Friday, September 12, 2008

Sam's gnocchi with tomato mozzarella artichoke sauce

My friend Sam is one of those talented people who can throw together ingredients without a recipe and create a masterpiece. Recently, she taught me how to make gnocchi, and she served it with a wonderful tomato mozzarella artichoke sauce. This was my attempt to recreate the dish. My gnocchi came out perfect, light and tender. My rendition of Sam's sauce, however, left a lot to be desired.

Sam's sauce goes something like this--a bit of your favorite spaghetti sauce, heated. Dice several small tomatoes and add to sauce. Add garlic, and fresh basil and oregano with a touch of rosemary. Drain and cut a can of artichoke hearts. Add to sauce. Chop fresh mozzarella and add to sauce. Serve. Our version is below. We're going to have to make it a few more times to get it tasting right. It'll be worth the effort. The dish Sam made for us was one of the best meals we've had.

2 lbs potatoes, boiled, peeled, and riced
1.5 C flour
Mix potatoes with flour until dough is workable. Roll into several thin logs. Slice into coin-shaped pieces. Press with fork. Put in boiling water and cook until pasta floats to the top.

2 cans tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1-3 cloves garlic, diced
fresh basil leaves
fresh oregano leaves
(or use Italian herb blend)
2-3 fist-sized balls of mozzarella, cut into chunks
1-2 cans artichokes, drained, and cut into chunks
5-8 roma tomatoes, cut into chunks
Briefly sautee garlic. Add tomato sauce and paste, with a bit of water. Add herbs and artichokes. When sauce is heated, add mozzarella. Allow to melt slightly. Serve.

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