This meal is not for the faint at heart. And it requires some tools. And a lot of time. But it is worth it. Also, for some reason, the recipe for Shrimp Marsala Housewife-Style in Molto Italiano (page 266) and the recipe that I linked to for those of you that don’t have the book are different. Vastly different. I am not sure how I missed this but let’s start with the fact that one calls for a half pound of shrimp to feed four people (web version) and the other calls for two pounds of shrimp to feed four people (book version). The truth lies somewhere in between, people. And I’m sorry if I misled you with the online version.
We ended up making the cookbook version because two pounds of shrimp made more sense to me, although we did change it a bit. Once again, my husband was in charge of cooking as I had Costco duties. I’m still not sure who got the better deal there. Anyway, we used 1 ¾ pounds of shrimp for essentially five adults (two preschoolers each at a shrimp, one teen ate only shrimp, one teen ate no shrimp, the other four of us ate everything) and had one shrimp leftover. We did add to the sauce a bit – I think my husband thought he was doubling, so some ingredients (celery, pine nuts, Marsala) got doubled and others did not. This meant that we had significantly more gravy then we probably should have, but that was just as well. Get some nice crusty French bread and you can thank me later.
We skipped the fennel and currants because I couldn’t find either at the three stores I went to looking for them. Oh, well. And we were short on Marsala, so Rob improvised and used red wine vinegar with a splash of Madeira port. This made the dish tart but still very tasty. Another difference: the cookbook version is cooked entirely on the stove with no baking required. Not sure if this is a good thing or not. I think if you followed the online version, adding a LOT more shrimp, you’d be pretty good to go. This dish was absolutely delicious.
The gnocchi. Ah, the gnocchi. Do you know what my favorite thing about making gnocchi is? Boiling it. I love to watch it pop up in the water and you know it is perfectly done. What other time in life can you achieve perfection with such ease?
Ok, so maybe not such ease. Gnocchi takes time. It is definitely a process. But if you have a nice snowy day with time on your hands, you should totally make some. Have the kids help. There’s mixing and kneading, and rolling…all good fun. This is, however, where tools can help you. A ricer is a nice touch. It takes the lumps out of your potatoes without a lot of work. P.S. Use the finer level on you ricer. Otherwise, you may as well use a potato masher and a fork. Just saying. My husband may have discovered this yesterday.
After mixing the dough, the gnocchi is rolled into little snakes, cut into bite-sized pieces, and rolled on a gnocchi board. The board allows you to get nice little grooves in your gnocchi. Or you can use a fork. I’ve done both and either will work. There is a nice little pictorial of making gnocchi in the January/February issue of La Cucina Italiana that I would recommend picking up if you can still get your hands on it and if you have never made gnocchi. It really is a simple process once you’ve done it, but it does take a little time. The more hands on deck (note the three different sets of hands above), the faster the process. And it is fun.
This recipe is excellent. The full flavors of the sun-dried tomatoes and the broccoli are a nice compliment to each other, and balance the gnocchi. This would be great for dinner on its own, but it was also excellent with the shrimp. Sunday dinner. Well worth the effort.