It's gotten cold outside and so it's time to make gnocchi. I hardly ever make this in the summer, but in the winter, this is such great comfort food. Gnocchi is a lot of fun to make - it's like playing with Playdough. I've included a video in this post to show you how easy they are to roll out and cut. You can make them when you don't have anything else around for dinner because the ingredients are all things you have on hand anyway - flour, potatoes and eggs. And now it takes me even less time to make them. Most cooks think you have to run the finished gnocchi over a fork or grater to get those ridges that will catch the sauce. That's how my mom and I used to make it. However, when I have gone to Italy and ordered gnocchi, it is very often made without those ridges. They are just nice fluffy little pillows. I know that Todd English makes them this way, also. And I have come to actually prefer the texture of the gnocchi without the ridges.
For those of you who are tired of the same old lasagna, try making this "white" lasagna. It has no meat and you can really use whatever vegetables you like. The vegetables are roasted, giving them a deeper flavor and the lasagna is assembled with a simple, rich bechamel sauce. Learning how to make a bechamel sauce is easy - you just whisk and cook!
I just finished reading Patricia Wells' wonderful book, "We'll Always Have Paris . . . and Provence". This famous cooking teacher has written a fun and interesting book about her life which includes some of her favorite recipes, too. She raves about this cake in her book saying she could eat the whole thing! She and I are alike when it comes to dessert. She says she can usually pass on dessert and I can, too. I do like a dessert that is not too sweet and involves almond flour. This cake contains no egg yolks, no white flour and no butter. It's light, like an angel food cake, but has that wonderful earthy taste of almonds. And this cake is so easy to make - everything gets whipped up in one bowl and put right in the pan to bake. Easy.