GNOCCHI – classic

Having heard my daughter talk about preparing gnocchi for some time, you can imagine my delight when, on a short visit to Chicago, I was able to enroll in a gnocchi class at The Chopping Block (admittedly my favorite ‘learn to cook’ experience). The recipe I feature here is theirs. It’s decidedly easy, fun, and oh, so delicious. The herbed Parmesan cream sauce was over the top, and just previewed the variety available with gnocchi as your blank canvas. Let’s go!

INGREDIENTS

1 lb russet potatoes
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp olive oit
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Start by preparing the potatoes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.Pierce the potatoes in several places with a fork, then bake them on a parchment-lined sheet until tender – about 1 hour. Let them stand until cool enough to handle.
Peel the potatoes and grate them into a large bowl using a box grater (or, if you have a ricer or food mill, that works, too). Add the flour, egg, cheese, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir until just blended.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, kneading and folding until smooth and uniform. Divide the dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1/2 inch thick; then cut the ropes into 1-inch pieces, placing them on a lightly floured sheet tray until ready to cook. (See NOTES, below)
To cook, bring a large pot of water to boil, and add a generous pinch of salt.
Place the gnocchi in the water. They will sink to the bottom, rising to the surface when they are ready. Do test one for doneness, but they are pretty good at telling you when they are ready to go.
Drain well, reserving some of the water for use with your sauce.

Now, let’s make some sauce!

INGREDIENTS

2 Tbsp butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup frozen peas, or fresh asparagus (cut into 1/2″ pieces), or both
2 Tbs fresh herbs of choice – parsley, chives, basil. Basil gets my vote.
Salt and pepper to taste.

DIRECTIONS

Heat a large, wide pan over medium heat, then add the butter. Gently saute the shallot until aromatic – about 30 seconds.
Pour in the wine; allow it to reduce until almost dry.
Add the heavy cream and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat; whisk in the Parmesan cheese, peas and/or asparagus, and the herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce appears too thick, add some of that reserved pasta water to get your preferred consistency.
At this point you can pour the sauce over the gnocchi in a bowl, or individually, or can add the gnocchi to the pan and serve it from there. Either way, enjoy!!!

NOTES

Once you have your gnocchi dough prepared, you can wrap and freeze all or part of it for later use. Once your gnocchi has been cut into 1-inch pieces, put a pan of it in your freezer. After it has frozen you can portion it into freezer bags for easy removal and preparation at a later time. So convenient.

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