STRANGULAPRETI ALLA SORRENTINA

Instructions:

 

Place the whole potatoes in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook at a low boil until they are soft, about 45 minutes. While still warm, peel the potatoes and pass them through a vegetable mill onto a clean pasta board.

 

Bring about 6 quarts to a boil. Set up an ice bath with 6 cups ice water and 6 cups water nearby.

 

Make a well in the center of the potatoes and sprinkle all over with the flour. Break the egg into the center of the well, add the salt, and, using a fork, stir into the flour and potatoes as if you were making pasta. Once the egg is mixed in, bring the dough together, kneading gently until a ball is formed. Knead gently another 4 minutes, until ball is dry to the touch.

 

Divide the dough into 6 large balls. Roll each ball into ¾ inch-diameter ropes and cut the ropes into 1-inch-long pieces. Flick the pieces off of a fork or along the concave side of a cheese grater to score the sides. Drop the dough pieces into the boiling water and cook until they float to the surface, about 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the gnocchi to the ice bath. Meanwhile, continue with the remaining dough, forming ropes, cutting 1-inch pieces, and flicking them off a fork. Continue until all the gnocchi have been cooked and allow them to sit several minutes in the ice bath.

 

Drain the gnocchi and transfer to a mixing bowl. Toss with the canola oil and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours or until ready to serve.

 

When ready to serve the gnocchi, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. In a 14 to 16 inch fry pan, combine the red pepper flakes, tomato sauce, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, or until the sauce is as thick as a good porridge. At this point the sauce could be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

 

Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until floating aggressively, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the gnocchi to the pan with the sauce, using a slotted spoon. Turn the heat to medium and toss gently for about 30 seconds. Tear the basil leaves into a few pieces and add the sauce along with the mozzarella cubes. Toss together for 30 seconds longer, pour into a heated bowl, and serve immediately.

 

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds one week in the refrigerator or up to six months in the freezer.