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November 29, 2009

Gnocchi Alla Vodka

My second gnocchi attempt was definitely more successful than the first. They turned out melt-in-your-mouth soft.

Even though I used the same measurements of everything else, I ended up needing less flour, which resulted in a softer, fluffier dough. And, someone had advised me on my last gnocchi post to let the dough rest for 30 minutes before forming and I think this helped too. Most doughs turn out better if you let them rest.

As for the vodka sauce…enough said ; )

(Yield: 3-4 servings)


1 large/2 small russet potatoes

1 egg

¾ tsp salt

½-3/4 c flour

Vodka sauce:

1 c marinara sauce

¼ c vodka

¼ c heavy cream

Gnocchi: wash and dry the potatos, and prick all over with fork. Cook in microwave until soft (most microwaves have a baked potato setting. If not, this should take 4-5 min.) Let cool slightly, peel and mash in a large bowl. Then add the egg and salt. Then add flour, starting with about 1/3 cup- keep adding bit by bit, kneading until a soft dough forms. It should not be sticky but should not fall apart either.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let sit for 30 min. Then divide the dough into 4 parts. Working on 1 part at a time: on a floured surface, roll out into a log (about ¾” in diameter) and cut into 1” pieces. Continue with the rest of dough.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the gnocchi in it. Wait until they float to the surface (about 1 min) then cook another 3-4 min.

Sauce: combine the marinara and vodka in a skillet on medium heat. When the mixture starts simmering, turn the heat down and cook 12 more minutes (for the alcohol to evaporate.) Then stir in the cream.

When done, remove the gnocchi from the water with a slotted spoon and combine with the sauce. Garnish with Parmesan or some greenery.

November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Recap

Happy belated Thanksgiving, everyone!

Besides New Year’s, this is my favorite holiday. What could be better than cooking all day and then seeing the faces of the ones you love surround you at the dinner table?

My family doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving traditionally. My parents usually spend it with their friends, leaving me to spend it with mine. It’s just the way we prefer it. This year, my lovely girlfriends volunteered to help me in the kitchen and they did a great job. Every year I try to switch up the menu and this year’s consisted of:

· Roasted turkey breast

· Mashed potatoes

· Grilled vegetables

· Caramelized onion and goat cheese on crostini

· Stuffed tomatoes

· Chocolate fondue

We were too hungry to remember to take pictures of the final products but the ladies got some decent behind-the-scenes shots.

Yours truly stuffing tomatoes

Left: Karina, Right: Sofya

Many thanks to Irina, Karina, Lily, Michelle and Sofya for another yummy Thanksgiving!