Gnocchi with Spicy Roasted Tomato Sauce + Grilled Corn

I fully credit my grandmother with my obsession over poached eggs. Actually, if we’re being honest, she’s influenced me in a lot of different ways. She also taught me how to play poker, shoot a basketball (a skill that comes in very handy when you’re 5’3), blow smoke rings (OK – she tried to teach me,) and knit (don’t tell anyone I just admitted to that,) but those are stories for another time. The point is, she’s clearly very well-rounded, and kind of a badass.

Case in point – when we were little we used to cook together a lot (my sisters and me and her) and there was this one time, where we were making these stained glass cookies (see below, we were ambitious little kids, apparently,)

cookies

 and I distinctly remember that we had to crush up these hard candies with a hammer, to then melt down the candy to make the stained glass. So we put some candy into a ziploc baggie, and Little 6 or 7 Year Old Jessica was banging away on the candies and she accidentally missed the bag and put a huge dent in the counter top. We’re talking, like, a crater. I still remember her little face crumble up and she looked like she was about to start crying (not a rare occurrence for Jessy at that age, but still), so my grandmother grabbed the hammer and smashed her own dent into the counter, next to Jess’s. No hesitation. It’s probably one of my earliest, and favorite, memories of my grandmother, teaching us (this time) not to take things too seriously.

I honestly don’t know what made me think of that except that I wrote this last night when I couldn’t sleep, and maybe was feeling a little nostalgic, and I guess I just wanted to give a quick tribute to the woman who taught me how to poach an egg. Because – and maybe you’ve never tried to do it or maybe you’ve perfected your own technique over years and years of religious practice – that shit is hard.

 

Pasta1

Ingredients
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil divided
salt + pepper
2 cloves garlic, diced, + 2 cloves, roughly chopped
Zest from 1 lemon
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated parmesan
16 ounces gnocchi (I used Whole Foods brand)
1 zucchini
2 ears grilled corn, kernels removed
1 cup fresh basil, cut in ribbons
6 oz feta cheese
Poached eggs

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the tomatoes, garlic, 2 tbs of the olive oil and salt and pepper to a baking dish. Toss, ensuring the tomatoes are covered in the seasonings, and roast in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes being to carmelize.
  2. Add 1/2 of the roasted tomatoes to a blender, along with the remaining cloves of garlic and olive oil. Pulse until almost smooth, then add the lemon zest, red pepper flakes and parm. Blend until smooth. Taste to season.
  3. Make the gnocchi according to the directions on the package. While it is boiling, cut the zucchini into ribbons using a potato peeler.
  4. To serve, add the gnocchi, zucchini and corn to a large bowl, and toss with the sauce. Top each plate of pasta with feta cheese, basil and a poached egg.

**This recipe was slightly adapted from one of my fav food blogs: Half Baked Harvest.

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