Today, I’m making gnocchi! A bit intimidating at first, but really not hard once you get the hang of it. It is a little bit time consuming, so it’s a good weekend meal. Since I have all day to cook here, while I work on the cleaning project, I thought I would take advantage of the time. It’s nice to start these early, and give each step in the process lots of time, but you can also get this done in a couple of hours with no pauses. Mom and dad usually eat these with just butter and sage, but I think I’ll make a cognac cream sauce with peas tonight. Trying to get those veggies in where I can!
- Fill a large pot with cold water. Add whole unpeeled potatoes and bring to boil. Cook till tender. Drain and cool till you can handle, and then peel. Put through a food mill or ricer, spread out on a board and allow to cool completely.
- Once potatoes are cooled, form a mound and make a well in the center. Put egg, salt and pepper into center of the well and stir into the potatoes.
- Once combined, add flour about ¼ cup at a time until you have a nice dough (it will still be a little sticky, which is ok because more flour will be incorporated as you roll them out). Knead for about 3 minutes. Do not overwork or add too much flour or the dough will become heavy.
- Cut dough into about 8 sections and on a well floured surface, roll each one out into a ½” thick log and slice into ½” sections. Roll each little section onto the tines of a fork dusted with flour, making an indentation with your thumb as you roll. Spread gnocchi out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment of wax paper that has been sprinkled with a little flour. At this point, gnocchi can be frozen on the cookie sheet and then transferred to a freezer bag once frozen.
- If you are cooking the gnocchi right away, bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add a good amount of salt, as if you were cooking pasta. While the water comes to a boil, make sauce (see next page). Drop about ½ of the gnocchi in and stir immediately to make sure they don’t stick. After about 2-3 minutes, they will begin to rise to the surface. Cook for about 1 more minute after this happens, then fish them out with a spider or a large slotted spoon. Put on a plate with a little butter and cover to keep warm while you cook the 2nd half.
- Melt butter in a large skillet, add shallots and garlic and sauté till soft, 2-3 minutes.
- Add cognac and reduce. Add cream, salt and pepper and let it come to a simmer. Cook very gently for about 5 minutes. (put the gnocchi in the boiling water once you reach this stage) Add the peas and heat through for about a minute. Turn off heat. Once the gnocchi are ready, fish out of water with a spider and put into the sauce. Toss very gently. Serve with parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.
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