Les Petits Chefs kicked off the term with a repeat visit from Massimo Bruno who has already come to visit the boys twice – once to make pizza and once to make pasta. When he agreed to come back I wondered what on earth he would make to top those sessions but of course he came up with gnocchi – another amazing super hands-on dish that kept the boys busy for nearly the whole hour. The boys were completely rapt as Massimo demonstrated the simple process…
And then the boys got to work themselves…
Meanwhile, on the “sauce station”……
- (for the gnocchi)
- 1lb white potatoes
- 1¼ cups all-purpose white flour plus more for dusting
- 1 egg
- (for the cherry tomato sauce)
- 4 cups of cherry tomatoes
- 5 cloves garlic
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- 1 small onion
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- fine sea salt
- (for the gnocchi dough)
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
- Add the potatoes and cook over a medium heat until they are soft (about 30-40 minutes depending on the size).
- Drain the potatoes, allow to cool, then peel whilst they are still warm. The skin should come off easily.
- Place the flour in a mound on a working surface .
- Put the potatoes into a potato ricer and squeeze them right on top of the flour. Alternatively, if you do not own a potato ricer, you can push the potatoes through a medium sieve with a rubber spatula.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour/ potato mixture and pour a lightly beaten egg in the centre.
- With your hands work the dough slowly until all ingredients come together. If it feels too wet add a little more flour - the dough should be smooth.
- Roll the dough into and divide the it four pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough out lightly, creating long "snakes" - if the dough sticks to your hands, dip them in flour as you roll them out.
- Dust the rolls with flour and set them aside until you have rolled each piece out.
- Cut the logs into desired size, about a half inch is an average gnocchi length and put them into a large baking pan or on a working surface with a kitchen towels (or sprinkle with more flour) so they don't stick.
- (to make the cherry tomato sauce)
- Cut the tomatoes in half and set aside.
- Peel the garlic and leave it whole.
- Clean and finely dice the onion.
- Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil, and heat on medium high heat.
- When the oil is hot (but not smoking hot, it will burn the garlic) add the whole garlic cloves and the onion and cook until very lightly golden.
- Add the tomatoes evenly, sprinkle with salt - it will help the tomatoes release their juice cook.
- Place the basil into the tomato mixture and squeeze them in, so they don’t become dark.
- Allow the sauce to cook on medium heat for 15 minutes and try to do not over stir, lower the heat if start sticking to the bottom.
- (to cook and serve the gnocchi)
- Bring a pasta pot filled with water to a boil.
- Once boiling add 2 tablespoon coarse sea salt and add the gnocchi.
- Carefully stir the gnocchi and let them cook until they float to the top of the water.
- Once they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon and put them into a bowl with sauce.
- Add grated parmesan cheese if you like and stir.
- Serve warm.
This was amazing – pillowy soft and light. The boys did a great job kneading the dough so that it tasted like “restaurant gnocchi”. The sauce was tasty and fresh and I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner on Monday. Wow. Seriously, if 14 boys under the age of 12 can make this, anyone can
Thanks Massimo for the fun and educational session – I know I won’t be alone in trying the recipe on my own at home!
For more information about Massimo Bruno’s Toronto Supper Club, click here.