Sometimes it takes a visit with your sister to remind you of a favorite food. She was telling me over the holidays about a wonderful chicken gnocchi soup she’d made for her family. It has been years since I have made gnocchi, how did I forget about it? I immediately found a recipe and got to work. And I remembered why I love gnocchi. It’s delicious, versatile and easy to make. It calls for the simplest ingredients, potatoes, eggs and flour; things you have around the house. You can change things up by using different flours. In this case I took the recipe from “Taste of Home: Homemade Potato Gnocchi Recipe” and substituted whole wheat flour. The color is a little darker, but I like the added nutrition. You can season the dough by adding a little cheese, some nutmeg and any number of dried herbs. A trip online will give you lots of ideas. Basically you are customizing this starch to pair with a meal. Mix all the ingredients together and knead. Divide the dough into 3 or 4 balls and roll them out into ½ wide ropes. Precision is not essential. Use flour to keep things from sticking to the counter and fingers. Cut the ropes into one-inch pieces. Grab each piece at the cut sides and give them a squeeze. The piece molds into a little cushion and you are set. This is a great task to assign to the kids in your family. The cooking is easy. Get a big kettle and fill it about 2/3 of the way with water and add a generous amount of salt for flavor. Bring to a boil and in two or three batches, gently drop the pieces (by handfuls) into the boiling water. They will sink to the bottom but as they cook they will rise. Let them simmer on the top for a few minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon and slip them into a bowl of ice water to cool completely. Gnocchi freezes beautifully, so if you’ve made a big batch, divide it into serving portions to freeze. When you’re looking for a starch for a soup, base for spaghetti sauce, a creamy crouton substitute for a salad, a side for chicken or beef or a pasta you can add to baked casserole, pull a bag out the morning and set it in the fridge. By dinnertime it will be ready for use. It might become one of your favorites too!

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