After 47 years of marriage and 51 previous Valentine’s Days together, you might think the glow is wearing off a little. Not so! Only my wife could come up with a card that says it all so well!
Our tradition is to give two cards, not just one. You’ll be happy to know that the second was even more affectionate.
Naturally, I was overwhelmed with emotion, enough to make a simple celebratory dinner. It was Gnocchi in a Sauce of Roasted Mushrooms, Cauliflower and Tomatoes. I have no pix and provide no recipe, but here’s the essence of the dish, if you care.
Roast the Vegetables:
- preheat oven to 400º F.
- cut 3/4 lb. of cremini mushrooms into halves or quarters, depending on size
- put mushrooms on a large bowl, add olive oil, salt and pepper and a little pimenton
- toss mushrooms with the seasonings and place on a roasting tray, along with rosemary leaves
- roast in the hot oven, turning once or twice, until well browned
- take a head of cauliflower, rinse and dry, and cut up into medium sized florets
- toss florets in olive oil, salt and pepper, and put in a roasting tray
- if your oven is large enough, roast cauliflower with the mushrooms
- if not, roast after the mushrooms are done; the cauliflower will take 20-30 minutes
- place mushrooms and cauliflower in separate bowls when done
Now start the sauce and the gnocchi:
- in a sauteuse or saute pan, heat 2 Tbsp (or 3 if Barbara is not watching)
- add chopped celery and 1/2 diced onion
- heat until starting to brown; add minced garlic clove and 1/2″ slice of ginger, minced
- when garlic starts to color, and 1/4 cup of white wine and reduce
- add 3/4 pint of high quality Italian tomatoes and their juice
- cook until sauce thickens
- meanwhile boil 6 or more quarts of water; add salt when at rolling boil
- drop 1/2 lb. potato gnocchi in the boiling water
- cook for about 3 minutes, until they float to the top
- remove the gnocchi and add to the sauce
- heat all together of 3-4 minutes to combine flavors
- serve in pasta bowls, preferably with floral borders for the occasion
- add chopped parsley, if desired