Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Gnocchi with Mushroom & Sage

Every time I buy a little bundle of herbs at the grocery store, I feel like I'm just wasting money. I can't wait for it to warm up enough to plant our garden. I love having the option of grabbing some super fresh produce and herbs right out of my backyard.

We haven't planted sage in a while, mostly because I didn't see it at the gardening center the past few years but after making this gnocchi with sage, I'm going to put a bit more effort into recruiting a sage plant this year.

This gnocchi looks rather autumnal, with the sweet potato bits and the dark green sage and I realize we're heading into spring. But, I must make it a point to say there is never a bad time for pasta. Also, this particular post is kind of fun because I made a video of the gnocchi making process.
Ingredients [serves 4 to 6]:
white potato gnocchi
2 lbs. russet potato
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
½ to ¾ cup flour

sweet potato gnocchi
2 lbs. sweet potato
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
1¼ to 1½ cups flour

gnocchi with sage & mushroom
3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 oz. pancetta, chopped
1 portobello mushroom, diced
handful sage leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup grated asiago cheese

Here's the video recipe:

And here's the written version (which is a bit more detailed), if you prefer:
Start by popping the potatoes onto a sheet tray and then chucking them in the oven to roast at 400F for about an hour or until they're tender. The cooking time may need to be adjusted for the size of your potatoes.
While the potatoes are roasting, gather up your tools. You'll need a fork, a potato ricer, a bench scraper, and a sieve. Oh, and a clean working surface.
When the potatoes are done, cut them in half while they're still hot to release the steam. Then, scoop out the flesh and press through a ricer directly onto your working surface.
Sprinkle the potatoes with salt.
Pop the yolk and pour it onto the potato pile. Use a fork to gently toss the ingredients together.
Use a sifter to dust the flour onto the potato pile in installments. After each installment of flour, use the fork to gently toss the ingredients together. I like to start with about ¼ cup and then add a few tablespoons at a time. When the dough starts to clump together, it's ready.
Gently press the dough into a disk and then quarter it.
The dough should look potato-y (like the inside of a knish) and not like a bread dough. That's how you know you've done it right.
Roll out each quarter of dough and cut into 1" pieces with a bench scraper. Roll the pieces off of some fork tines to give the gnocchi their signature ridges.
Repeat the same process with the sweet potato. Be warned that sweet potatoes have a much higher moisture content so you will need to incorporate a little more flour into the dough itself and you will end up using a lot more flour in the rolling and cutting process to prevent them from sticking to each other. The sweet potato gnocchi are a bit denser than the regular potato gnocchi but I love the flavor.
Set the gnocchi aside to dry out a bit while you get to work on everything else.
Chop up the mushrooms, slice the garlic, and chop the pancetta.
Grate a generous amount of cheese.
Heat a pan over medium and add in the butter. Once the butter is melted, drop in the pancetta and garlic and cook until the garlic is soft and the pancetta starts to crisp up.
Drop in the sage leaves and let them sizzle in the butter. The fat will soak up the flavor of the sage.
Add in a little olive oil and then drop in the mushrooms. Saute until softened.
Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi in salted boiling water. They will immediately sink to the bottom. When they're cooked through, they'll float to the top.
Use a sieve to skim the cooked gnocchi out of the pot.
Add the gnocchi to the pan and toss to coat in the flavorful butter and olive oil and to evenly distribute the sage and pancetta and mushrooms. Season liberally with freshly cracked pepper.
Serve the gnocchi piled high onto a plate and generously topped with grated asiago cheese. The nuttiness and saltiness of the cheese is so lovely with the gnocchi.
We had our gnocchi with some grilled sausages and salad. The salad was just a simple arugula and tomato with ricotta salata and lemon.
The gnocchi are pillowy soft (as they should be) and I love the combination of textures, from the crispy pancetta to the tender mushrooms. This is an impressively beautiful meal, perfect for serving to guests. The gnocchi can be made a few hours ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you're ready to cook. Just make sure to generously flour them so they don't stick together into a big blob.

Here's the recipe page:

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