Baby Steps & Gnocchi…..

Gnocchi 5

I feel like I should put a disclaimer on this recipe first and foremost, letting you know that this is NOT the easiest/quickest entree to attempt to make. However, if you have a long and free Friday night, and REALLY feel like getting ambitious, this is an AMAZING dish to try and create. It did require quite a few ingredients, but after reading the latest Food & Wine magazine, featuring so many delicious recipes inspired by Italy, we were really feeling aggressive. We had some friends over last night, and the guys went to town in the kitchen (so I can’t take much credit in this dish). However, the girls supervised, making sure the wine glasses were full 🙂 Also, credit to Lindsay, who came up with the combining the key ingredients. If you haven’t cooked with chanterelles, I highly recommend trying them. They are a mushrooms, and when dried up, add the perfect ‘crunch’ to any pasta dish.

BIG Char news as well last night- she took her first steps walking (maybe 5-6 steps!!!). I couldn’t believe it, out of no where, she started walking towards her bottle (almost galloping)! It seriously was the best thing ever, and now I keep torturing her to do it over and over again, because I keep missing it on camera.

Gnocchi with Sausage, Peas, Sage, & Chanterelles: serves 4-6

Ingredients:

Gnocchi:

  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp ras el hanout (or equal parts cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, and ginger)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan

Sauce:

  • 6 italian sausages (half spicy, half sweet)
  • 1 bunch sage
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup reconstituted dried chanterelles (you could also use fresh mushrooms, although the chanterelles add a nice texture)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 lemon (remove the peel with a fine grater, preserving the lemon zest for later)
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Gnocchi 4

Directions for gnocchi:

  1. Add the ricotta, egg, and parmesan to a food processor. Blend until smooth;
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, combine again until just smooth. You may need to scrape the sides of the food processor with a spoon after 30 secs to make sure it’s well mixed;
  3. Heat up a large pot of water until boiling (don’t salt it or your gnocchi will be a little too salty.) Reduce heat until pot is at a low boil;
  4. Put the mixture into a large Ziploc bag, squeezing out any air. Cut a hole in the corner of the bag (like if you were doing icing-see photo above), and pipe the mixture into the pot. We learned a trick from food & wine where you tie a piece of twine over your pot which you use to cut the gnocchi, but scissors will also work just fine;
  5. Allow the gnocchi to cook for ~5 minutes (they should float to the top after ~1 minute.) We actually cooked the gnocchi in two batches, so the first gnocchi weren’t overcooked by the time we were making the last ones. Set the gnocchi aside while making the sauce.

Gnocchi 2

Directions for sauce:

  1. Take the sausage out of the casing and cook over medium-high in a deep frying pan, crumbling into small pieces. Cook until sausage is golden, ~10 mins. Remove sausage, but keep the drippings;
  2. Melt the butter in the same frying pan as the drippings over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chili flakes, and chanterelles. Cook over medium heat until garlic is golden, ~2 -3 mins;
  3. Add the white wine, chicken broth, and parmesan. Reduce to a low simmer, cooking until the liquid is reduced by half, ~5-7 mins. When you taste it, the rough “wine taste” should be gone (you’ll know it if you taste it). If it’s not, keep reducing slowly;
  4. Add the peas and cooked sausage back to the pan, cooking for ~5 mins. If the liquid is mostly evaporated, feel free to add a little more wine and chicken broth (in equal parts);
  5. In a separate pan, fry the full sage leaves w/ 2 tbsp of olive oil over high heat for ~2  mins. Put aside on a plate, soaking up excess oil with paper towels. Leaves should turn crispy after the oil has been soaked up;
  6. Add the gnocchi to the mixture, and cook over high heat for ~2 mins.
  7. Serve with a sprinkle of lemon zest, fresh grated parmesan, and the juice from a lemon wedge.

 

 

 

 

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