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A couple days ago, I was standing in the grocer killing time. I honestly didn’t mind because it was a grocery store and I’m a foodie, a chef in the making, so this similar to letting a child run loose in a candy shop. As you may have figured out, I absolutely dig pasta and love to make it whenever possible, so I was hanging out in the pasta and pasta stuff isle in the grocery store. I went to pick up a can of diced tomatoes with oregano and garlic in them, when I saw the gnocchi and decided that I was going to make it. I wasn’t going to make it that night because we had ordered pizza, but I was going to make it soon. 

Funnily enough, “soon” was the next day. It was the shortest grocery run Josh and I had ever done. We went in, grabbed everything we needed and were back out in under ten minutes. It was wonderful. After our brief grocery run, we went to Denny’s for a bite of lunch and then headed back to Josh’s house to hang out.

Later that evening, I was in the kitchen. Josh had Monday night football on, but I wasn’t paying it any mind. Instead, I was surveying the amount of dishes that needed washing and grabbing the things that I would need to make dinner.

Even simpler dishes can be the most delicious.
Back: 1 16 oz box of Delallo potato gnocchi
Middle: 2 14.5 oz cans of Contadina diced tomatoes, 1 6oz can of Hunts tomato paste
Front: 2 chicken breasts

While the chicken cooked in the pan, I did dishes.

After the chicken had cooked through, I added both cans of tomatoes, reduced the heat and put a lid on them.

It looks like there’s too much sauce, especially to serve just the two of us, but that changes.

While the sauce cooked, I read the instructions on the gnocchi and began messing with my camera trying to take decent pictures of the sauce. Eventually, I ended up shutting off all of the lights and taking a picture of the pan that way. Surprisingly, the picture came out pretty great… after I took nearly twenty…

This was around fifteen minutes in to cooking. I still hadn’t added the tomato paste yet so it was still watery.

After twenty minutes of letting the sauce cook, I brought a pan of water to boil on another burner and added some tomato paste to the mix. When I say some tomato paste it was probably too much because at the end, the sauce looked like this:

The sauce was way too thick, I should have only added the on tablespoon, but it was still really delicious.

When the gnocchi began floating to the top of the water, I drained them and plated.

I served Josh first and set about tidying up the kitchen before joining him in the living room. It was tantalising not to touch my dish until after I’d finished doing the dishes, but my patience paid off. The first bite into tender gnocchi and tomato was delicious and oh so nostalgic. It brought me back to my sixteenth birthday, sitting in that restaurant with my grandfather, listening to the rain tap on the window… yet I was there in the present, sitting across from Josh on the sofa, watching men in overly tight pants go running at each other, tackling each other, playing football. It was perfect.

~Recipe: Gnocchi & Red Sauce~

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 16 oz (453g) gnocchi
  • 2 14.5 oz (411g) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz (170g) can tomato paste
  • 2 chicken breasts

Method:

  1. In a deep bottom skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot (shimmering but not smoking) add chicken and allow to cook until no longer pink.
  2. Add in both cans of tomatoes, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for twenty minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in another pan.
  4. When water is boiling add gnocchi and stir, making sure they don’t stick to the bottom. Let gnocchi cook for 5-6 minutes, or until they start floating to the top of the pan. Strain them, and set aside.
  5. Add 1 tbsp of tomato paste to sauce mixture and allow to thicken. Repeat until sauce is desired consistency.
  6. Serve gnocchi with sauce and chicken on top, or toss sauce with gnocchi and serve with chicken on the side.
  7. Bon Apetit

Xx Steffanni

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