Eggplant and Gnocchi

Victor was rummaging through the freezer yesterday and came upon a packet of breaded and fried eggplant he had cooked up in August. The cutlets were from eggplants in our garden – at a time when looking at eggplant was starting to get a bit rough. Even with a bad growing season, we had a lot of eggplant.

Fast-forward a few months and that eggplant is looking mighty fine – and tasting even better!

It’s rather interesting how one can tire of a food after a while, and then, a short time later, relish in it! And I most definite relished in it, tonight!

The eggplant was perfection! Fork-tender mouthfuls of ricotta, oregano, and homemade sauce. And then there was the gnocchi! Light as a feather.

The basic for the gnocchi is a baked potato that has been riced, flour, an egg, a pinch of salt, and a bit of grated parmesan cheese. He doesn’t have exact measurements because every potato is slightly different. You mix the egg, potato, and a handful of flour together and then add the cheese and slowly add flour until the dough feels right. Vague, I know, but every batch is just a bit different. When you’ve made it a few times, you learn the feel – and it will be perfect for you, as well!

Because the eggplant was already fried, all Victor needed to do was make a ricotta filling – ricotta, quattro formaggio, garlic powder, parmesan, salt, and pepper. He layered it between two cutlets, topped it with sauce, and then baked, covered, for about 35 minutes.

It really was the perfect meal.

Victor made enough gnocchi for two meals – the rest went into the freezer and I’ll vacuum-pack them later when they’re solid. The  Mucca Rigagnocchi Gnocchi Rolling Machine from Fante’s in South Philly really makes the gnocchi-making a breeze. While it was never actually difficult to use the rolling board or the times of a fork, the roller really makes every one perfect.

There’s one more package of gnocchi in the freezer. We’ll see how long it takes us to break into it!