Friday, April 22, 2011

Gastronomy: Homemade Gnocchi, an Easy Delight

I love gnocchi. And, although it continues to frequent more and more menus, it’s difficult to find a gnocchi that’s served the way it’s intended—light, airy, and delicate. Since I rarely make pasta, I shelved the idea of ever making homemade gnocchi, too. However, after watching season-after-season of Top Chef and repeatedly observing the chefs using gnocchi as their go-to pasta when under extreme pressure and time limitations, I finally realized that it may not be as difficult or tedious as I originally expected.

As fate would have it, the week I made homemade ricotta (http://modcitymom.blogspot.com/2011/03/gastronomy-homemade-ricotta-fun-making.html), I also stumbled upon Chef Michael Symon’s ricotta gnocchi recipe. No longer with any excuses in hand, I ventured to create my first homemade gnocchi and it was worth every last velvety bite.

Michael Symon’s Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon Brown Butter



Gnocchi


• 3/4 c all-purpose flour, plus more to cover work space
• 1/2 c Parmesan cheese, grated
• 1 lemon zest
• 1 c ricotta cheese
• 1 egg

Lemon Brown Butter


• 1 stick of unsalted butter
• 1 lemon, sliced


In a large bowl, combine flour, Parmesan cheese, and lemon zest. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the ricotta cheese and egg. Combine well with a wooden spoon or with your fingers until the dough just comes together, taking care to not overwork and causing the dough to toughen.



Scrape the dough onto a well-floured surface and pat into a rough square. If it’s tacky to the touch, add a bit more flour so you can form it with your hands. Evenly cut the pasta dough into 4 even pieces. Gently roll each piece into foot-long ropes, about 1-inch in diameter, flouring as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface (think of making snakes with Play-doh). Cut each rope into 1/2- to 3/4-inch wide pieces. Place the gnocchi onto a floured, parchment or wax paper-lined, baking sheet and into the refrigerator, uncovered, until ready to cook.



In the meantime, add salt to a pot of boiling water. Reduce heat to a simmer, add gnocchi, and allow to cook, approximately 2-3 minutes. Continue to watch the gnocchi closely.


While the gnocchi is cooking, add butter and lemon slices to a sauté pan and melt over medium heat until brown and bubbly.


Once the gnocchi starts to float, remove from the water using a slotted spoon or hand strainer and add them directly to the butter mixture in the sauté pan. Allow to brown on medium heat for about two minutes.


Serve as a side dish for 4. Works wonderfully with a hearty salad and roasted pork or chicken.

1 comments:

haydesigner in SD April 22, 2011 at 5:27 PM  

One of my close friends is a true off-the-boat Italian chef (who now sadly lives in NYC). When they came out to visit us in San Diego last time, he knew how much I liked gnocchi, so one day he proceeded to make it for dinner for us, completely from scratch including the dough. And it was indescribably fantastic. That's why I love my friends.

PS The light blue text on the medium grey is kinda hard to read :-)

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After becoming mothers, sisters Sarah Romine and Leah Weyandt wanted to marry the activities and interests that they experienced before motherhood with their new found lives with children. This was not always an easy task—traveling to obscure places, shopping at off-beat boutiques, and sipping lazy-afternoon cocktails doesn't always fit neatly with parenthood. Stemming from their frustration, they meticulously searched, and continue to search, for activities, establishments, and entertainment that they take pleasure in and their families benefit from. The result? Mod City Mom.




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