How come the week of April 15 all went to total shit? That was a doozy, wasn’t it? It was one of those weeks when I really should’ve been in the kitchen, whipping up comfort food after comfort food – one of those spaghetti-alla-carbonara-and-bread-pudding-with-whisky-sauce kind of weeks. But, that didn’t happen. Instead, I think we ate out every single night that week and/or I made quesadillas or tuna sandwiches. I wasn’t in the mood to grocery shop and I especially couldn’t pull myself away from the television to catch the latest shitstorm. Way to go MSNBC. You won.
When we got down to limp-dick celery in the crisper and a bag of imported sundried tomatoes in the pantry, I figured this was my wake-up call to pull it together. This is not you, Sarah!
But back to cooking. And pulling it together.
*I should note first, as I have before, I don’t cook organically. I’m not a devout organic cook for two reasons; a) I live in Worcester (enough said) and b) I don’t have the budget for it. I just don’t. However, I’ve made many recipes from Simply Organic using non-organic ingredients and have never been disappointed by a single recipe. It’s a beautiful cookbook and it’s up to you to make it as practical as you want it to be.
When I have a menu planned for the week, I think I can’t love myself anymore. But then…when I have a grocery list that corresponds beautifully with this menu? You can find me in the kitchen, patting myself on the back. With the hand that isn’t holding a glass of wine.
I effing love it when I walk out of the grocery store with nothing more than what was on my list. Do this people! Make a list and stick to it! It saves money and waste of produce you’ll never use.
In the past few days, I’ve made this mango fresca cocktail (Mangoes! Mangoes are $1 right now at BigY and I hear at Whole Foods, too. Get your mango on my friends!), a t-bone steak with a red wine-leek reduction and chive-smashed new potatoes (from Simply Organic cookbook), asparagus risotto with Sriracha spicy shrimp (hot as balls, hot as balls!), and last night, this ricotta-green onion-chive gnocchi with Grandma Rose’s tomato sauce.
Two things about gnocchi: so easy and so filling. Make it.
It’s amazing how stepping away from the television (news) and getting my kitchen back in order can change my perspective. It’s so much more important to focus on the people in front of me – feeding them with simple, quality meals made with love – rather than feeding my brain with spun media and harboring on the evil and devastation of the world.
Pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on Songza (you need this app, you do. download now.), and start chopping some chives. You can thank me later.
ricotta-green onion-chive gnocchi (adapted from Simply Organic, page 58)
15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 green onions, minced
2 tablespoons chives, minced
1/2 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups marinara sauce
Place the ricotta in a sieve and place over a bowl for 15 to 30 minutes to drain. Discard the liquid.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In a medium bowl, combine the drained ricotta, egg, salt, pepper, green onions, chives, and cheese. Gradually add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, using your hands and blending just until the dough binds together.
Remove 1 teaspoon of the dough and roll into a ball on a floured surface. Drop into the boiling water. If it falls apart, add more flour to the dough ball of dough a bit at a time until it forms a ball. Repeat this cooking test until the teaspoon of dough you place in the boiling water holds together and floats to the top.
Once you’ve formed a giant ball of dough, divide into 4 equal parts. On a floured board, using your hands, roll each section into a rope about 1-inch in diameter.
Cut the ropes into 1-inch-long pieces and slightly indent with a fork.
If you’re not using the gnocchi right away, cover them thoroughly with flour and store in the fridge or freezer.
Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. Stir gently to prevent sticking. When the gnocchi have floated to the top, remove with a slotted spoon.
Meanwhile, heat the sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Top the gnocchi with the sauce.
Gnocchi will keep in the fridge for 1 to 2 days and for months in the freezer in an airtight container.