Carpe Diem, Gnocchi with Green Olives

As a young teenager, one of my favorit movie was "Dead Poets Society". I've seen it at least a dozen time, and it never failed to make me cry. It's the movie, amongst other things, that made me want to be a teacher. I watched that movie again yesterday evening, for the first time in years, and it didn't fail to make me cry, again.

Even 15 years later, with more life experience and hopefully more wisdom, I still got to be really moved by the story. Showing the importance of passion, commitment, anticonformism or gratitude in life. How seizing the day or even the moment is something important, that we might not be doing enough.

Look out on the streets and in the shops, we are early november, and everybody is already high on christmas, and when that is done, we will most likely have easter stuff coming our way. Don't get me wrong, I do too like to have things to look ahead to, but if we constantly care about what's coming next, are we actually enjoying the moment that is happening right now?

When I cook or bake, I am looking forward for the result, but also every step of the way: cleaning, cutting, roasting, mixing, seasoning... Gnocchi are not difficult to make, it takes a bit of time, but for a nice result, where you know exactly what you are going to eat. I've decided to make mine with green olives, and may the italian forgive me, I didn't use hot butter to serve, but drizzled them with olive oil. Than I sat down, and enjoyed every bite of it.

Gnochhi with Green Olives (Based on "Bryn's Kitchen")

Serves 1 as a dish, or 2 as a side dish

4 Regular Potatoes (to have about 200gr of mashed potato)
2 Egg Yolks
60gr of Flour, plus extra for dusting
25gr of Parmesan, plus extra to serve
2 Tablespoons of Green Olives, pitted
A pinch of Salt
Rock Salt
Olive Oil

Preheat your oven to 160°C.

In an roasting dish, make a layer with the rock salt and place the washed but unpeeled potatoes on it. Place it in the oven for 1 hour and a half, but check after an hour with a knife to see if the potatoes are baked.

When the potatoes are done, cut them in half and scrap the potato flesh out, place it in a bowl and mash well with a fork.

Add the egg yolks, the flour, the parmesan, salt and the green olives that you have chopped finely. Combine everything to make it come together as a dough.

When the dough is ready, separate it in two, and on a well floured work surface, roll it out into a sausage shape, about 1 cm diameter. Now cut your gnocchi, about 2 cm long, press down a fork on them to leave little stripes.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and carefull drop the gnocchi into it. It's easy to know when they are done, because they start floating on the surface.

Take them out of the water and serve on a plate, drizzle some good olive oil on top and grate some parmesan before serving.

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