Monday, March 5, 2012

Gnocchi swimming in Creamy Pesto

If you're on a diet that doesn't allow for carbs and saturated fat, turn away now. This isn't the recipe for you.  It's extremely indulgent and to be honest, it's not something I would typically eat either.  Melting the butter in the pan flipped my guilt switch immediately knowing how much sat fat I was about to consume.   BUT.... Since it's so rich, you don't need to eat much of it.  Its that whole moderation thing. By the way, its the sauce that's so indulgent, so you could make the gnocchi and toss it in a fresh tomato sauce.  That would be delectable.  I didn't measure a single thing for either the gnocchi or sauce. I just went by feel and taste so I'll do the best I can with measurements. 


2 large starchy potatoes
3 egg yolks
About 1 cup or so of AP flour

Creamy Pesto Sauce:

Handful of Basil (about a cup of whole leaves)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs pine nuts
1 garlic clove
Just enough EVOO to bring pesto together but not liquidy. (about 1-2 tbs)

3 Tbs. Butter
1 Cup Heavy Cream
3/4 Cup fresh grated parm cheese

Directions for gnocchi:

You can either bake the potatoes or peel and boil them.  If you boil them, make sure you give them plenty of time to dry out.  I also didn't run mine through a food mill because I don't own one. So i used a fork to break up the potatoes really well.  Let the cooked/mashed potatoes cool.

After they're cooled, add 3 egg yolks, dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper.
mix well and start adding flour about a 1/4 cup at a time until you have a dough that isn't sticky and you can work with.   I think in all I added about a full cup of flour, plus more for bench flour.

it has come together and feels like dough

turn it out on floured board or counter and divide into workable amounts
roll out into snakes
cut into 1/2 inch pieces and lay on sheet tray
Now, you don't have to do the ridges thing on the gnocchi but I had some time on my hands waiting to pick my son up from school.  So I tried it.  Basically, I just rolled each piece down the back side of a fork.  Seemed to work out well.

set pan aside and let velvety pillows of deliciousness dry while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, First, start with a simple basil pesto.  Throw the basil, pinenuts, garlic, 1/4 cup of the cheese in food processor.  With processor running, slowly add the EVOO just until the sauce comes together. You don't want it to be as thin as a normal pesto since you'll be adding it to the cream later.  It shouldn't be more than a couple Tbs.
set this aside while you prepare the creamy part of the sauce

Before you start the cream sauce, go ahead and put the water on that you'll boil the gnocchi in. That way it'll be ready to go as soon as the sauce is.  You'll want to bring it to a low boil and just leave it there until ready to drop gnocchi nuggets in.

For the cream sauce:

Melt 3 Tbs unsalted butter over medium low heat, add cup of cream and stir. Slowly add in the remaining 3/4 cup of parm cheese.  Continue to stir until mixture thickens.  Keep it over medium low to low so as to not "break" the cream.  Once mixture thickens, add in your basil pesto mixture and stir. You can turn the burner/flame to very low or even off at this point.

By this time, the water should be a low boil for the gnocchi.  You can drop them in in batches.  Mine only took a couple minutes to cook. You'll know they're done when they float to the top.  Pull them out with a strainer and drop them into the pesto cream mixture.  Continue to cook gnocchi and add it into the cream mixture until all the gnocchi is done.

Now place into a Tupperware and send it home with the super nice friend that came to work on the pool for him and his lovely wife to enjoy :)

1 comment:

  1. Made the goat cheese/cranberry/pear/ginger relish for the first time today. It's so good I've been eating out of the pot! Don't know if it will make it to my friends house for a get-together. I got the recipe from your mom when she worked at Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh. She made it for a luncheon or something. Loved it then and really sorry I didn't make it sooner. Eileen F.