For the Sauce:
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 16- to 20-oz. can peeled tomatoes
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme
1 1/2 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. oregano
1 bay leaf
Black, white, and red pepper medley, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
For the Gnocchi:
1 lb. white potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 1/4 cups white flour
Fresh basil, optional
• Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
• Remove the bay leaf and puree in a food processor.
• Return the sauce to the pan and keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the gnocchi is ready.
• Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
• Stir in a generous amount of sea salt, drain, and mash until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
• Sprinkle flour into the bowl with one hand while kneading the flour into the potatoes with the other. Continue until all the flour is worked in and the dough is smooth. This will take a few minutes, the dough will be sticky at first.
• Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Form the dough into a 1- to 2-inch-thick roll. Cut the roll into inch-long sections and roll each one against a fork. Repeat with the remaining dough.
• Drop the gnocchi, one at a time, into heavily salted, boiling water. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until they rise to the surface.
• Remove the gnocchi from the water, drain well, and transfer to a warm plate.
• Serve with the tomato sauce and garnish with a few basil leaves.
Makes 4 servings