Just as pasta is a staple in Italy, so too is gnocchi, which most likely first came to Italy from the Middle East sometime in the 14th century. Gnocchi is actually quite similar to pasta, as it is made with flour and water. But what makes it different, both in texture and flavor, is the addition of potatoes. This particular recipe, from Chef Silvia of our cooking vacation Cooking Under the Tuscan Sun, combines other seasonal ingredients as well, namely mushrooms!
Warm up this Winter with this tasty recipe, and learn more about delicious traditional dishes such as this one with an Italy culinary vacation.
Potato and Porcini Mushroom Gnocchi
Prep time: 70 minutes
Cook time: 3 minutes
Cook method: Boil
For the gnocchi
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs) boiled potatoes
- 1 whole egg
- 600 g (22 oz) porcini mushrooms
- 200 g (8 oz) parmesan cheese
- 500 g (17 oz) flour
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the sauce
- Black truffles
- 50 g (2 oz) Parmesan
1. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a rolling boil, then add the potatoes (with the skin on) and cook until they are tender enough to mash. Cooking time will be about 50 minutes, depending on how big the potatoes are.
2. Meanwhile clean the mushrooms thoroughly, brushing them with a soft brush to remove any earth or forest detritus and cutting away any spoiled areas.
3. Cut the clean mushrooms into chunks (not too big).
4. In a frying pan over medium-low heat, gently sauté the garlic cloves with the skin. When the garlic has become golden in color, add the mushrooms and parsley. Add the salt and pepper to taste and let them cook, stirring frequently.
5. After the potatoes are done cooking, strain them and let them cool to the side. When they are just warm, peel and mash.
6. Remove the mushrooms from the heat and stir them together with the potatoes.
7. Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixture and work very well until you obtain an homogenous dough. Taste the mixture, adjust the seasoning, and flavor with a little bit of nutmeg.
8. Work the mixture in your hands until you get a soft paste (be careful it does not stick to your fingers; if it does, add more flour to the mixture). Shape the dough into long sticks that you will cut at an angle into half-an-inch-long strips. As you work, put them on a towel and dust with flour.
9, Drop the gnocchi, a few at a time, in salted boiling water and cook briefly until the water returns to a boil.
10. In a pan melt the butter with aromatic herbs. Add the boiled gnocchi and sauté for a couple of minutes.
11. Arrange the gnocchi in a round pattern on a plate, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, coat with truffle and serve immediately.
Like gnocchi? Try Sorrento-style gnocchi from the Amalfi Coast!
By Peg Kern
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