Wednesday, April 9, 2008

An Italianate day

I had planned for us to prepare Italian dumplings (ricotta gnudi) from a recipe which was in the PI last Sunday. The story said they were exquisite, a totally new gastronomic experience, etc. etc. and they did indeed sound quite yummy. When we got home from the store, Tom looked over the recipe and pointed out that these dumplings took four days to prepare. Obviously I had not read the recipe very carefully, and also obviously, a quick change to Plan B was necessary, except that there was no plan B. I looked through Marcella Hazan for a gnocchi recipe and found one which was not potatoes, but rather spinach, cheese (including the ricotta we had gotten for the other), eggs and a bit of flour. We had the ingredients for these on hand, and they sounded fun to make as well. Marcella said to make them ½ inch each unless that was too tedious, in which case we could make them a bit bigger. We quickly began to see what she meant. They were awfully gooey, and there were an awfully lot of them. When we were done rolling out the teensy pellets, Margaret was enthusiastically helpful in cleaning up our gloppy hands. The gnocchi were well worth the trouble, as they were delicious. Not quite like anything else I have ever had. Even Rachael thought they were tres yummy!

Last week I made a pear pie, but did not show it to you, as while it tasted good – even the crust – it was not too photogenic. In fact, it was pretty ugly! I had four small pears left, which I wanted to have for dessert somehow, but there did not seem to be enough of them to really make much. Pear mush over ice cream would be just the ticket. Tom fried the pears in butter, added some sugar, orange juice and zest, and voila! Tres yummy!

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