Heather's Recipe for Sept. 2011 - Gnocchi
I didn't over think my recipe this month. I've always wanted to make homemade gnocchi so the idea came easy. Mike and I love gnocchi but we usually get it pre-made (Wegman's Whole Wheat Gnocchi are very good) which always makes an easy dinner.
Watching these delicate pillows being made magically by Chefs on TV aways made my tummy growl with envy. My Grandma made dumplings growing up that were so comforting and I equate the same fondness with Italian gnocchi. They are made with simple ingredients but yet I feel like there has to be more than just mixing potatoes, flour, and cheese into a dough?
I excitedly went searching for the perfect recipe that wouldn't be too intimidating. I immediately thought of Fabio Viviani because I remember seeing a tweet about his famous gnocchi. He is one of our favorite Top Chef celebrities and although he never won the title, he can certainly cook beautiful Italian food! Unfortunately his website was a disappointment. I tried to access the recipe from his "recipeasy" section. Funny, because its was far from easy. I had to sign up, receive an email, click on that email, and then it was suppose to work, but still no recipe. In frustration I tweeted at Fabio and was surprised with a response and some help from his web developer who just kept asking if I knew how to use my email. Maybe I'm missing something silly but at the same time I feel like you either put your recipes online or not. Hopefully they work out this bug before they turn more fans off.
Back to the drawing board. For our anniversary I made David Rocco's Pasta E Fagioli. That was the most amazing pasta I've ever had. Don't get me wrong, Olive Garden's pasta fagioli soup is good but absolutely nothing like this. It's like a creamy pasta risotto and its so awesome that I'm now officially starving! What I like about his recipes and cooking style is that it feels homey. Nothing pretentious, so I can cook with confidence. This lead me to the Porcini Gnocchi recipe on Cooking Channel's website.
The hardest thing to find were the dried Porcini, but luckily Wegman's had it all and I didn't have to settle on something else. I had fun ricing my potatoes in my food mill and the dough came together easily by kneading the potatoes, flour, Parmigiano, and hydrated porcinis together. Rolling the dough into logs reminding me of teaching clay techniques in my art classes. Coiling, cutting, and imprinting them with with my fork to refine the shape was fun, although I'm sure I could use more practice to make them more uniform. The recipe made two batches so I froze half. I'll let you know if they are just as good.
The Gnocchi only took two minutes to cook in boiling water but luckily the sauce was super simple. Sage from the garden, butter, reserved porcini liquid, and more parm! The porcini liquid was the only creative change I made because I couldn't bare to throw out that dark juice from the mushrooms. I hydrated them in potato water so it had the starch that the gnocchi water wouldn't have added as well.
It was sooo yummy! Pillows of soft potatoey goodness with flecks of mushrooms. Great earthy flavors of sage and porcini with butter and cheese, how could you go wrong?
I will certainly make gnocchi again! A great weekend activity!
Heather on September 29, 2011 at 10:30pm EDT