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Glorious Gnocchi

Monday, June 13, 2016


One of our most favorite food bloggers, April Steinert, also known in ophthalmic circles as Roger's fabulous wife, presented a beautiful gnocchi recipe on her Vitus and Vinous website last month.

Her opening sentence, “If prepared correctly, gnocchi can be transcendent. Pillow-y soft, potato-y, and the perfect vehicle for whatever sauce you decide to dress them in."

None of us could resist her poetic description so we ordered her favorite King Arthur pasta flour and a gnocchi board for fun so we could try her recipe.

She was absolutely right about the King Arthur flour, which we purchased from their Norwich, Vermont facility.

The gnocchi was perfect and a huge success with our staff.


Gnocchi Ingredients

3 large russet potatoes
1 egg
2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
2.5 oz. King Arthur pasta flour blend

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Poke a few holes in the potatoes and roast for one hour, or until a knife pierces easily.

Cut potatoes in half after removing from oven and let them steam out for five to ten minutes.

Scoop the flesh out of the potatoes and put through a ricer into a big bowl. Add the salt, pepper, flour, and mix well.

Crack the egg into the middle of the potato well and scramble with a fork. Integrate the egg with the flour mixture until you form a dough.

Make a log with the dough and sprinkle some flour on a cutting board.

Place the log on the board and begin cutting off segments and rolling them into smaller logs.

Using a knife, cut 1-inch segments off the smaller log and roll them across a gnocchi board like the photo below, or off the ends of fork tines.

Boil in batches in salted water (salty like the ocean) for a couple of minutes until they float to the top and then boil a minute more. Remove with a wire or slotted spoon, drain and then reheat the gnocchi in the sauce you are serving them with so they soak up all the goodness like a sponge.

April dressed her gnocchi with a simple tomato sauce and garnished it with a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese and a chiffonade of basil.  

Although our version includes more calories, we decided to test her recipe with a Gorgonzola sauce that includes nutrient-dense walnuts and finely chopped chives that we found on a food blog called Fleur de Sel.

Gorgonzola and Walnut Sauce

1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (famously rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin E, as gamma-tocopherol).

1/3 lb crumbled Gorgonzola

1/3 cup whole milk

3 tbs. butter

salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

Toast chopped walnuts in large dry medium hot skillet until fragrant. Pour in bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, add the Gorgonzola, milk, butter and salt and turn on low heat. Stir with wooden spoon, mashing the cheese until it begins to dissolve, incorporating it with the milk and butter. Simmer for a minute or two until the sauce has a dense, creamy consistency.  Take off the heat until the moment you are ready to start draining the gnocchi as it raises to the top of the water.

We also added just a bit of freshly grated Parmesan before sprinkling with the toasted walnuts and chopped chives.

Both the tomato sauce and the Gorgonzola sauce versions were perfection.

Ellen Troyer, with the Biosyntrx staff