Gnocchi with pomodoro sauce is a simple yet incredibly satisfying combination. In this recipe, easy-to-make gnocchi made from russet potatoes, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and egg yolks are paired with a buttery tomato sauce laced with fresh basil. Lee uses a potato ricer to make the gnocchi.
1 ¼ pounds russet potatoes (about 2 small potatoes)
1 ½ ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated using a Microplane grater (about 1 cup), plus more for garnish
2 large egg yolks
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
¾ cup (about 3 ounces) or 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 1/4 ounces), plus more for work surface
16 cups water
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled San Marzano plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place potatoes directly on middle rack of preheated oven, and bake until tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Carefully cut potatoes in half lengthwise; let stand until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes. Scoop potato flesh into a ricer; discard skins. Process potatoes through ricer into a large bowl. Add, but do not stir in, cheese, egg yolks, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper. Sprinkle flour over mixture; using your hands, fold together until well incorporated and mixture forms a soft dough ball, about 1 minute. Wrap dough with plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove dough from refrigerator, and unwrap. Place dough on a floured work surface, and cut dough evenly into 5 pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a 121/2-inch-long rope. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece until it is about 1 1/2 inches long. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bring 16 cups water and 1/4 cup salt to a boil in a large Dutch oven over high. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add gnocchi to boiling water; cook, stirring occasionally, until gnocchi begin to float, about 2 minutes. Transfer to ice water; let cool 3 minutes. Drain well. Transfer gnocchi to a large bowl; add oil, and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours.
Process tomatoes in a blender until smooth, about 10 seconds. Transfer tomato puree to a large saucepan; add basil, garlic, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Add butter and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; stir until butter melts.
Place gnocchi in tomato sauce; simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until warmed, about 5 minutes. Garnish servings with additional cheese and basil, if desired.