Sunday night settles in on us slowly. It`s a day that feels like a visit from family, relaxed and comfortable and unassuming. It’s the one day of the week that has its own identity and mood. The stress of the week slowly trickles off our shoulders with each passing hour as we breathe in and breathe out. Exhale and escape. I’m reminded of the freedom that awaits me whenever I greet the light of the day.
We wake up a bit later than the other days and I fight back the morning as the covers hold on tighter. I can see my wife dreaming, the beautiful sunshine splashing on her face. It`s really the perfect way to start the morning. Late, relaxed and without plans pulling at us. I need just a shot of coffee to help get the day started.
We settle in and lean back and unwind knowing that Sunday is meant for family and staying around the house. That’s our plan usually. I make breakfast as my wife edits away upstairs. We lose track of each other temporarily as the time dances around the clock. Hours lost, but we`re not paying attention. We`re stuck in the moment doing household things. And working on jobs around the house. Fun jobs, the real stuff is saved for weekdays.
Let me take this story back to a time long before this day ever started. I`d have to glue back the pages on long-since-tossed-away calendar days to remember the first time it happened. A couple years ago probably. It feels like yesterday.
My wife suggested we head out for dinner one mid-week evening. We went to an Italian place in town and as I perused the menu my wife shot out with glee, “I know what I`m having. Gnocchi!” It was settled faster than the time it takes to turn on a light. There is one certainty when my wife and I head out to dinner at a place that serves Italian, she’s having gnocchi. She loves the stuff.
That was then. Now? No different.
This particular Sunday was lazier than most. It felt like the comfy chair you grew up on and never wanted to get up from. The afternoon rolled around faster than usual. Sunday’s usual slow down and flirt for a bit. Not this day. So I asked my wife what she wanted for our Sunday dinner. I knew what was coming next and caught the words leaving my lips.
Gnocchi. Homemade Gnocchi with Blush Sauce, Basil and Parmesan to be exact. It was really the perfect day for it. Not too cold, not too warm. We had a late lunch so settled on these light, pillowy bits of heaven. When made right, this dish can transform the way you make food. Simple and easy and fresh. That`s all you need to remember. We tend to over complicate things.
I got right to work with the potatoes and before long I was kneading and rolling out the mixture into long ropes that resembled the skip ropes I first saw as a wee kid. I cut them down to size and rolled them off my fork. It`s not hard, but it`s not easy. The hardest part is probably making the proper shape with the fork lines and indentation so the sauce has somewhere to hide and stick.
It`s worth any amount of prep you need to do. One Sunday dinner like this will have your house happy, rejuvenated and ready for whatever the week can give you. Bring it on.
From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!
Homemade Gnocchi with Blush Sauce
- 6 large Russet potatoes, scrubbed
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (you might need more)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
- 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely sliced basil (garnish)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (garnish)