Skip to main content

Artisan Pasta Class: Potatoes Galore and Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream

Tonight was the final week of my Artisan Pasta Class. Boo. But, I am a better pasta maker because of it...and it was nice to spend three evenings with a friend from college who is now teaching Culinary Arts at a local high school. She's amazing! 

Today we made gnocchi which is technically not a pasta, but it's definitely under the pasta umbrella. We made Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream and Sweet Potato Gnocchi in a Brown Butter-Sage Sauce. Ummm...yum. We were split into different teams. Carolyn, Regina, and I were Team Gorgonzola Cream. So, I'm sharing that recipe.


But first, a word about potatoes. I learned that there are three categories of potatoes: waxy, starchy, and all-purpose. 

Starchy, namely russet potatoes, are perfect for gnocchi. Waxy potatoes, such as fingerlings and baby red potatoes, are the ones to use for potato salad. And all-purpose potatoes, such as Yukon gold, red potatoes, and white potatoes, are the ones to use for scalloped potatoes and any dishes where you want the potatoes to hold their shape.

Who knew? Seriously. Who knew?! I certainly didn't. I used to buy potatoes because I liked the color I had no idea they had different properties or purposes. I feel smarter already.


Every class I've taken with Jenn has me running to the store for a new gadget. I am not a gadgety cook, but I am all for becoming a better cook. So, when I took Jenn's truffle class years ago, I went right out and bought a scoop. After the first week of the Artisan Pasta Class, I bought a better food scale. And after this week, well, I think I might just need a ricer.

Using a ricer made the gnocchi smooth and uniform. I've made a lot of gnocchi in my time, but these were the best. They were what gnocchi should be. They were pillowy soft and almost melted on your tongue as soon as they hit your mouth. Outrageous.

Ingredients adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Gnocchi
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 ounces all purpose flour + more for rolling
  • 1 t salt + 1 T salt for cooking the gnocchi

Gorgonzola Cream
  • 3/4 heavy cream
  • 1/4 C dry white wine
  • 4 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 2 T fresh basil, chiffonaded
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • grated parmesan and more basil for serving


Procedure

Gnocchi
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. With a paring knife, poke each russset potato 8 times. Microwave potatoes until slightly softened at the ends, approximately 10 minutes, rotating potatoes mid-way through cooking. [Okay, I don't have a microwave, so I'll just roast them longer!] Transfer potatoes directly to the oven rack and bake until skewer easily pierces the potato, approximately 18 to 20 minutes.

Holding each potato with  kitchen towel, peel potato with a paring knife. Process potatoes through a ricer onto a rimmed baking sheet. Spread the potatoes into an even layer and let cool for 5 minutes.

Place 16 ounces of riced potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Using a fork, blend in the egg, flour, and 1 t salt. Combine until all the flour is incorporated. Press mixture into a rough ball. Transfer to a lightly floured counter. Gently knead until smooth, approximately 1 minute.


Cut dough into eight even pieces. Roll dough into 1/2" ropes and slice into 3/4" pieces.


To form the gnocchi, press a piece of dough onto the tines of a fork. 



Use your thumb to create a dimple in the top of the gnocchi. Roll the dough down the tines to create gnocchi's signature indentations. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.


Once your gnocchi are rolled, make the sauce.


Gorgonzola Cream
Bring wine and cream to a simmer in a large, flat-bottom pan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, gradually add the gorgonzola and cook until melted and the sauce is thickened, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To cook the gnocchi, bring water to a boil with splash of olive oil and 1 T salt. At a low boil, drop the gnocchi into the water and cook until they float, approximately 1 minute.


Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the cooked gnocchi. Drop the cooked gnocchi into the sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. 

Comments

  1. OMG that sauce! I love making homemade gnocchi.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great article Camilla. I'm sorry I missed the final class in the pasta series. My daughter had a performance for the PG Music Boosters last night. I enjoyed sharing a kitchen with you. Jenn is such a talented culinary teacher!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P

Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an