Making potato gnocchi with late summer vegetables

Mass Appeal

(Mass Appeal) – One of the most favorite pasta meals is potato gnocchi and now is a great time for a recipe that takes advantage of all the amazing vegetables you’ll find at your local farm stand. Jessi-Sierra Ross from the blog, Straight To The Hips Baby, is here to make a potato gnocchi with late summer vegetables.

Potato Gnocchi with Late Summer Vegetables

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

·       1 lb (about 2 medium) Idaho potatoes

·       10 ounces (1 pack) of cherry tomatoes, halved

·       4 ounces of mushrooms sliced (I like to use a variety of types)

·       1 large shallot, minced

·       1 clove of garlic, crushed

·       1 large ear of fresh corn, cut from the cob

·       1 large handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped

·       3 sprigs of fresh thyme

·       1 egg

·       3/4 cup all-purpose flour

·       2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

·       1 tablespoon olive oil

·       squeeze of fresh lemon juice

·       salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

Wash & dry your potatoes and prick several times with a fork. Place into a microwave safe bowl with enough water to cover the bottom of the bowl and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. 

Microwave on high for about 8 minutes (for a 1200w microwave), or until cooked through. Peel (you can do this with a paper towel once the potato is cooked), and reserve.

While cooking the potatoes, set a large pot of salted water to boil (for the pasta).

Wash and dry your tomatoes, mushrooms, and herbs. Halve your tomatoes, slice the mushrooms, corn, and chop your basil. Set aside.

To start the pasta:

Once the cooked and peeled potatoes have cooled slightly, use a potato ricer (looks like a giant garlic press) on a ‘fine’ setting, and ‘rice’ the potatoes onto a large floured board. (If you don’t have a potato ricer handy, mash them really well with a potato masher).

Sift 3/4 cup of flour over the pile of potatoes. 

Next, lightly beat the egg in a small bowl. 

Now, make a small well (hole) in the potato & flour mixture on your board, making sure to leave a layer of potatoes at the bottom. Pour your egg and the leaves of one large sprig of fresh thyme into the well. Give a generous pinch of salt (about 1 tsp) to the well as well as a few cracks of black pepper.

Gently fold the sides and front of the pile towards the center and then knead with the heel of your hand. Lift the sides of the squashed dough again, and repeat the above until just combined. You should have a loose dough (not too shiny or tacky). Do not overwork your gnocchi dough.

Take a piece of your dough, and gently roll out a long snake, about the width of your index finger. Using a sharp knife, cut 1 inch sections. Indent the middle of each pasta with your fingertip (this lets it hold a bit of sauce), and transfer to a large plate. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Reserve until boiling.

To start the sauce:

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Heat until foaming.

Add in your garlic and minced shallots. Cook while stirring, until fragrant but not browned. The shallot should soften slightly.

Add your mushrooms and season with a light pinch of salt, pepper & the leaves of 2 sprigs of thyme. Stirring often, allow the mushrooms to cook down and brown slightly. 

Add your tomatoes and allow to cook until softened and slightly blistered (two or three minutes). While the tomatoes are cooking down, continue with the pasta as below.

To finish the pasta:

Heat another large pan with 1 tablespoon of butter, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat.

Drop your pasta into your already boiling water. They will sink. Give the pot a little shake to make sure the gnocchi doesn’t stick to the bottom, and allow to cook until they float (less than 2 min). 

Using a small strainer, lift the pasta from the water, give a little shake to drain. Place the pasta directly into the heated skillet, for about two minutes, or until golden, then flip over. Cook until golden on the second side (another minute or two)

To finish the sauce:

Once the gnocchi are in the frying pan getting browned, add the corn, basil, and a squeeze of lemon juice to the sauce. Give a stir and taste. Adjust the seasoning if desired.

Add the finished gnocchi to the sauce and give a quick toss.

Immediately serve with a grate of fresh Parmesan on top.

Notes

There are two ways to go about this recipe. The first is you can boil all the gnocchi and fry in several batches, reserve, and then toss in the sauce once it’s done. The second way is to work the gnocchi in batches and add the sauce to the pan in smaller portions to finish. Since I have a large family who hate to wait for their supper, I tend to do all the gnocchi separately, and then toss them with the finished sauce at the end.

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