After reading the interview with author of Evenings at the Argentine Club, it is evident that family and food play a big part in Julia Amante’s life which has translated into her writing. During the interview, Amante was asked to share a recipe and she shared one of her family’s favorite: potato noquis (gnocchi). One might wonder how that could be an Argentine recipe.
Amante explains: The recipe for Noquis that I’d like to share is one my family loves, though we only have it once or twice a year because it’s so time consuming. They are pillowy, fluffy potato dumplings that we usually eat with a tomato sauce, but it can also be eaten with an alfredo sauce.
There is a tradition in Argentina, as a result of the heavy Italian immigration in the late 1800’s, of eating Noquis every 29th of the month to celebrate the feast day of Italian saint, San Pantaleon, who was canonized on this date. Because this meal uses very simple ingredients, it was supposed to nourish people who by the end of the month could not afford to purchase more expensive food like meat. And, for good luck, people will leave a coin under their plates in hopes of having a prosperous next month.
Now, even though the ingredients are simple, it requires a lot of preparation time which is why in my house it’s a special treat. Here’s the recipe:
2 lbs. potatoes
3 cups flour
Peel, wash, and quarter the potatoes. Boil them in salted water (to taste). Let the potatoes boil at a simmer so that they do not cook too quickly and fall apart in the water. Once cooked, drain, and let potatoes completely cool.
Once cooled, mash potatoes in large mixing bowl. Begin adding flour and mix well. Knead flour into the potato. Do not knead excessively or dough will be rubbery. Your dough should not be sticky either.
Divide your dough and begin rolling them into long thin ropes about 3/4″ thick. Cut these as if you were cutting carrots about 1″ long.
To “mark” each small noquis, roll over the top of each with the back side of a fork, pushing with your thumb slightly. Do not crush them, you’re only creating a small mark.
Now you’re ready to cook them in a pot of boiling, salted water. When they rise to the surface, they are ready to be scooped with a slotted spoon. If you wait too long, they will begin to fall apart.
Serve with your favorite tomato sauce. I sometimes use a marinara sauce, and other times, I’ll make a sauce that includes chicken or beef.
Thank you to Julia Amante for being so open in her interview and sharing this recipe with the readers! For further details on this Argentine favorite visit this web site.
As promised, there is a special announcement to be made and that is a copy of EVENINGS AT THE ARGENTINE CLUB by Julia Amante will be given away to one reader of San Jose Family Entertainment Examiner.
Here are the rules:
~Leave a comment at the end of this article in which you share your favorite family food that reflects your family’s heritage/ culture.
~No need to leave to a recipe, just the name of the dish, how often you eat it, and why you and your family enjoy it,.
~If your family has a favorite restaurant that reflects your family’s culture, please leave the name of the restaurant, location, and what you order.
~No need to leave contact information right now, just leave your name with your comment.
~Contest ends on Thursday night at 11:59 pm PST. All names of those who commented will be entered into a drawing and one winner will receive a copy of EVENINGS AT THE ARGENTINE CLUB.
~The winner will be announced on San Jose Family Entertainment Examiner on Friday, June 25, 2010.
~Winner can then contact Anna Rodriguez via email with snail mail address. No P.O. Boxes.
~Contest is open to U.S. residents only, 18 years and older.
Good luck! It’s a great book for summer reading!