I listen to The Bridge, which is like a soft rock kind of station. It’s very nice to have, especially on my long rides to work now. But, I’ve learned a couple of things since I’ve been listening…
First, I’m not a fan of Bob Seger anymore. I’m sorry to all of you fans out there, and to Bob himself, to whom I mean no offense. It’s nothing personal, Bob. I just found myself getting annoyed when one of your songs came on. I know..I was surprised too, but people change. It’s not you. It’s me.
And the second thing I’ve learned? I don’t know squat when it comes to lyrics. Sometimes I just can’t figure out what they’re saying altogether, and that’s when my singing suddenly turns to humming, and then back to singing. And then other times, I just destroy the lyrics.
Orleans sang the song: “Still the One”.
Their lyric: “You’re still the one who can scratch my itch..”
Prudy’s lyric: “You’re still the one who can scratch my ears..”
That song came out in 1976, so for 40 years, I’ve been singing about scratching ears. Honestly? I’m not sure if I’ll ever remember to scratch that itch.
Or my all-time epic lyric disaster:
AC/DC sang the song: For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)
Their lyric: “For those about to rock, we salute you…”
Prudy’s lyric: “For those about to rock, we sell new shoes…”
Now, in my defense with this one… I have never been a fan of AC/DC. The guy doesn’t sing. He screeches. You can’t understand a word that comes out of his mouth. It’s nothing personal to the AC/DC guy. I don’t know his name. I don’t even know what he looks like. Or even if he’s still alive, or well…for lack of a better word… “not of this world any longer”. I mean no offense to the aforementioned singer. I’m sure he’s a very nice man with lots and lots of friends…but he and I just have nothing in common.
Okay, so maybe I get some lyrics wrong sometimes, but that doesn’t stop me from singing my heart out!
There is one thing, however, that I will always get right, and that’s gnocchi. I have them down to a science, in which they’re actually foolproof. If you’re a fan of gnocchi, then you know that they are deliciously light and airy with a lemon and sage butter…but can go to the other end of the spectrum and stand up to a highly flavorful and savory pork ragout.
I know I have said this before, but if you’ve never added pork to your sauce, it’s about time you do. It brings such a rich, almost buttery flavor to the sauce that is unlike no other. Very little prep, and a few hours of braising makes for fork tender pork with an intense marrying of wine, tomatoes, thyme, and rosemary. It just doesn’t get any better..
Life is good. It’s a “Do you have any lyrics disaster stories?” kind of good..
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2½ pound pork roast
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 tbsp butter
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- ½ can beef broth (use the can from the crushed tomatoes)
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Shaved Asiago Cheese for garnish
- 6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (you’ll want four cups of riced or mashed potatoes)
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup Romano cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups flour
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy braising pot over medium heat. Season the pork roast with salt and pepper. Sear on all sides in the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic, and let simmer over low heat for about five minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the tomato paste, butter, red wine, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
- Bring ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about ½ hour.
- Cover, and place in a a preheated 350 degree oven. Braise for about 2 to 3 hours, or until the liquid has thickened, and the pork is fork tender. The thyme will be cooked down. Remove the sprigs of rosemary and bay leaves, discard them.
- Serve over homemade gnocchi with shaved Asiago cheese.
- Boil the potatoes in a large pot of water until they become tender. Drain. At this point, you can either mash them with an electric mixer (don’t add anything to them, i.e. butter, milk..), or you can rice them.
- If you mash them, make sure that there are no chunks of potato left. If you do, it’s really no big deal, you’ll just have chunks of potato in your gnocci… Believe me, I mashed them for years, and they turned out fine.If you rice them, use a few cubes of potatoes at a time…rice them into a bowl. Set aside until they are cool enough to handle, because you’ll be mixing and kneading with your hands.
- Pour the riced potatoes (4 cups) into a mound onto your floured work surface. Make a crater in the middle of the potatoes, and add the eggs, Romano cheese, and salt. Mix thoroughly with your hands. Add the flour, one cup at a time, kneading until incorporated. If the dough seems too sticky to make into a ball, add another ½ cup of flour. You don’t want to knead or handle the dough too much; otherwise you’ll end up with tough gnocchi.
- Using a knife or a dough scraper, cut a slice of dough from the ball, and roll it into about a 1-inch diameter log. Cut the log into 2” pieces. Repeat until all of the dough has been made into gnocchi.
- This part is completely optional: Holding the gnocchi board in one hand, and using your thumb with slight pressure… roll the gnocchi down the board quickly.
- Place each gnocchi onto the prepared cookie sheet lined with floured parchment. You’ll probably end up with four layers of gnocchi on the one cookie sheet.
- If you plan to cook them right away, bring a large pot of water to boil with generous sprinkling of salt (about a tablespoon). In small batches, boil the gnocchi for about three to five minutes…or until the gnocchi begin to float. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Don’t drain, because you’ll have a few more batches to cook.
- If you’re going to freeze them right away, put the whole cookie sheet of gnocchi into the freezer, and let freeze individually so that you can throw them into a baggie, without them sticking together. Don’t try to skip this step. If you try to freeze them without pre-freezing the gnocchi, you’ll end up with a big blob of dough. Trust me, that comes from lessons learned!.