Gnocchi alla Ragu di Carne

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Gnocchi Ingredients
2 cups cold mashed potatoes
1 cup flour
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (powder)
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Gnocchi Preparation
In a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, mix together the potatoes, egg yolks, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. 

Make a pocket in the middle of the potato mixture and add the flour.  Gently mix the flour into the potato mixture.  When the mixture comes together, turn it out onto a floured counter top.  Roll the dough into a ball.  If the dough is too sticky, you can add a little more flour, but make sure not to over mix or add too much flour as the dumplings will become tough and chewy.

Dust the top of the ball with flour.  Cut the dough ball into quarters. 

Take the first quarter of the dough and, with your hand, roll it into a rope the size of a nickel.  Lightly flour the rope.  With a sharp knife cut the rope crosswise into 1/2-inch lengths.  Continue with the rest of the dough.

Lightly flour a baking pan or dish.  Lay a fork upside down on your work surface and lightly flour.  Take each piece of dough and use your thumb to pull it down the tines of the fork to create the ribs.  Place on the floured pan.  Continue with the remaining dough, making sure the gnocchi are not touching one another on the pan.  Freeze.  When gnocchi are frozen you can remove them from the pan and place in a zip lock freezer bag until ready to use.  They can be stored like this for up to 3 months.

Ragu di Carne Ingredients
2 lbs. beef eye round steak or other lean cut, diced 1/4-inch.
1 bottle red wine
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained, and juice reserved
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 cups beef broth
3 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

Ragu di Carne Preparation
In a large saucepot over high heat, cook the garlic in the olive oil until lightly brown.  Turn the heat down to medium, and add the red wine, salt, and pepper. 

Stir in the diced steak and slowly simmer for 1 hour, or until the wine is reduced by three quarters. 

Stir in the beef broth and reserved tomato juice, and simmer for another hour. 

Add the diced vegetables and diced tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes more, or until veggies are tender. 

Turn heat down to low, stir in the chopped parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Assembly Ingredients
4 cups frozen gnocchi
4 cups Ragu di Carne
8 quarts water
3 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

To Assemble
In a large pasta pot, bring 8 quarts of water and salt to a boil.  When water is at a rolling boil, stir in the frozen gnocchi and cook for at least five minutes.  Gnocchi when cooked properly will not just float, but try to jumpĀ out of the pot.  When gnocchi are cooked, drain well. 

In a large sauté pan on high heat, add the olive oil and heat until the oil shimmers.  Add the gnocchi to the pan and sauté until lightly golden brown on the outside. 

Divide the browned gnocchi between four bowls, top each bowl with 1 cup of the Ragu sauce, and sprinkle with the shredded Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4, plus extra.