Megan and I first made this recipe from the The Smitten Kitchen cookbook by Deb Perelman last Christmas Eve. I made it one other time last winter and then Megan and I made it again in October when I visited her and John in Cambridge. We were smart this time, and froze half of the gnocchi but slurped down all the tomato broth so on my last day in town when Megan and John were both working, I made another batch. It was a relatively warm autumn day so I had the back door open, workman were doing some sort of brick work to their building and when one of them drove by on his little tractor type vehicle, he said “Shuh , smells good in thah”and indeed it did!
The recipe is not difficult but I do not recommend it for a weeknight meal–I’ve tried it–you eat at 10:00 p.m., but it is a perfect recipe to make on a weekend and if you can bear not consuming it that day, freeze it or freeze half of it. You start by baking potatoes for the gnocchi and while they are baking you make the tomato broth. It’s sort of like making chicken stock but with tomatoes. You saute onions, celery, carrot and garlic and then add white wine, chicken broth and whole tomatoes. You cook it until it thickens (about 40 minutes) and then strain it, unfortunately, throwing all those ingredients away, leaving you with a beautiful tomato broth. The gnocchi is a simple mix of riced or grated potato, egg and flour. For a non-holiday meal, I forgo making it fancy (rolling it over fork tines) and just cut it into 3/4 inch pieces. The gnocchi are boiled in salted water until they float and then are drained and added back to the broth (or put on a parchment lined baking sheet to freeze until solid when they can be placed into a freezer bag) If you decide to freeze some of the broth, put it in a freezer bag, lay it on a baking sheet, place it in the freezer and you’ll have a nice flat bag of frozen deliciousness. Make it, it’s wicked good!