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I think we’re all looking for comfort food these days… and spending more time at home than usual allows for us to make those meals that used to be relegated to the weekends-slow-simmered stews and braises, dish that require more prep work or rising time-any day of the week. I’m used to working from home, and one of the biggest benefits is that I can put something on to slowly simmer, stew or braise on the stovetop or in the oven early in the day, making it smell fantastic in the house in the hours leading up to dinner.

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Homemade gnocchi – little dough dumplings made with potatoes or ricotta – is the sort of thing most of us would consider a special kitchen project, and yet for Italian nonnas it’s one of the shortest, easiest routes to dinner. Those with skilled hands can shape gnocchi like the wind – when my good pal Emily Richards (who also happens to be one of the most knowledgeable cooks I know) came to visit last year, she made us all a batch of gnocchi for dinner one night, and brought an extra wood gnocchi board her dad made, just for me. (If you don’t have a gnocchi board, don’t sweat it – the tines of a fork work just as well.)

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