Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gorgonzola, Spinach and Walnut Gnocchi

Gorgonzola, Spinach and Walnut Gnocchi
Home Cooking


One thing that's different about cooking during the holidays, as compared with cooking during term is that I'm choosing certain dishes FOR THE SAKE OF IT. I've never made gnocchi before and have nothing better to do with my time so I figured - let's give this a go.


As for the sauce, I liked the idea of a Gorgonzola and walnut sauce to toss my gnocchi through because although the sharp, pungent taste of blue cheese appeals to me, it's a bit too strong on its own. I added spinach because I need more greens in my diet.

I made my gnocchi by following this video on YouTube: click here. It's quite useful to watch someone in action whilst they're doing it because it's hard to explain some of the moves.

Home-made Potato Gnocchi
Serves 2
Ingredients:
  • 1 whole potato
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • approx 1/3 cup of Tipo 00 flour
Procedure:

1. Cook the potato. You can boil it but I just put the whole thing in a bowl and into the microwave for 5min on high. It should be tender when it comes out with the skin starting to peel from the flesh.2. Pass the potato through a sieve, leaving the skin out. Wait for this to cool down.3. Add the beaten egg and stir through.
4. Add the flour bit by bit, still stirring it through until you start to get a dough that holds together.5. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it into a rectangle.6. Cut this rectangle into quarters.
7. Pick up one of the quarters and roll it out into a 'snake'. Start rolling from the inside out to make an even snake-shape that's about 1 cm thick. You may need to flour the snake a bit to prevent it from sticking.8. Using a sharp knife, cut the snake into gnocchi shapes, about 1.5cm long.
9. Roll each gnocchi shape over a fork using your thumb to get the grooves (you'll probably need to watch the video to know what I'm talking about). Note: this is optional.
10. Repeat steps 7-9 with the other quarters.11. Set your gnocchi aside until you need to cook it.

Gorgonzola, Spinach and Walnut Gnocchi
Serves 1

Ingredients:
  • 1 serve of potato gnocchi, store-bought or from the recipe above (I used half of what I made using the recipe above)
  • approx 300g spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp Gorgonzola cheese
  • 3 tbsp thickened cream
  • salt and pepper, as needed
  • small handful of toasted walnuts, crushed
Procedure:

1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil.
2. Whilst waiting for the water to boil, melt some butter in a small frying pan.
3. Add the spinach leaves and stir them around until wilted. Add the Gorgonzola and cream and reduce the heat. Stir until just combined and the Gorgonzola has melted.4. Once the water is boiling, carefully drop the gnocchi in. They will start to float after about 20 seconds. Another 40 seconds from that point, drain the water out and gently toss the gnocchi through the Gorgonzola sauce.
5. Serve the gnocchi with some crushed walnuts on top. The Gorgonzola is salty so you shouldn't need much seasoning.


This dish was AMAZING. To be honest, I've never really had a good gnocchi dish before. I think I first heard about 'potato pasta' (as I used to think of them) when I was in high school and maybe tried to cook some pre-bought supermarket stuff. It was horrible and that's deterred me from ever ordering gnocchi at restaurants.

Close-up of the gnocchi

This one was really good - not all mushy and squishy like I imagined but tender with a bit of bite. I loved the texture. The sauce was so good - creamy with that distinct blue cheese flavor. The spinach and walnuts work great in the dish as well.

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