Monday, October 01, 2012

Homemade Gnocchi with Browned Butter, Pine Nuts & Spinach

I made this for dinner last week because I was feeling all housewifey and domestic and it left me in the mood to do some fancy work in the kitchen.  Of course, if you find that you're not in the mood to do fancy work in the kitchen you can skip the homemade gnocchi part and just substitute a couple of those vacuum sealed bags of ready made gnocchi from the grocery store.  Those are good too!

First task - make the gnocchi.  You'll need:

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and boiled until fork tender
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups (188g) all purpose flour
generous pinch of salt

1.  Pass boiled potatoes through a potato ricer.  This ensures uniform potatoes with no lumps.
2.  Add remaining ingredients to the potatoes.  Knead with your hands just until dough is combined and forms a ball that will mostly clean the sides of the bowl.
3.  Working with a small piece at a time on a lightly floured surface, gently roll dough out into thin ropes the width of your pinky finger.  Cut ropes into three quarter inch pieces.  Using the tines of a fork, flatten each piece of dough.  Gently pick up the dough, fold it in half lengthwise so the ridges are on the outside, and gently squeeze the ends toward the center so the ridges are up against each other.  Lay each gnocchi on a wax paper or parchment lined baking sheet to rest while you prepare the rest.

(I know that sounds tedious, but once you get the hang of it and into a rhythm it goes pretty fast)

To cook:

Set a large pot of water to boil.  Once it comes to a boil, add 1/4 cup salt.  Working in batches (I ended up doing three) add gnocchi to the boiling water.  Once the gnocchi floats to the surface, allow to cook for one minute more, then remove using a slotted spoon or a spider to another lined baking sheet to cool.

You're going to want to have these all cooked before moving onto the next step.  If you're using the packaged gnocchi, cook it according to package directions before starting the next step.

 Sauce ingredients:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons pine nuts
5 cloves garlic, minced or passed through a garlic press
5 oz baby spinach leaves, torn into bite sized pieces
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano (I may have used a whole cup because I heart cheese)
1. Heat butter in a large pot (I used my 7qt Le Creuset dutch oven) over medium heat.  Add pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, about three minutes, or until the butter and nuts just start to brown.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add spinach and gnocchi, stirring gently but constantly for one minute or until the spinach is wilted.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and parmigiano reggiano over mixture; stir gently until combined.

I did have my husband grill up a large chicken breast, which I sliced up and added in with the seasonings and cheese near the end to make this dish a little heartier, but you could totally leave it out to make this a meatless meal.  This came out incredibly tasty, and it's pretty on the plate too!  I bought the pine nuts in the bulk section of my local market so that I wouldn't have to pay a small fortune for a huge bag I'd probably never finish.

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Blogger Dorie said...

I'm sooo making this. Thanks for the inspiration:)

8:09 PM  

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