pasta....but not really

if i had to name one type of food most familiar with my childhood, it would have to be pasta. it was present at almost every evening meal, in some form or another and usually as a starter. it was elaborate on some occasions (lasagna or cannelloni) and simplistic on others when comfort was needed (with butter and parmesan).

if the fridge was empty, mama lucy would whip up her olive oil with crushed red pepper flakes version. when there was leftover spaghetti, my dad would fry it up with a beaten egg and turn it into a pizza. on birthdays, i would often request her gnocchi. it was so much work for her to roll them and I remember the damp towel covered trays dusted with flour that i could not wait to be dumped into the boiling pot.

obviously, i love my food memories and really enjoy reading about others' too. it's why i love new cookbooks, especially ones that offer me a peek into someone else's family kitchen. i recently picked up this book by david rocco who shares his experiences and recipes growing up in Canada in an Italian home. reading it brought a great sense of familiarity. but since italian cooking is so regional, there were many recipes very new to me including this fabulous one for gnudi.
it was the first recipe i tried from the book, and i am so glad that i did. i spent a bit of time rolling the little balls of ricotta and spinach, but it was well worth it. there was no stuffing of shells, and the end result was tasty but without that sometimes heavy feeling you get after a pasta dinner.
the ricotta balls are nestled in a dish with a fresh tomato basil sauce and blanketed with parmesan cheese and more basil. pretty much heaven with a chuck of crusty bread to soak up all that extra sauce on the bottom of your bowl.

i've been successfully trying at least one new recipe a week and this one is definitely my favorite so far. if you can, you should try it. recipe here!


molly said...

looks scrumptious, and just in time for my spring low-carb plan. yum!

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

I'm drooling Sandy, that looks so good. I loved David's TV prog La Dolce Vita and will definitely be looking up that book too.

Anna said...

Gosh, Sandy, that looks amazing. I'll check out that book now as I remember watching David Rocco when he was on the food channel (can't remember the name of his show - may have been 'La dolce vita' or something along those lines)

Sandy said...

The book is really filled with wonderful Italian recipes and short snipits from his life with food. Gorgeous colour photos too. :)

KeanaLee said...

can't wait to make those!

Claudia said...

Odd concept but I'm sure that it's super good! Maybe I could try it? Have a lovely weekend :)

Ms O said...

Sandy, this is the first I've heard of David Rocco. I'll check out his book very soon. That meal looks so inviting!
Lea x

Helen said...

i am gonna try this next week. yum!