Monday, October 7, 2013

{Homemade}: Gnocchi with Balsamic Brown Butter

I was away from my home kitchen for most of last week, so once the weekend rolled around, I was more than ready to get back to it and take in a good home-cooked meal.  I'd been eyeing a recipe for easy, homemade gnocchi -- that diverged from the traditional potato gnocchi -- and decided to give it a try.  And now that the results are in, I'm glad I did.

I enjoy making homemade pasta, however I had never gotten around to making gnocchi.  So with a full week behind me, and an equally full week ahead of me, I loved the possibility of bringing together a dish that screams "rock star" without any of the fuss you'd expect.

The ingredient list for the pasta recipe read like a dream: ricotta, egg, flour, salt.  That simple.  Now if the results turned out to be solid (aka edible -:) ), I was certain that this would become a go-to staple in my repertoire.   

A quick turn later after making the dough, I begin to pipe it out into hot, boiling, salted water and within minutes, homemade gnocchi was mine for the feasting.  In keeping with my fuss-free, yet delicious, theme, I decided to pair the creamy, pillowy drops with a favorite balsamic brown butter.  I rounded out the dish with toasted walnuts and freshly grated parmigiano for a bit of added crunch and flavor.  

Pleased with the results, I couldn't wait to file this one away for future noshing.  But...not without sharing it with you first.

Happy Eating!

by Chef Nemo Bolin of Cook and Brown Public House

2 cups ricotta
1 large egg
Pinch salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 cup flour

Combine ricotta, egg, and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Process until creamy and smooth. Add flour and pulse just enough to incorporate. Transfer dough to a pastry bag or resealable plastic bag. Cut off the tip of the bag leaving a 1/2-inch-wide hole. Working in batches, pipe gnocchi directly into boiling salted water, using a paring knife to cut off segments of dough (see image). 

Cook until nearly doubled in size, 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use right away or freeze on baking sheet until hard and transfer to a resealable plastic freezer bag. (No need to thaw them before using; they’ll reheat in whatever sauce you pair them with.)
Balsamic Brown Butter
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the foam subsides, and the butter begins to turn a golden brown, about 3 minutes, turn off the heat. Let cool for about 1 minute. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Combine the gnocchi and balsamic brown butter.  Sprinkle with toasted walnuts, top with freshly grated parmigiano, and enjoy!


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