creamy sauces has the nooks and crannies to hide in.

She doesn’t even bother with the fancy but rather function, ease and taste. When you take that pressure off it really is a simple recipe. The most time consuming parts will be baking the potatoes and making your broth which is about 45 to and hour per item.

I am not a big fan of tomato sauce with pasta which may be weird but I always tend to like them a little better when I make them myself. Maybe it’s being able to control the flavors but this one falls in that I-like-it-because-I-made-it camp.

The sauce had a lot of flavor that would be easily customized to whatever you enjoy…maybe adding red pepper flakes for heat or even sugar to sweeten it up a bit.

Grating baked potatoes went better then I thought…once they were cool enough to handle. I forgot her instruction about waiting for it to cool and struggled a bit until I realized my error. But it did the trick. It was only 2 potatoes for me to get 2lbs so my work was short. Buy big potatoes and save yourself some work too!

See all that good stuff up there hanging out in the strainer?? Yeah I was goofy and tossed that before thinking. Don’t get me wrong, it is the instruction to drain and use just the tomato broth that’s left. But…gosh…I hated just tossing it. I even searched the margins where she puts her tips to see if she had any ideas for what we could do with the leftovers. I was drawing a blank and had a fussy baby at my feet so down the garbage disposal it went…and just as I was turning it on, I thought of something I could have used it for. I’m making a chicken parmesan bubble up for dinner this week and it needs pasta sauce…guess what this could have been pureed into…🤦‍♀️. Such a waste. What a bummer.

Sorry, grieving rant over. Back to the pasta.

The dough confused me conceptually because I’ve never made dough with potatoes before. But I was amazed that as I followed her directions a dough started forming. She gives great directions and it was really easy to follow along and before you know it, you have pasta dough.

I used my bench scraper to cut the rolled dough and then I went online and searched for a few videos to figure out how to get the gnocci rolled with a fork. I like the look of rolled gnocci so I thought it was worth a try. You can see that it sort of worked. This was my first tray which was better then the second. It’s possible that the dough got too soft which is why they didn’t turn out as well…but honestly I’m not sure what happened. Glad I gave it a try though.

I froze one tray to use later and my hubby and I split the other. They only take 2 minutes to cook in boiling water so once the broth and dough was done it came together quickly.

I can see making gnocchi more often when I actually have time on the weekends since they freezes well. It would feed us for a few meals if I made a bunch of it.

I thought the texture of the cooked gnocchi was so light and pillowy and not at all gummy like other gnocchi that I have had. I think if I got good at rolling this out and making them prettier, I could freeze them and give them as gifts with some homemade sauce or pesto…can you tell I’m already thinking about home made gifts this Christmas??

This was a fun one! Please give it a try. You can find the recipe on Debs blog, so venture over and check it out. The pictures on there are the same used in her cookbook with a few additions.

Happy gnocchi rolling!!


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