Posts tagged ‘salt’

Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce!

Oh and did i mention this was all home made from scratch! Tasty home made gnocchi covered in a Guanciale based tomato sauce, it is rich, flavorful and stick to your ribs good.

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.

Gnocchi Dough

Gnocchi Dough

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).

Sauteed Gnocchi

Sauteed Gnocchi

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.

Sauce Base

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.

More photos: Kitchen 365 | Flickr – Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi and Guanciale based Tomato Sauce


Ciabatta Bread

Who-ray for care packages from mom! So yesterday i received a care package from my mom that contained Kneedlessly Simple (a bread book) , a pound of yeast and a 9inch bread pan! And of course what else am I going to do with these? Make some great bread of course!

So i decided I wanted something easy, quick, tasty and versatile enough for any thing, Ciabatta !

So for this recipe ignore the bread pan that is in the picture, we won’t be needing that since Ciabatta bread is free form loaves that will be cooked on a baking stone. The recipe I used is out of Kneedlessly Simple , great book with a lot of different recipes which I will have fun with. So onto the meat of the topic.

Ciabatta Bread Ingredients:


  1. Combine all the dry ingredients into a big enough bowl and mix well.
  2. Add in your 1.5 Cups of water while stiring. If too dry add more water or if too wet add some more flour. (i made a mistake and added an extra half cup of water, so i had to add some more flour to correct)
  3. Let it sit and rise at room temperature for 1.5-2.5hrs for a quicker loaf, or for ‘best results’ refrigerate for 3-10hrs then let it sit for 12-15hrs at room temp. (I don’t want to wait till tomorrow to eat this bread! But yes i do agree for best results time is the way to go)
  4. After dough has doubled in size of what it was initially preheat your oven to 500f 20minutes before you are ready to bake, also if you are using a baking stone put that in the oven to get hot.
  5. While the oven is heating up I will set a broiler pan in the bottom of the oven, and pour water into it, this will create a steam bath for the bread.
  6. I use a baking sheet with out a side on it to use as a bakers paddle thingy. Lay down some corn meal if you have it onto the sheet so that the dough does not stick to it when you go to transfer it to your baking stone. Form the loaf with your hands, a handy size loaf is about a grapefruit sized piece of dough before you form it. Put it down on the cornmeal and then dust the top of the bread with flour. This is called a ‘gluten coat‘, it essentially creates a nice comfy blanket of gluten around the loaf. I then will score the top of the loaf with a knife, the flour that is on it will help the knife slide through. I will then also some times brush on some olive oil onto the gluten coat to make the crust crispier and golden.
  7. Now that your oven and dough/loaves are ready you can Now slide the loaves onto your baking stone(which i sprinkle some more corn meal onto). Close the oven and reduce the heat to 475f for 15-20minutes.

So now that our bread is baking you will have a fresh loaf any time now. While killing time I was looking at the pound package of yeast I now have, noticed the expiration date of 12-05-10, looked at the nutritional facts and it states that there is enough yeast to roughly make 64 loaves OR 576 servings of bread! I guess I better bake a lot of bread by December, now i just need to purchase flour in bulk. Which means i should make a special stop down at the the Peoples Food Co-op and see what kind of deal i can get, or just go to Sams Club and buy a huge bag. Ok enough rambling, let me tell you how mine turned out. The first loaf i made right away, didn’t seem to rise that well. I think it was because the house was cool. It baked fine but was dense and moist, tasted fine. The second loaf i let sit on the counter and rise for 36hrs. This one did rise much better because it had 33 more hours of rise time. It is the one pictured above. I used olive oil on the gluten coat and set up my steam bath with more water. It took a little longer to cook(20min) but it tastes amazing. The more time the yeast has to work the more flavors are going to be extracted and gluten bonds created. The inside was chewy and the outside crispy, actually the crust was my favorite part!

For more photos of the bread and process go here: Ciabatta Bread – Kitchen 365

Besides dipping in olive oil this bread would also be great to go with:

Lentil Soup

Kielbasa Bean and Bacon Soup