Sunday, February 26, 2012

Truffled Gnocchi with Peas and Chanterelles

Another recipe from the 2009 Saveur Magazine that I've been dying to make.  This comes from Barbara Lynch, a chef and restaurateur, who Saveur describes as "a cross between Martha Stewart and Robert Moses."  You can try this recipe at her restaraunt: Sportello, in Boston.  If you don't live in Boston, I recommend making it yourself.

The secret to making these pillow-soft gnocchi is to knewad the dough as little as possible.  If it's overworked, the gnocchi become gluey and tough.

For the Gnocchi
1 lb. russet potatoes (about 2) unpeeled
1 1/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. truffle oil
1 egg, beaten

For the Sauce
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
10 oz mushrooms, preferably chanterelles, roughly chopped
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. finely chopped chives

Make the gnocchi: Boil potatoes in a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water until tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain the potatoes; let cool slightly and peel.  Work potatoes through a food mill or a potatoe ricer onto a lightly floured surface.
 If, like me, you don't have a ricer or food mill, you can use a strainer.  This takes FOREVER and will scuff up your knuckles.  My next big purchase is a ricer.  Believe it.

Sprinkle the flour and salt over the potatoes and mix together with your hands.  Form a mound and create a well in the center; add truffle oil and egg.  Gently knead dough until it just comes together, adding a little more flour if it begins to stick.

Lightly flour a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and set aside.  Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a 1/2" thickness.  Cut into 1/2" wide strips.  Roll each strip between your hands and the work surface to form ropes.

 I love this Sur la Table scraper, that doubles as ruler for quick and accurate cutting.

Cut each rope into 1" segments. Working with one segment at a time, roll it down the back of a small fork so that the tines make ridges on the surface of the dough.  Transfer gnocchi to the prepared baking sheet; cover with a kitchen towel and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Make the sauce: Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil.  Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until light brown, about 5 minutes.  Raise heat to high; add cream, peas, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until cream reduces by half.  Season mushroom sauce with salt and pepper and remove skillet from heat.

Boil gnocchi in the salted water until they float, about 2 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to mushroom sauce, add chives, and toss to combine.

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