Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gnocchi with Walnut Sauce

Serves 4-6


Another classic dish for the Italian-themed cooking club tonight, gnocchi with walnut sauce is one of my all-time favorite indulgent but so speedy weeknight dinners. I’m putting my favorite gnocchi recipe below, but feel free to use boxed gnocchi—I did tonight, and once it’s drenched in the walnut sauce they’re really not much different from the homemade version of these clouds of potato dumpling ecstasy. You can make the walnut sauce in about 90 seconds in the food processor, so once the pasta is boiling this is about the quickest meal I can think of.


2 waxy potatoes

1 Tbs salt

2-2 1/2 C flour

1 egg

pinch grated nutmeg

2 Tbs butter

Bring the unpeeled potatoes to boil in a large pot of salted water. Cook until potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Drain and peel as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Mash potatoes with food mill (it’s important to get all of the lumps out). Turn potatoes out onto floured surface, and pour about half of the flour over the top, mixing lightly. Crack the egg over the potatoes, add nutmeg, and knead gently, drawing in more flour as necessary. When the dough is light to the touch and no longer sticky it is ready to be rolled. Divide the dough into four parts and roll each into a 3/4-in strand. Cut the rolls crosswise into 3/4-in pieces. Roll the gnocchi along the tines of a fork if you like them to look authentic. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the gnocchi in batches until they float (3-4 minutes). Drain in a serving bowl. When all gnocchi are cooked, toss with walnut sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Walnut Sauce

1 C walnut pieces or halves

1 Tbs bread crumbs (I used Italian-style)

3 Tbl olive or walnut oil

3 Tbl fresh chopped Italian parsley

1/4 C butter, melted

2 Tbs cream (I used milk and didn’t notice a difference)

Place all ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth (3-4 minutes).

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