A few months ago my Aunt gave me a book called The Geometry of Pasta. It has all the different types of pasta and what sauces to pair them with. It was such a nice and thoughtful gift and I was excited to finally get to use it. Not only is it a great recipe book, but it is actually very interesting and provides insight into the recipe. As I sat watching Top Chef the other night, I was reminded of the book when a few of the contestants were in the bottom for making their own pasta. One of the owners from Rao (that is where the challenge was that night) said that you don’t really need to make homemade pasta for it to be a great dish. He said the sauce should make the dish and that if something is just as good pre-made, there is no need to re-invent the wheel when cooking family style.
I instantly grabbed my book and started looking through recipes, as I am always inspired to cook when I’m watching Top Chef. As I scanned the Gnocchi section, I realized I had never made this for my blog. When I started reading about Gnocchi, I found it interesting that the book claimed it was better to make it from scratch than buy it from the store, as packaged Gnocchi is harder and does not cook as well as homemade. I agree with the guy from Rao when it comes to pasta, as I would probably never attempt to make penne or rigatoni, but Gnocchi seemed fun. I hadn’t made pasta in a while and I have never made Gnocchi so I decided to go for it!
Gnocchi Con Gorgonzola
2 large Idaho Potatoes (or Russet)
1 cup all-purpose flour
A few gratings of nutmeg
Boil the potatoes in salted water until fully cooked. Drain and let cool. Once cooled, peel off the skin and put through a ricer/foodmil.
When cool enough to handle, but still warm, add the egg, flour and nutmeg. Mix evenly (work as little as possible so that it does not become doughy). Take a small lump and roll on a well floured surface. Test it in the boiling water to make sure it doesn’t fall apart and cooks properly. Once you are sure it’s ready – roll out the dough in strips about as thick as your fingers (thumb or pinkie, it’s up to you). Cut it into pieces of equal width and height, about the size of the tip of your thumb. Make sure they have enough flour on them, but not too much.
Optional: Use a fork to put ridges on one side or use your thumb to make an indent. This allows the Gnocchi to gather more sauce during your meal.
*NOTE: I did not have a ricer/foodmil so I smashed the potatoes with a fork and then mixed them in the food processor.
Gorgonzola Cream Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups of crumbled Gorgonzola (I just bought a package from the store)
Optional: Roast walnuts and add to the sauce. Add in peas for additional flavor.
In a saucepan, mix the cream and the Gorgonzola on medium heat until well blended. Continue to stir over low-heat. Add in some nutmeg and pepper to taste. While the sauce is cooking, add the Gnocchi to boiling salt water. Once they float to the top, cook for 2 minutes, add to the sauce with a little bit of the pasta water. Cook until well blended. Serve and enjoy!
And for your listening pleasure, my cousin Michael sent me this link today and thought I would share! I know it is out of season, but it is an Italian Christmas song we used to listen to as kids and it made my day! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQrdxtWgHbE&feature=related