October 29, 2004


I decided on the title to this post before I checked to see if it was actually a word. (I often decide upon the word that best fits only to learn it doesn't exist.) Thankfully, for once, I'm not that far off. And churchill, on the germans, I mean, puh-leeze, I've got back up, you know what I'm saying?

So anyways, the point: I've ascended to the title of god of gnocchi. Okay, that's not fair. Or even true. But I've definitely moved from one level to the next. And, I'm fairly certain it's a hidden level and most people don't even know it exists, hence the arrogance. But all of a sudden, I just get the dough. I know when it's going to be soup, I know when it's going to cook into perfectly tender gnocchi. And tonight, while making an entirely new season-centric gnocchi recipe with butternut squash, I made a judgment call and went against the recipe. I asked E to toss in an extra cup of flour while I was kneeding. This can be the kiss of death with gnocchi. An extra cup of flour can turn light fluffy pillows of potato goodness into heavy cement balls. But... I was right.

Over delicious mouthfulls, E and I discussed the best meals that had been cooked at home thus far in the year. We tentatively agreed that the butternut-squash gnocchi in a simple fresh tomato, onion, basil sauce with parmigiano topping was the frontfunner. The sauce, of course, took about 15 minutes and no effort--sautee the onions in the olive oil, add the tomatoes, simmer 'til the consistency is correct and turn off the burner. Before serving, add the chopped basil, briefly heat, add the gnocchi and stir. No-brainer. It is clear that the gnocchi were the difficult starlot of the evening--they were heavenly. Despite their humble beginnings in the form of squash, potatoes, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour, they managed to beat out the filet mignon from last weekend's dinner with company as the favorite for the year (that we can recall...subject to time-dependent decrease in taste appreciation).

Do you understand? Gnocchi beat out filet mignon. I am not kidding. I've figured gnocchi out and may have found my calling. This is the greatest thing that I've accomplished this year. I'm not exaggerating.

That is all.

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