Sunday, February 12, 2012

Post-SuperBowl Sunday at Home

In winter, we don't go to the grandparents' house every Sunday and since Grandmom will be making a big dinner for someone's 24th birthday next week, we decided to let her take a well-deserved rest today.

One of these days, I am going to make better use of Saturday evening by getting Sunday's dinner ready then so that I, too, can abstain from servile work.  Hey, we have to eat, but that doesn't mean I can't cook it the night before.

Today's dinner is going to be my homemade gnocchi in a Shitake cream sauce.  Some of the ingredients are pictured below where they have been set out to become closer to room temperature.
I really like the ricotta I'm using as it's made locally ( in Chester County, PA where the Shitakes were grown) and it's the closest I've been able to find to genuine homemade ricotta.  I like gnocchi, or cavatelli if you prefer because these are being made with cheese and not potato, because you don't need any special equipment to make them.  I wish I could give you a recipe, but when it comes to cooking, I shoot from the hip, which drives people who want an exact recipe crazy.

Last year I posted some photos of the finished product.  If we haven't devoured them all, I might get around to doing that again.

One of the reasons I have never been able to persuade my husband to move out of this neighborhood is because of our proximity to some of the world's best food.  We have the Italian Market just blocks away as well as Middle Eastern, Indian, Asian and now Mexican fare.

On Sundays, my husband goes to early Mass, and then he visits Sarcone's Bakery, where he gets us our Sunday loaf and picks up bread for the ladies at Isgro's Bakery as well.  We have several excellent bread bakeries in this section of the city and Sarcone's is probably the most renowned.

Last Sunday, there was a bit of confusion when we left for dinner and someone who shall remain nameless forgot the loaf of bread on the dining room table. I can tell you we were quivering in our boots when we knocked at the door at our destination.  My dad doesn't take kindly to us showing up without the bread.

"You have one job on Sunday, you failed at it", he told us, only half-joking.

Not today.  My work, significantly more involved than just remembering a loaf of bread, is waiting for me on the kitchen counter.

A blessed Sunday to all.


  1. Oh I have to tell you Joyce, next to ravioli...gnochhi is my next favorite ..But we have to go a ways for good deli's and food where I live. There's a few from transplanted northerners, but they miss the mark I'm sad to say..If you're willing to drive a bit though we have great Cuban and Greek food and one amazing Italian store in St Pete..My sister finds something we have to do down there every now and then.
    Love and +

    1. See Caroline, that's why my husband won't leave this neighborhood, because we're in close proximity to a gastronomical feast of nearly every ethnicity. I cook some Greek dishes as well, btw, but haven't done one lately and I can also do some Indian dishes, though since our neighbors with the clay barbecue moved away, doing tandoori just isn't the same. I love food and it loves me, as evidenced by my hips!
      Love and prayers

  2. I am so salivating...LUV gnoccis! Are they hard to make?

    1. Allison, they're not at all. You take your ricotta (2 lbs for every 4 people you're feeding) empty the container in a wide bowl, and add two yolks, which you beat thoroughly into the cheese. Then you take flour, about half a cup at a time, and add it until you have a soft dough that is just slightly sticky. Then you take small pieces of dough, enough to shape into a 6-inch rope about an inch in diameter, and on a floured surface, cut into little pillow-shaped pieces. Add finished gnocchi to a floured wax-paper covered tray until you're finished making them, at which point you can either cook them in boiling water, or refrigerate or freeze them for later use. I always cook them when I make them. My kids like "white" sauces so when I make the gnocchi, I make a shitake butter sauce and then I fish the finished gnocchi out of the boiling water and add them to the sauce. Nothing was left last night, they're that good! Let me know if you make them!


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