Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce!
This is actually a pretty easy but time consuming task if you are going at it alone, I think I spent a total of 3-4hrs making this meal. So lets get started with the deliciousness!
- 1.5lbs of Potatoes
- 1 Egg (beaten)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1.75 Cups Flour
Guanciale based Tomato Sauce:
- 4 Slices Guanciale
- 1 Onion
- 1 Bell Pepper
- 1 16oz can of Crushed Stewed Tomatoes
- 4 cloves Garlic
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
Alright now it is time to get to business. First lets get our potatoes going! Now what I did was I boiled the two potatoes whole, this may take a while. Another way to prepare the potatoes is to bake them, this will result in a lighter gnocchi. I am assuming that you want to keep the potatoes whole to keep the water content of the potato constant. After your potatoes are cooked you can carefully peal away the skin, i then cut the potatoes up into a few chunks to aide it in it’s cooling.
You want the potatoes cooled down near to room temp before you can proceed(tip from a friend) , after they have cooled down mash them up. Next stir in your beaten egg and salt, keep mixing till it is consistent. Now stir in 1 cup of the flour, mix then add in the rest. Once you have a consistent mixture take the dough out and kneed it on a floured surface. You want to make sure it has a consistent texture but make sure not to over work the dough(may result in tougher dough).
Next separate the dough into 4 quarters, select one and start to roll it into a snake like piece that is about 1cm in diameter, next cut a 2cm long piece off the dough and make an impression into the top with a fork, squish the sides in (kinda looks like a little football), now repeat this till all your dough is gone. Make sure to set each piece of gnocchi onto a floured cookie sheet as you make them (at this point you can either throw the gnocchi in a bag in the freezer or eat it).
Now that you are finally finished making the pieces of gnocchi get a large pot of water boiling, mind you that you can boil them in batches. When the raw gnocchi goes into the water it will sink to the bottom, when it is done cooking it will float to the top. Go ahead and remove them as they float up and place in a strainer. Once I had a suitable amount I threw them into a skillet with some olive oil and sauteed them. This step is not required, but can enhance the gnocchi. Now your gnocchi is done!
Now lets get onto the Guanciale based Tomato Sauce! I first started with adding my chopped up onion into a sauce pan with some olive oil and salt, letting the onion sweat. Next I took the 4 slices of Guanciale and sliced it into eight inch wide strips and threw it into the pan. Next add your chopped up bell pepper and 4 cloves of chopped garlic.
Let that all cook low and slow. As always when I use pork fat
in my recipes I render it. This is really key with the Guanciale since it is a dry cured unseasoned Italian bacon and is mostly just fat. After the fat is rendered go ahead and add in your 16oz can of crushed stewed tomatoes, black pepper and or salt to taste and also some water (i think i added 2 cups)let that simmer and reduce for a while or until you get your desired results! Mind you I was hustling around the kitchen preparing both at the same time so having an assistant or friend could help speed this all up.