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Potato Gnocchi with Spicy Tomato Sauce
6 SERVINGS

2 pounds potatoes
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 pound unbleached white flour, approximately, as needed

1 teaspoon olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 pounds tomatoes (12 medium-size), seeded and quartered
1 or 2 pinches of sugar
1/8 teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
salt to taste
2 or 3 tablespoons slivered fresh basil to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil for the gnocchi pot
3 ounces (90g) low-fat mozzarella, cut into small cubes

Boil or steam the potatoes for 30 minutes, until thoroughly tender.
Remove from the heat and remove their skins. Transfer to a bowl
and mash with potato masher or a fork or put through the medium
blade of a food mill. Work in the egg yolks, olive oil, nutmeg,
salt and pepper.

Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Place a few
tablespoons of flour on the work surface and turn out the dough.
Knead gently for 3 to 5 minutes. The dough should be supple and
smooth. Add a bit of flour if it's too sticky.

Flour your hands and work surface. Divide the dough into 8 pieces.
Roll out each piece into a sausage shape about 1/2 inch thick.
Using a sharp knife, cut 1/2 inch pieces and press each piece gently
against the inside curve of a fork. Keep flouring your hands so
the dough doesn't stick. Cover the gnocchi with a clean kitchen
towel and set aside, in the refrigerator if you will not be cooking
them within the hour, while you make the sauce.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed nonstick skillet over
medium heat and add the garlic. When it begins to color add the
tomatoes, sugar, crushed cayenne, thyme and salt. Cook, stirring
often, for 20-30 minutes, until the tomatoes are cooked down and
beginning to stick to the pan. Stir in the basil, simmer for a
few more minutes, and remove from the heat. Put through the medium
blade of a food mill. Adjust salt and add pepper if desired.

Lightly oil a 2-3 quart gratin dish. Preheat the oven to 400F
(200C). To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add two teaspoons salt and a tablespoon of olive oil to the pot
and cook the gnocchi in batches. They will stick to the bottom of
the pot, then float up to the surface. Remove from the pot with
a slotted spoon no more than 1 minute after they float to the top.
Drain very briefly on kitchen towels, then transfer to the gratin
dish. Gently stir in the tomato sauce and the mozzarella.

Heat through in the oven for 20 minutes, until the sauce is beginning
to sizzle and the cheese is beginning to melt.

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