Potato dumplings for four

September 17, 2008 4:18:37 PM PDT
The Fior d'Italia restaurant in North Beach first opened its doors May 1, 1886 and has the distinction of being the oldest Italian restaurant in America. Gianni Audieri , the executive chef of the restaurant shares a gnocchi recipe!

Potato Dumplings for Four
Gnocchi Di Patate Per Quatro

4 Large Idaho Russet Baking Potatoes
2 Egg Yolks
4 t. Butter
1 ½ Cup flour

Bake potatoes in 450F oven for 45 minutes. Cut potatoes in half and scoop into bowl with egg yolk and butter. Mix with spoon until well blended. Add one cup of flour and mix until all flour is absorbed into potato mixture. Drop mixture onto a floured surface; knead until uniform dough is achieved. Divide dough into 8 uniform parts. Roll each part into a long, finger-sized roll. Cut roll every 3/4" so that what you end with is a small dumpling. Roll each dumpling over the tines of a fork. Drop dumplings into salted, boiling water and cook at a rolling boil for about 3 minutes or until gnocchi rises to the top. Remove and place on a serving plate to keep warm or, cool gnocchi in cold water. Drain, add some olive oil and keep gnocchi in refrigerator up to 3 days. To use, just put gnocchi in boiling water for 2 minutes. Serve with any sauce you like.

Tomato Sauce for Gnocchi
Salsa di Pomodoro Napoli

1 Medium Onion
4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
4 T. Olive Oil
2 lbs Fresh Tomatoes, cut in half, seeded and chopped
1 One Spray of each: Thyme, Marjoram, and 2 Bay leaves

Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil until transparent. Add tomatoes, liquid and herbs. Cook until most of the liquid disappears - approximately 20 minutes. Then add salt, pepper to taste.

Serve with grated Parmigiano cheese.

History of the Fior d' Italia
Located at Fior d' Italia
2237 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone 415.986.1886
Fax 415.441.8774
Website: http://www.fior.com/

Angelo Del Monte and 'Papa' Marianetti opened Ristorante Fior d'Italia, America's oldest Italian restaurant, on May 1, 1886, in the heart of San Francisco's North Beach. Originally opened to serve the clients of the bordello located in the building at 492 Broadway, 'The Fior' not only served the bordello's clients well but soon became a very popular restaurant with other San Franciscans. The original gold rush era building burned in 1893.The restaurant immediately reopened at a new facility which served the restaurant well until the great earthquake and fire of 1906. By then 'The Fior' was well established in the city. The day after the earthquake the restaurant 'reopened' in a tent in order to feed the public. Great kettles of soup fed the populace. The restaurant operated out of the tent for about a year while San Francisco was rebuilt. In 1907 Fior d'Italia moved to a new building at Broadway and Kearny. As the city grew and 'The Fior' became more popular, the restaurant expanded to accommodate the business. Eventually the restaurant grew to a size that could seat 750 and serve 1500 meals a day. Fior d'Italia was central to the cuisine and social life of San Francisco. Around 1930, due to a dispute with their landlord, the owners of the restaurant moved, overnight, to a location just across Kearny Street. The restaurant remained at that location until 1953, when it moved to 601 Union Street at Stockton on Washington Square Park, where it remained until the fire of February 15, 2005. Today, Fior d'Italia is located at 2237 Mason Street.

The Fior d'Italia has been an important part of San Francisco's grand and glorious history for 120 years. The restaurant has been a leader in building the great tradition of excellent cuisine for which the city is so famous. The restaurant has also been a center of cultural and social events for the city and the Italian community.

Thousands of banquets, parties, business events and weddings have taken place at 'The Fior.' The restaurant and San Francisco share a great history and tradition. In short, Fior d'Italia offers the best of Italy: traditional Italian cuisine and old world service.

Ownership

The Fior d'Italia has had only three sets of owners in 121 years. The original proprietors, through Marianetti's sons Frank and George, ran the restaurant until age finally caught up with the family and there was no 'new blood' to take over.

At that point the restaurant was sold to a group headed by two North Beach natives, Sergio and Larry Nibbi, and Charles Ramorino, Achille Pantaleoni and Armanino. Through their efforts and investment the restaurant revived. Not being professional restaurateurs the group opted to concentrate on their primary businesses and the restaurant was sold to Bob and Jinx Larive and Hamish and Rosi Fordwood in 1990.

Subsequent to the sale, Executive Chef Gianni Audieri and his wife Trudy, Maitre d' Jim Bril acquired ownership in the business. In 2005, prior to the move to the new location in the San Remo Hotel on Mason Street, Bob and Jinx Larive bought out the other partners. Bob and Jinx look forward to continuing the great tradition of the Fior d'Italia.


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