Gnocchi al Forno Napoletana

A tasty supper dish, Gnocchi al Forno Napoletana (nah-kee al for-noh nah-poh-lee-tah-nah) is served with a delicious tomato sauce.

4 egg yolks

2 teaspoons sugar

2 oz. flour

2 tablespoons cornflour

½ teaspoon salt

2 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter, melted

4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

15 fl. oz. milk

1 oz. butter

1 tablespoons olive oil onion, finely chopped garlic cloves, crushed

2 lb. canned peeled tomatoes

2 teaspoons tomato puree

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon dry vermouth (optional)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

First make the gnocchi. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and with a wire whisk beat the mixture until it is creamy.

Sift the flour, cornflour and salt into a small mixing bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture, beating constantly until the mixture is smooth. Stir in 2 ounces of the melted butter and 3 ounces of the cheese.

Place the pan over moderately low heat. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Remove the pan from the heat.

Baked dumplings topped with cheese and served with a delicious tomato sauce, Gnocchi al Forno Napoletana makes an economical supper dish.

Rinse a large baking sheet with water. Turn the gnocchi mixture on to the sheet and smooth out the top with a flat-bladed knife. The mixture should be about 2-inch thick. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the sauce, in a large saucepan, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides add the onion and garlic. Fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C). Grease a medium-sized baking dish with the remaining teaspoon of melted butter and set aside.

Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and cut the gnocchi into squares. Place them, overlapping, in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Put the dish into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Serve the gnocchi either with the sauce poured over the top or separately.

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