I live on top of the hill. But everyday I go down to the village to buy the food that I’m gonna cook that night Welcome to what’s left of the Italian-American neighborhood in San Francisco. I’m Gianni.
And this is my North Beach. Okay, we’re down at Union Produce. I’m gonna make pesto alla trapanese, so it’s using fresh tomato. We’re out of season, so I’m gonna see what I might be able to find here that’s gonna allow me to make that pesto.
So I’m looking here. These are very large tomatoes. They’re a little bit on the yellow side. I don’t like the size of them or the color, so I think I’m gonna go small. So I’ve got these cherry tomatoes, but, look, they’re still green and kinda pale in color.
So I don’t want those. Over here, we’ve got some tomatoes there that are also yellow. I don’t like those. So my eye’s drawn to these. Cuz they’re the reddest. They’re the smallest. And they’re probably going to be the sweetest.
So we’ll take these up the hill and make pesto alla trapanese. We’re making potato gnocchi today. Actually it’s gonna be tre paste because I’m gonna make three sauces to go with the potato gnocchi. So let me show you what we got here.
First of all, I’ve boiled three potatoes and I peeled these, too. I’m gonna show you how to peel this one. You wanna peel them when they’re still warm. And we’re gonna use an egg and flour. And that’s it for the gnocchi.
And we’re gonna put the potatoes through a ricer. I’ll show you how. Then we’re gonna make three sauces. The first is gonna be pesto alla trapanese from Sicily. And it’s a pesto that’s made with tomato as the star with some toasted almonds, some garlic and some basil.
But basil, unlike the pesto you might be used to, basil’s not the main ingredient in this. It’s tomato. Then I’m gonna make a gorgonzola cream sauce. So we’re gonna use some gorgonzola dolce from Northern Italy, which is right here.
We’re gonna use some heavy cream. And that’s it. That’s our second sauce. The third one is gonna be sugo from Naples. So we’re gonna do a San Marzano tomato sauce. Now this is just whole San Marzano tomato out of the can and I crushed them with my hand.
And this is simply going to be flavored with an infusion of garlic and the olive oil. And we’re gonna give it a little bit of the Sardinian oregano. And that’s gonna be our third sauce. And then we’re gonna plate them up as a tre paste, which is done often.
So you’re gonna get the same pasta with three different sauces to really make that sparkle in your mouth and give your taste buds a treat. These are Idaho potatoes. And I like to use these because I like their texture and their starch content for the gnocchi.
So these have been boiling for 40 minutes until they’re knife tender. And you want to do them at a gentle boil. Because you see, even though this is cooked now, the skin hasn’t broken. So you want to keep the potato very dry.
So you need a towel. Just take your knife and peel off the skin. We’re not gonna use the skins, so we’ll throw that away. Okay, so that’s it. The potato’s peeled just about. And then we’re gonna rice it.
The potato’s hot. See, it’s steaming over here. This is a ricer. We’re just gonna put the potato into the ricer and, while it’s still hot, it’s very important. And then we’re just gonna put it out on this tray so that we can let it cool a little bit before we add the egg and the flour.
And the riced Idaho potatoes have cooled a little bit, so we’re gonna be able to work with them now. I just took them out of that pan where they were cooling and I’m just forming them into a little ring here on the board.
You don’t want to handle this too much. The more you handle it and the more flour you add, the tougher and denser the gnocchi are gonna be, right? These should be like pillows. They should be ready to float off the plate, they’re so light.
Okay, so this is our potatoes. I’m taking an egg. Just gonna crack the egg right in here. Nice a nice. Right on the board. We’re gonna take a fork. I’m just gonna scramble this a little bit right on the board.
I don’t like to do dishes, so I ain’t doing this in a bowl. You could use the fork or you could use your hands. Just start incorporating the potatoes into the egg. And try to get it mixed. Try to be gentle with it.
Don’t press down on this. See how gentle I’m trying to do? Trying to incorporate the egg into the flour. I mean into the potatoes. Sorry. See, and you can tell you’re getting it mixed well because the color’s changing.
The golden color of that egg yolk is starting to appear throughout this. So I noticed on the bottom, I wasn’t getting some down there, so just gonna use my scraper to help me out here. I’ve got a cup and a half of flour.
I said that what I want to try and do is get this to come together as a harmonious dough using as little flour as possible. So I’m gonna start with a half a cup. And I’m probably gonna need most of this half a cup at least.
So I’m gonna put most of it out here. And then we’ll see where we go from here. Again, just mixing it together. See how it’s falling apart? So let’s add the rest of this and then see where we go from here.
Use your scraper. See how it’s starting to bind up a little bit? That’s what we like. So now I’m using a little bit more pressure. I’m seeing if I can get this into a ball that can be kneaded. This looks like it’s coming together well.
Okay, so now here’s the test. I’m just gonna take a little piece and see if I can roll it into a rope. See? It’s coming. It’s staying together so I think we got enough flour in this. If you don’t put enough flour.
..when you go to make these, or when you put them in the water to boil, they’re gonna disintegrate. So that’s not good either. It’s feeling good to my hand and we’re gonna test it out by seeing if we can do a rope with it.
See and as I’m doing this, I’m incorporating a little bit more flour. But we don’t want to overwork this, so I may stop. Look at that….from where we started. We’re gonna cut this into six pieces. Cut it in half.
And then cut these in three. And we’re gonna take each of these… we want to make ropes here. Maybe about a half inch in diameter. Okay? And then we’ll just put it out there. We’ll do another one. Just out to about a half inch in diameter.
That’s two. But you want to make sure that you got structural integrity here because if they start falling apart here, you haven’t added enough flour and they’ll just disintegrate when you put them in the water to cook them.
Okay, so we got three of these here. So you can save yourself a little bit of time by putting a couple or three of these together, right? So we’re just gonna cut these in about half an inch in length.
And let me just show you. Roll them over here in flour, right? The dough’s already made, so this flour is just gonna keep them from sticking. It’s not gonna make them heavy like I was warning you about before.
These are your gnocchi. So here’s our gnocchi. Bring them back over here. Just take a fork. You can use a fork, you could use the back side of a small grater. You’re just gonna take the gnocchi and you’re gonna put it on the fork and you’re just gonna roll it.
So you gonna get that kind of shape. You want those indentations…gonna help with the sauce. So you’re putting a little pressure with your thumb and just rolling it right off. See? Easy, easy. Nice a nice.
And you’re forming the gnocchi. So we got our gnocchi all formed over here. So now we’re gonna make our three sauces. They’re pretty quick. For the first one, we got the San Marzano tomatoes crushed by hand, right? Use your hand, crush them all up nice a nice.
Baboom on the garlic to get rid of the skin. The paper comes off nice a nice. I don’t have to chop this or anything because this is really just gonna infuse the oil. The pan’s not hot. Because I’m infusing oil, I want the garlic and the olive oil to come to temperature together.
I got a high flame here. You know, you can pick it up this way. And see how that hot oil is just letting that garlic… it’s just sizzling a little bit. I don’t want any color on this garlic. But I think I got a good temp here, so we’re gonna add the San Marzano tomatoes and you should hear a sizzle when the tomatoes hit the hot oil.
You want that. So did you hear that? And we’re just gonna let this cook. This is not a long cook sauce. This is gonna be a pretty fast preparation here. There’s only one other ingredient that’s gonna go in here and that’s oregano.
But I’m not gonna add the oregano until we get closer to when I’m gonna plate the pasta. So now we’ll move on to the second sauce, the gorgonzola cream sauce. Again, it’s a very quick sauce to make. So I got my saute pan here, let me turn this on.
And here’s heavy cream. We’re just gonna get this into the pan. And I’m probably right now at medium high. And not too much cream. We just want this to be a medium to melt the gorgonzola. We want to get the texture of the cream down a little bit.
Right? We want to get rid of some moisture. So see now I’m seeing that I can get a little bit of a clear ribbon here as I go across the pan. And I’m just gonna turn it down a little bit. And then I’m just gonna break off little pieces of the gorgonzola.
Not too big because you’re gonna want these to melt in the sauce. And all’s we want to do is melt this in the cream and we want to give it a good silky texture. So this is your gorgonzola sauce. So, you know, you can use as much cream and gorgonzola as you want.
Look at that. See? You push it around, it’s not flowing back on you. This is pretty much it. Okay, so we’re gonna make our pesto alla trapanese, the tomato pesto with almonds and basil from Sicily. Very simple.
It’s not gonna even be cooked, we’re gonna put everything in the food processor. So let me do a little baboom over here. And, again, we don’t have to chop this or anything because it’s gonna go right into the food processor.
So let’s just take the top off and start adding the ingredients. I’m gonna break that. I’m gonna put the salt and the almonds in. The sweeter…the smaller, the sweeter, the better, these tomatoes. And then we’re gonna put the basil in here.
So you could turn this on, but I like to pulse it so I’m more in control of what’s going on in there. Those roasted almonds are incredible. So just enough of this until we get a good texture and I think we’re there.
Let’s take a look. That’s the texture you want. Okay, so I’ve been cooking some of the water out of the San Marzano tomatoes for this pizzaiola sauce. So before I throw the gnocchi into the boiling water, I’m gonna add some Sardinian oregano at the end here just to finish it off.
And now just a little bit of salt for the tomatoes. So that sauce is gonna be done. I’m gonna bring it down to a simmer. You see how nice and thick it got from where we started? So the water’s been boiling over here.
Look at that. Nice a nice. Little salt in the water. And just start putting them in. They’re not gonna take long to cook. They make take maybe a minute or so. Okay, so the gnocchi all came up to the top.
It took about a minute or so, maybe a little longer. Don’t let them stay in there too long because then they’re gonna fall apart. So let’s get them out. Make sure we get them all out of here. Make sure they’re not gonna stick as I get ready to plate them up and sauce them with the three different sauces.
I’m just giving a little bit of extra virgin olive oil to make sure they don’t stick. Put some in here. Put some in here. Put some in here. Okay, so our gorgonzola cream sauce. Just mix this up. Let’s put a little bit of this.
Not too much. Oh! The almonds, the basil, the garlic! The almonds are fantastic. The pizzaiola sauce from Naples. Get that well coated. Tre paste.