Sunday, January 10, 2021

Gnocci by Catherine Bruns plus a #giveaway

 My guest today is Catherine Bruns. Catherine and I share a love for Italian food and she's sharing the one variety of pasta that I've never tried to make.

CATHERINE

Tessa Esposito, the protagonist in my Italian Chef mysteries, whips up homemade pasta at her restaurant faster than you can say pappardelle. For me, it’s a little more difficult. Pasta is one of my favorite comfort foods but the thought of making my own has always been intimidating.

When I learned that the title for the next book was to be called The Enemy You Gnocchi (coming in October) I decided it was time to give it a try. The gnocchi were actually easier to make than I thought. The second time around I made a few simple changes which I thought greatly enhanced the flavor. It’s a great dish any time of year but especially satisfying on cozy winter evenings.



TESSA’S EASY GNOCCHI

  • 2 medium russet potatoes (I used the yellow flesh kind instead)
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½  cup whole milk ricotta
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg

 





Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pierce the potatoes with a fork and place onto the prepared sheet. Place in the oven and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let potatoes cool completely. 

Cut in half and scoop the flesh into a medium bowl and then mash. Transfer 1 ½ cups of potato to a large bowl; stir in flour, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. 














Working on a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into an 18-inch-long rope, about 1-inch in diameter, sprinkling with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. 






Using a sharp knife, cut each rope into 3/4-inch bite-size pieces, then transfer to a baking sheet. 







Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and then drop the pieces in separately. Cook the gnocchi until tender, stirring occasionally, about 4-6 minutes. Drain and transfer to a baking sheet. 






Cover with tomato sauce and grated cheese and serve.



To freeze, place uncooked gnocchi in a single layer on a heavily floured parchment-lined baking sheet, letting them air dry at room temperature for at least 1 hour, up to 4 hours. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer until solid, about 1 hour. Transfer to freezer bags.

 This recipe makes about two to three decent sized portions but if you have a large family (or all males like in mine!) you will probably want to double the recipe.  

 

TIPS:

 I substituted low-fat skim milk ricotta for the whole milk kind.

 The nutmeg is optional and my own preference, but I thought it gave the pasta a bit of a delicious nutty flavor.

Make the dough while the potatoes are still warm.

Gnocchi can easily get squashed while drained so don’t use a colander. Remove them from the pot with a skimmer or slotted spoon.

You can microwave the potatoes if you are in a hurry. It should take between 7 and 10 minutes.

 

GIVEAWAY

To win a signed copy of It Cannoli be Murder, the most recent book in the Italian Chef series, leave a comment that includes your e-mail letting me know what your favorite comfort food is. Sorry, U.S. delivery only.

 


IT CANNOLI BE MURDER:

It's time to serve some just desserts...

Six months after her husband's death, Tessa Esposito is hoping to drum up reservations for her restaurant's grand opening. And since a signing with bestselling author, Preston Rigotta, is sure to draw a crowd, Tessa agrees to cater her cousin's bookstore event—whipping up some of her famous Italian desserts. But the event soon takes a sour turn when Preston's publicist, an old high school rival, arrives and begins to whisk up their old grudges.

That night, a fight breaks out in front of the crowd, and it becomes clear there's bad blood in Harvest Park. And when the publicist is found dead on the bookstore floor the next morning, a stray cannolo at her side, Tessa knows who will be framed as the prime suspect.

To clear both her cousin's and her own name, Tessa must investigate the murder. But Preston's publicist has many secrets to hide, and in the end, the truth is bittersweet...

Recipes Included!

 USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and several spoiled pets. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. In her spare time, she loves to read, bake and attend live theater performances. 

Readers are invited to visit her website at catherinebruns.net. Sign up for her newsletter and receive a free ebook.

 

 

 

 

63 comments:

  1. My favorite comfort food is chicken and dumplings. 3labsmom@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Brenda! Chicken and dumplings is another great food on a winter evening. Thanks for commenting and good luck!

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  2. My favorite comfort food is pizza.
    Kitten143 (at) Verizon (dot) net

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    1. That's definitely one of my favorites too, Christine. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Do I have to choose only one? Lol. My choice would be potato soup. Maybe because today is cold. Sissie_sue@yahoo.com

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    1. It's hard to choose just one! I probably have about a hundred, lol.

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  4. Comfort food especially now during winter is soothing. My favorite is roast chicken with roasted baby red potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Yum! That sounds delicious. Thanks for commenting.

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  5. oh what a wonderful recipe. thanks for sharing. this books sounds delightful. thanks. my comfort food is vanilla ice cream. i really like the little cups so i dont eat too much. yah way too easy to do.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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    Replies
    1. Ice cream is great any time of the year, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the drawing!

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  6. Pizza for sure. jlb12563@sbcglobal.net

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    Replies
    1. Pizza is definitely one of my favorites. Thanks for stopping by, Lynn!

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  7. I need comfort food everyday when the weather is cooler and winter is here. An old favorite from when I was young is Bow ties and kasha and homemade chicken soup. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. That sounds delicious. I will have to try it. Thanks for sharing and good luck in the contest!

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  8. I've got a few favorite comfort foods. Spaghetti, chicken and dumplings, bean soup and cornbread.
    tigermombleich@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Those are some great ones. I have too many to list here, lol. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Sounds good and quite doable.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. It was much easier than I thought, Libby. A bit time consuming but very fun to make. Thanks for commenting.

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  10. My favorite comfort food is pizza. And, if I am truly in need, they will even bring it to me. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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    1. Linda, that's the best kind of comfort food, isn't it? The one that you can get any time! Good luck in the contest!

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  11. Karen B
    Pizza. Snickerdoodles.
    kpbarnett1941(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Karen, snickerdoodles are a favorite of mine as well. Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Thank you for the recipe and the giveaway.
    Shepherd's Pie
    madamhawk at gmail dot com

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    1. I am probably in the minority here, but I have never tried shepherd's pie. I've heard it's amazing, though. Thanks for commenting and good luck in the contest!

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. Cheese enchiladas are my favorite comfort foods, followed by lasagna!
    patdupuy@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Lasagna is a huge favorite in my house. Thanks for stopping by, Pat!

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  15. My favorite comfort food is mac and cheese.
    Kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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    Replies
    1. Oh, yes! Creamy mac and cheese is another favorite. Now I'm tempted to make some for tonight's dinner, lol. Thanks for commenting, Kelly!

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  16. My favorite comfort food is pasta, any sauce or added ingredients.
    Lisacobblestone@aol.com

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    1. Pasta has always been a family favorite, Lisa. My paternal grandmother was born in Sicily and her homemade pasta and tomato sauce was to die for. How I wish I had her recipes! Good luck in the giveaway!

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  17. Grilled cheese sandwich (with or without soup) is my favorite comfort food.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

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    1. I was waiting for someone to mention grilled cheese, Jana. Yum!

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  18. My favorite comfort food is a bacon cheeseburger. Gnocci is my favorite pasta dish. Looking forward to your new book.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Dianne! I haven't had a bacon cheeseburger in ages but I'm craving one now. Best of luck in the giveaway!

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  19. Thank you for the recipe, and this chance! My favorite comfort food is Buffalo Chicken Pizza. areewekidding(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Robyn! My sons love buffalo chicken pizza. I made it once, but they said they preferred Pizza Hut's. I guess you can't please everyone all of the time, lol!

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  20. Chicken and noodles or macaroni and cheese, most definitely!

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    1. Oops! Jteastman215atgmaildotcom

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    2. It's hard to go wrong with either one of those, Teressa. Good luck in the contest!

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  21. Chicken and dumplings is a great comfort food for us.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Another good one. I really should not be looking at all of these responses before dinner, lol! Thanks for stopping by, Nancy!

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  22. Strangely enough, my comfort food is gnocchi. I haven't made it myself, and I probably really should. Thanks for the delicious recipe and the giveaway, and congratulations on the upcoming new release! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Autumn! It's a super easy recipe and I think you'll enjoy it.

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  23. Love gnocchi thanks for the chance

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