Today, a dear friend of mine I hardly see because he lives in Brasilia came to Sao Paulo because his father was in the hospital (his father is better now, thanks goodness!). I invited him and his girlfriend for lunch.
I made yam gnocchi with a rustic tomato sauce and shimeji. They call yams "batata doce" here, literally "sweet potatoes" so it doesn't help with the yam vs sweet potato confusion. Basically, a sweet potatoes are orange inside; yams are white or beige.
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
I started by peeling the yams, and hurt myself doing so. Then I cut the yams in cubes of about an inch and a half in size. I cooked them in boiling water until they were soft. I then drained them and set aside to let them cool until room temperature. So far so good.
Things got more complicated after. I then mixed the cubes with the flour, salt and nutmeg. And I formed little balls. I didn't measure the flour really. I just put a little to form the balls. That might have been my mistake.
I boiled them again, because gnocchi are supposed to be boiled, right? But when I checked on them again, they was just a big mush in my pot. I rescued the bits of yams and put them aside with as little liquid as I could. Then I put everything in the blender with more flour and recreated the balls.
Then I fried them lightly in a little bit of olive oil. Stirring them gently to cook them on every sides.
So, I made fried gnocchis, but they were really good!
RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE
8 italian tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
A handful of black olives, pitted
A handful of basil leaves
1 tablespoon of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
I plunged the tomatoes in boiling water and let them cook for a few minutes until I saw their skin was loose. I drained them and let them sit in cold water to cool them more quickly. I then peeled off their skins and put them in a blender along with the basil leaves and the olives. I whizzed it up. Then I cooked the onion and the garlic in a little olive oil until they were translucent and added the tomato mixture to the onions. I stirred, brought it to a boil and lowered the fire to let it simmer a little. I added salt and pepper and the sugar.
No mistake for the sauce, it was delicious and so simple! :)
I just chopped up some shimeji and cooked them in a little bit of olive oil and salt.
I put the gnocchi in a service plate and poured some sauce on top. I garnished with the shimeji and some more basil leaves.
My friends and boyfriend loved it. And I have to say, this was one of the most satisfying meal I have had in a long time. I had barely cooked all week and I was happy to make something a little bit more complex, all homemade! ;)