There is something very gratifying about making a great homemade meal for Sunday night dinner. Because let's face it, for most of us, Mondays suck. Which means, by default, Sunday nights are depressing. I've found that there are only really two remedies for Sunday Night Sadness: 1) something yummy to eat; 2) sharing it with people who will make me laugh. I can already feel it. Tomorrow is going to test me. Today calls for something extra delicious. Something warm and comforting and homey. Something I don't have to leave my apartment to buy ingredients for. I peered in the fridge. Open and closed the pantry a few times. Not much...except those leftover baked potatoes that are looking gnarlier each passing day.
(Light bulb ding!) Gnocchi! I consulted my trusty Joy of Cooking and as it turns out, gnocchi is actually not very difficult to make, just time intensive. It requires only a few (cheap) ingredients: potatoes, flour, salt and nutmeg for the dough. The hard part was trying to jam the potatoes through a sieve to get the fine, no-lumps texture. If you have a potato ricer (or strong hands and patience) you will be in better shape than I was. After that though, it was smooth sailing. Knead the dough together, roll it out into ropes, cut into bite-size pieces, and zone out for awhile curling them over a fork. This would have been a fun group activity, but I didn't mind doing it solo...found it a bit therapeutic. Cooking the gnocchi was a breeze. Just place them in simmering water for about 2 minutes and they float to the top. I read in Heat that Mario Batali once said gnocchi are fully cooked only when "they're aggressively trying to get out of the pot." Hmm...there was no sign of aggression going on in my pot. I had happy little gnocchi. Chillin, floating gnocchi. I tasted one, it was no longer doughy and had a nice chew to it so I strained the rest out of the water and placed them in the pan of browned butter and sage I had ready on the next burner. Topped with a healthy dose of parmigiano reggiano and some freshly ground nutmeg and...buonissimo! Monday? Monday who?