Recipe for a Meltdown

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Several months ago while dining at one of our favorite restaurants, Matt and I shared a dish that I still dream about. It was cheesy and buttery but not too heavy. It was flavorful and tender. It was ricotta gniocchi. We left assuming that it was a specialty item that we'd likely never get again until I stumbled upon a recipe for it at

The recipe was highly reviewed and had several comments stating how wonderful and easy it was to make. I knew this was going to be on our menu. Since the recipe called for the dough to be refrigerated before cooking I decided to make the gnocchi the night before we were going to eat it. I also took pictures of every step along the way because I knew this was going to be something I'd want to share with you.

I got all my ingredients lined up.

Mixed them into a soft beautiful dough.

Kneaded and formed the dough into rolls.

and cut the dough into small dumplings.

I laid the little puffs onto a floured baking sheet and placed in the refrigerator over night.

I dreamed about dinner the whole next day. I couldn't wait to get home to my cheesy dumplings that were sure to melt in my mouth. I came home and pulled the cookie sheet out only to see that my gnocchi had turned an unappetizing grey color. I decided to ignore the color and move on to boiling the pasta, thinking that it might breath some color back into them. It didn't. They were still brown and now they looked sticky. Refusing to give up on the dinner of my dreams I began to saute them in butter with some zucchini. The color was really getting to me. They looked like sausage, but they weren't. They were supposed to be a light fluffy pastry, not the atrocious sticky lumps I was seeing before me.

Suddenly I was hit with a wall of emotion. I was inadequate. I couldn't cook. I couldn't even cook something hundreds of other people had success with. How was it possible I was a wife? How was I ever going to be a good mother. I turned to Matt with tears in my eyes and asked, "Why did you marry someone who can't cook?" And immediately the tears began rolling down my cheeks. They couldn't be stopped. I was sobbing over a failed recipe. Matt lovingly snatched a gnocchi from the pan and ate it. He told me it was just fine. I retorted that it looked like sausage and I was not going to be eating it. He hugged me until I stopped my sobbing and I apologized for my meltdown.

I'm so lucky to have a man who can deal with my meltdowns like Matt does. So far this pregnancy I've only had three major cries, another one of which I'll be blogging about in the near future.

Dinner was wonderful.

I spent the rest of the evening cuddling on the couch watching Glee.

*Note: You can find the original recipe for the ricotta gnocchi here. I made a few adjustments to the recipe by using part skim ricotta and by using half whole wheat flour. I'm not sure if these changes are what messed up the recipe, but I do intend to make another attempt, but without refrigerating overnight.


Viridiana said...

You can't use whole wheat flour, unless it is pastry or really finely ground. I learned this the hard way as has too much gluten or something.

Lifeinblubber said...

awww! I remember those days. Believe me one day you WILL laugh at all of your outbursts! I know I have.

Four Renners (and a half) said...

I haven't been reading blogs lately so I was glad when I looked at yours and there were about 5 new posts. Some days you just need a good meltdown. That's all there is to it. I had one today. {:
Great, great blog. I need to find that magazine. That is still awesome.

Dani- danielleislosingit said...

Ruining gnocchi is truly a tragedy. I am so sorry!

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