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Gnocchi Allo Safferano

1 pound semolina flour
1/4 cup olive oil -- extra virgin
1 onion -- chopped
1/4 cup parsley -- chopped
1/2 teaspoon saffron
3 ounces pork fat -- chopped
7 ounces ground pork
7 ounces lamb -- lean, ground
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes -- chopped fine in food processor
2 bay leaves
6 sage leaves -- fresh or 1/2 tsp dried
salt and pepper
3/4 cup aged pecorino cheese - optional


To make gnocchi, pour flour onto work surface and make a well in the centre. Pour in the olive oil. Dissolve saffron in a bit of warm water and add to well. Mix liquid with flour, adding enough water to form a firm, not sticky, dough. You'll have to add the water 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough is the right consistency. Cut dough into pieces and roll into long cylinders, about 1/2 inch diameter. Cut into 1-inch chunks and press your finger into each gnocchi to make a deep dent. Set gnocchi aside on a floured surface to dry while you make the sauce. Heat pork fat in saute pan and cook the onion and parsley until tender. Stir in the ground meat and cook until no longer pink. Add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, for an hour or until the sauce is thickened. Cook gnocchi in boiling salted water until cooked al dente. Drain and arrange in pasta dishes. Pour sauce over top and garnish with a handful of grated cheese. Serves 4-6.


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