All day yesterday the Palazzo kitchen was filled with the smell of sauces being prepared for our gnocchi night. Potatoes had been boiled and mashed, artichoke frittata and omelettes were being made as appetizers, and jars and jars of tomato sauce were being emptied into a pot of simmering onion and garlic.
The majority of the preparation and cooking had been done by 4 pm so the students could come and do the most enjoyable and rewarding part of the task, rolling out and preparing the gnocchi.
As an avid dough lover, i do have to say this was the nastiest tasting dough I’ve ever attempted to try, and there was such a drastic difference between the dough and the final product. I do blame myself, however, for expecting a mixture of boiled potato, raw egg, and flour to be tasty.
Nonetheless, rolling out the dough was so much fun! There was a wide array of gnocchi rolling talents, methods, and shapes. There was short gnocchi, tall gnocchi, oblique gnocchi, fat gnocchi, skinny gnocchi, ribbed gnocchi, shell gnocchi, and interestingly enough … donut gnocchi. The only difference being the density of a bite and cooking time, it was all delicious to me! Anna Rita had prepared 7 different sauces for us to try! There was a beef ragu, a butter and sage, a cheese and tomato sauce, a salmon sauce, a pepper sauce, a pumpkin and mushroom sauce, and an artichoke and onion sauce. The fact that they were all memorable is testament to their tastiness! I had a very generous serving of each, and left feeling a thanksgiving kind of full with to go boxes of all of my favorites too! Anna Rita even included a take-home recipe book, and I definitely am looking forward to trying more of her recipes.