Potato Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

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Ñoqui con Tuco

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(Potato Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce)

SERVES 6

Elena Catena used peerless fresh Mendoza tomatoes, in season, for this dish; good canned tomatoes work well, too.

FOR THE SAUCE:

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1 28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained

1 carrot, peeled, trimmed, and grated

1 jarred peeled roasted red bell pepper, drained and chopped

6 tbsp. tomato paste

1 bay leaf

_1__/2 tsp. ground cumin

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_1__/2 tsp. smoked paprika

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_1__/4 __tsp. dried oregano_

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced

FOR THE GNOCCHI:

6 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed

Salt

_1__/2 cup all-purpose fl our

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_1__/2 cup self-rising fl our

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_1__/2 __cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano_

1 egg

_1 __1/2 __tsp. corn oil_

Freshly ground white pepper

1. For the sauce: Put oil and onions into a wide pan and cook over medium heat until soft, 8-10 minutes. Stir in garlic. Reduce heat to medium-low, crush tomatoes with your hands into pan, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Pulse carrots, peppers, and a large spoonful of the tomato sauce from pan together in a food processor. Add remaining sauce and process until chunky. Return sauce to pan, stir in tomato paste, bay leaf, cumin, paprika, and oregano, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer sauce, partially covered, over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Add basil and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes more. Adjust seasonings.

2. For the gnocchi: Put potatoes into a large pot of salted water, bring to a boil, and cook over medium heat until tender, 35-45 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Peel stillwarm potatoes and pass them through a potato ricer into a large bowl. Combine fl ours and cheese in another bowl and sprinkle over warm potatoes. Put egg, oil, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste into a small bowl, beat well, and add to bowl with potatoes. Beat well with a wooden spoon until dough is smooth. Divide dough into 12 equal balls. Roll dough balls into 1/2"-thick ropes on a lightly fl oured surface and cut each into 1" lengths, dipping knife blade into flour as necessary to keep it from sticking. Transfer gnocchi to lightly fl oured waxed paper-lined sheet pans as you cut.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon, until they bob to the surface, about 1 minute. Transfer gnocchi with slotted spoon to a large bowl as done. Heat tomato sauce, remove and discard bay leaf, and toss sauce with gnocchi. Transfer to a warm platter and serve with additional grated parmigiano-reggiano, if you like.