At the heart of any Italian family, most people would describe their Nonna as the foundation of their family.
I am very fortunate to have two incredible Nonna’s in my life. Both with different personalities and with different stories to tell, the one underlining thing they have in common is the importance of family.
Both Nonna’s hold a special place in my heart but today I would like to introduce you to Nonna Angelina. Anyone who has come across her bubbly, feisty character is amazed by her generosity, kindness and her love for cooking.
Growing up I spent a lot of time in the heart of my Nonna Angelina’s home, the kitchen.
With our aprons on, “that’s amore” beaming from bisnonno’s vintage Italian radio, she would teach me her signature recipes from fusilli, pizza, torta di ricotta and the list goes on.
So when I asked Nonna if she wanted to be a guest blogger on my blog she did not hesitate!
Our exact conversation was:
“Nonna, do you want to become famous?”
Faster than lighting she replied “YES”
The recipe she has decided to share is Gnocchi. Pronounced “NYO-kee,” it is a type of Italian dumpling traditionally made from flour and potatoes. She jazzes things up with this recipe and incorporates sweet potatoes.
We hope you enjoy reading or making the Gnocchi as much as we have enjoyed making it together.
Nonna says “Buon Appetito”
Vivere una vita bella.
Always With Style,
A & A
La Moda Stylist
Nonna's Homemade Gnocchi
To Make Gnocchi
- 1/2 sweet potato peeled
- 1/2 kg red potatoes peeled
- 1 cup sifted plain white flour
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Peel and cut potatoes in half and place in a large saucepan. Cover the potatoes with water, add salt and bring to the boil. Once boiled, reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender.
Tip: while the potatoes are cooking start preparing the tomato sauce and meatballs.
Once the potatoes are cooked, drain immediately and place them back into a bowl. Mash the potatoes using a mouli, potato ricer or a folk and push the mashed potato through a sieve and into a clean large bowl.
Once the potatoes have been sieved, add the sifted flour and egg. Combine the mixture using a spoon until it forms a dough. Gently knead the dough with your hands but be careful not to overwork the dough.
Transfer the dough onto a clean surface or board. Lightly dust the bench with a little bit of flour and continue kneading it. The texture should feel like very soft play dough, but it shouldn't stick to your hands.
Roll it out to form a long sausage.
Divide dough into equal portions.
Roll out each portion to form a long sausage (as show in the photos below).
Using a Gnocchi board pasta maker (Shop here), gently roll a piece of dough on the board towards you using your finger tips. This will form the traditional gnocchi shape. If you don't have a gnocchi board you can simply use a folk.
- 200g minced beef meat
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- black pepper
- 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- chopped parsley
Place minced meat and finely chopped garlic into a bowl. Add breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, Parmesan, parsley and one egg into the mixture.
Mix all ingredients together until combined.
Using clean hands, grab approx 1 tablespoon of the meatball mixture and roll forming a ball. Then roll meatballs into the breadcrumbs, gently coating them.
Cook meatballs in a frying pan on medium heat with olive oil and cook until the outside is slightly brown. Please note: do not cook them through. Drain onto a paper towel and set aside.
Tomato sauce method
In a medium / large saucepan, add olive oil and diced onion. Cook until onions have softened (don't brown the onions as they become bitter)
Add tomato sauce, basil and salt (to your taste) and stir. Then add meatballs.
Cook the sauce on a slow heat for approximately 1 hour or until sauce becomes thick.
When sauce is ready, prepare to cook gnocchi.
In a large saucepan, bring water to the boil. Then add the gnocchi and a pinch of salt and gently stir. Cook until the gnocchi floats to the top or until tender. Once cooked, drain gnocchi.
Serve in bowls with tomato sauce and garnish with Parmesan cheese and basil.