gnocchi and roasted tomatoes.

When I was in Austin, I felt motivated to be more outdoorsy. I kept envisioning myself rock climbing and kayaking and all that, which is weird because there are rocks to climb near the city and I’ve never chosen to partake.

Austin kayaker

Austin kayaker

That goes strongly against my nature (ha), for I was once the college senior afraid of camping at the cold springs near campus. I fell victim to peer pressure – twice – and actually found it to be pretty tolerable and almost fun. That could have been the 24 pack of Natty Light talking, though. I can’t be sure.

I’m a firm believer in baby steps, so I’m gradually transitioning to the outdoors via my running. I had a completely gym-less weekend, and I shunned the computer and was outside all day Saturday. Today I went for a jog on the track and did some crunches on the grass. I’m like Lance Armstrong in a sports bra.

As far as my foodstuff goes, I hit up the cheese shop today for more $1.99 gouda slices and mascarpone cheese. I always kind of skim the store for anything I can’t leave without, and this time I grabbed some gnocchi. Today I HAD to have it, whereas I usually stare it down for a few minutes and ultimately leave it be.

I’ve never prepared gnocchi myself, but I had boatloads in Italy and have had it a couple of times in the U.S. The best ever was gnocchi al pesto that my friends and I ordered in Capri. It wasn’t even on the menu, but the chef made it anyways and it was insaaaaane.

Gnocchi, for those who are unaware, is potato dumplings that have a Play-Doh like consistency. They’re so easy to prepare that they make couscous look complex. All you have to do is boil water, drop in gnocchi, and wait 2-3 minutes for it to float to the top. Drain and serve. That is all.

the baby gnocchis are boiling

the baby gnocchis are boiling

I’ ve been dying to use the food processor, so I made a little basil avocado puree for my gnocchi. I started with half an avocado, a handful of fresh basil, the juice of one lemon, salt, pepper, and about 1/4 cup of olive oil. I probably used more lemon that olive oil, but I wanted to keep it light.

On the side, I roasted some roma tomatoes in the oven with a chopped shallot, olive oil, rosemary, thyme and dry basil. I think roasted tomatoes are last meal-worthy these days. They cook up so amazingly. The skin starts to fall off, and they explode in your mouth! I don’t think I could make that sound any less appetizing if I tried, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

I roasted them in the toaster oven for 13-15 minutes at 350, because my oven is teeny and it started toying with the idea of catching fire when I turned up the heat. See below for the final product. I made a small plate for my roomie, and she confirmed that the gnocchi were delicious and had a lot of flavor. Bravissimi!:

potato gnocchi with avocado basil puree, roasted tomatoes with dry herbs and shallots

potato gnocchi with avocado basil puree, roasted tomatoes with dry herbs and shallots


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August 2009
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