I ended up having some people over for dinner last night. So I butterflied a big roaster chicken and roasted Julia Child style simply with fresh herbs (you can see the chicken in the photo at the bottom of the page – that was what it looked like as it went into the oven – I forgot to take its picture when it came out).
I served with a fresh mixed green salad to which I added a simple balsamic mustard vinaigrette, and the starch was homemade gnocchi with mushrooms. Dessert in case you were wondering was sliced fresh strawberries from Kimberton Whole Foods.
I have previously given you my gnocchi recipe. So use that as your guide to rolling them out until little logs and slicing them into bite-size pieces, but the dough composition is different and here’s how I did it:
1 egg beaten
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium sized (not huge) potatoes roasted skins removed and smashed up
1 cup of ricotta strained to remove any extra liquid – whole milk is best
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
About 2 cups of flour, maybe less – add half a cup at a time to your dough to see. You don’t want a dry dough with gnocchi, it should always feel not quite sticky but more elastic.
1 tablespoon of rosemary leaves dried, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt.
Basically you mix it all together until becomes a dough but don’t overwork it. Then I throw a cloth over my bowl and allow the dough to rest for at least half an hour.
When your dough has rested, break off pieces of the dough and roll into little logs and slice into bite-size pieces from the log. You can roll them off the edge of the forks so they have those lines in them or you can cook them just the way they are.
After I make my gnocchi I lay them out on a large baking sheet on parchment paper and put it on a shelf by itself in the refrigerator till I am ready to cook.
The sauce is pretty simple:
Melt one stick of butter which is half a cup in a sauté pan – a large sauté pan because you will be adding the gnocchi to it later.
When the butter is melted and starting to bubble just a slight bit, add half a large red onion diced. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Add one finely grated medium sized carrot.
After the onion starts to turn slightly translucent, add thinly sliced baby Bella mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms, and a handful of white mushrooms. Basically you should use one 8 ounce package of shiitake, The same size package of baby Portabella mushrooms also known as crimini, and about 4 ounces of white mushrooms.
Next add a handful of fresh sage leaves chopped into small-ish pieces and about a teaspoon of dried rosemary or if you have fresh dice up a smallish twig.
When everything seems to be cooked together fairly well but not mushy remove from heat.
I do the mushroom mixture ahead of time and not at the same time I am cooking my gnocchi because there is not enough time.
After the mushroom mixture is cooled use a slotted spoon and remove the vegetables to their own bowl for the time being. Leave the butter and liquid from mushrooms in the bottom of the pan.
Boil a large pot of salted water and when everything is really boiling toss in all your gnocchi.
The same time you are boiling your gnocchi bring the pan with the butter and the mushroom juices back up to heat. You may have to add about another tablespoon of butter and do add a scant 1/4 cup of white wine. (Last night I was roasting a chicken as I was making these gnocchi for a side dish so I also tossed in 2 tablespoons of pan juices. ) You need that mixture to reach almost boil but not cook off. Also toss in two or three whole sage leaves.
The gnocchi will cook probably in about 3 to 4 minutes – when they all are bubbling to the surface and bobbing around, use a slotted spoon to remove them.
Put the gnocchi immediately into the pan with butter and wine that should be really bubbling at this point. Move the gnocchi around gently to brown slightly. As you are moving the gnocchi around gently add back the mushrooms and red onion to heat again.
Be careful with your gnocchi they are a slightly delicate things but once everything is browned through toss half a cup of grated Parmesan on on top and some diced flat leaf parsley if you choose. Toss one more time into a bowl and serve.