Sunday, August 13, 2006

Cooking School: Gnocchi in Sage Garlic Butter



A few of my recipes come from those wonderful magazines you find in front of the cashier's in grocery stores. While waiting in the queue I pick one up and flip through the pages. I always end up buying these. In one I found a wonderful recipe for gnocchi - from scratch! And was amazed to see that the recipe I had before was a lot more complicated than this one.

Gnocchi is a great alternative to the usual noodles and I always like to make this fresh. OK not always - sometimes I do buy the fresh ones in the cool area of the grocery stores ;-). But on most occasions there is nothing like fresh self-made gnocchi. Once one has mastered the art of gnocchi making, it kind of works like magic everytime you make it.

The next thing that I spend a lot of time thinking about is the topping. I do not want to take away the great taste of the fresh Gnocchi by combing it with some overpowering tasting sauce. The ones I like best are simple herby toppings that complement the flavors of the gnocchi itself.

Besides after one has spent all that time in the kitchen making the potato dumplings, more time fixing up a fancy sauce is really asking too much! ;-)

So, today I thought I'd share my recipe for gnocchi with you, with one of my favorite toppings. A simple sage, garlic butter with tangy shavings of Parmesan cheese.


Sage
Sage is a wonderful herb and one of my favorite. The soft, sweet savory flavor of sage has wonderful health promoting properties. So, much so that it was voted "Herb of the year" in 2001. Sage contains a variety of volatile oils, flavonoids and phenolic acids, including the phenolic acid named after rosemary (its sister herb) - rosmarinic acid. Did you also know that sage can enhance your memory? A research published in the June 2003 issue of Pharmacological Biochemical Behavior confirms what herbalists have long known: sage boosts your wisdom quotient. Simply add generous amounts to your soups, stews, pasta or gnocchi dishes.

Music to the recipe: Eros Ramazzotti. Beautiful Italian sounds to a lovely Italian recipe.




Ingredients:

750g potatoes - washed and cooked with the peel for 20 minutes. Then peel while warm.
75g Parmesan - grated
50g + 2-3 tablespoons - potato starch
60g wheat semolina
salt and pepper
2 egg yolks
Flour to work with the dough
1 garlic - mashed or my alternative is using 1 teaspoon Aglio Olio
3 sage stems - cut in fine strips. I would recommend using organic sage.
4 tablespoons butter
sage leaves to garnish





Method:

If you have a ricer, press the potatoes through this, while they are still warm. If you don't mash them finely. Take 1/3 of the grated cheese, 50g starch, semolina, 1 teaspoon salt and the yolks and mix in with the potatoes. Knead this to a smooth and silk dough. You can use and electric mixer with kneading hooks, but I recommend using your hands. You will have a better control over the consistency of the dough. If required add more potato starch.

With lightly floured hands form long rolls that are approx. 2.5 cm in diameter. Then using a sharp knife, cut these into approx. 2 cm wide pieces.

Sprinkle a fork with a little bit of flour and lightly press the dough pieces with it. Giving it a nice form. Allow the gnocchi to rest for about 15 minutes.

In the meantime bring a large pot with plenty of salt water to a boil. Add the gnocchi to this and simmer for 4-6 minutes, until the gnocchi floats on top. Drain.

In a large frying pan, melt the butter add the garlic or Aglio Olio and saute. Now add the sage and the gnocchi and saute for a few minutes, until the gnocchi takes on a golden color. Add pepper generously.

Serve on heated plates and sprinkled with the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Garnish with a sage leaf.



Verdict:
The best things in life are so simple! I think I have said that here before. But it is the honest truth. For those who have traveled to Italy or are Italian will know what I am talking about. In most regions in Italy it is exactly this type of meal that is served up. Simple but so rich in flavor, that you can taste each fresh ingredient made with love and pride.

Those of you who have kids will be surprised that it does not always have to be a bolognese or a tomato sauce to every Italian pasta/gnocchi dish. Soeren relishes this when I serve it. It is something he even asks for. "Mum can we make gnocchi with those leaves!"

Tom is a fine taster when it comes to food and wine. The simplicity yet elegance this dish offers makes his mouth water. He is mostly in charge of the wine with our food and this dish offers him enough playroom to always serve up something different. Fruity, dry, chilled and white is how I like my wine with this dish - oh and preferably Italian!

Hope you enjoy a little taste of Italy!


This lovely recipe with the wonderful sage topping is going over to Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging.




The BPW List has also been updated today. Check it out!



Search Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

22 comments :

  1. Your Gnocchi are gorgeous! Very impressive. I love sage and I'm very glad I have some in my garden!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great effort Meeta, you know I am so tempted to buy fresh herbs other than the ones I normally use in indian cooking but am never sure what i will do with them but now thanks to you I know one good recipe with sage. The way you have written it all is itself very appetising.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful recipe Meeta, simple but sounds and look delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Meeta,

    You are truly a talented cook! We often have gnocchi with sage butter and it is such a pleasure. Your gnocchi are simply beautiful. As you have said, Italian food is so pleasing.

    I really like that you give music recommendations to enjoy with your food! Eros is one of my favourites!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kalyn Thank you! Sage is a great herb! Although I have to be honest, my tries at growing it in my garden have not always been successful. However, it seems that this year I am having a bit of luck!
    Anupama Thanks! I hope you do try this out because it really is very aromatic. When you do please do let me know what you think.
    Pam Thanks, sweetie!
    Ivonne Aww shucks! Thank you so much. Coming from you it is and honor. I was not too sure that anyone outside Europe would know Eros ... but then you are Italian so. I saw him in concert a few years a go. Brilliant! We seem to share the same tastes in food, music ... lets see what else!

    ReplyDelete
  6. gnocchi is one of my favourite Italian dishes - only problem being they're SO filling :) Beautiful pics as always, meeta!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Those are some beautiful photos, and your gnocchi are perfectly formed and tasty looking - much better than I've seen at some restaurants that I've been to!

    ReplyDelete
  8. yummm. I LOVE gnocchi, but I'm the only one in my family who loves 'em. I am ashamed to say I usually buy my gnocchi and have never attempted to make it from scratch. Your version looks divine.

    cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I told you I'd be drooling heavily! Wow, those look absolutely divine. I'm new to making gnocchi (Ivonne taught me!) and they are delicious but they don't even come close to looking as good as yours.. a beautiful job, Meeta! I will definitely try this sage sauce the next time I make a batch of gnocchi.. thank you so much for sharing it! =)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh wow I want so bad to try this but I am gram challenged.

    How much is 750 g of potato? About 7 1/2 medium potato?

    duh...am I even close?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Meeta!
    Just back from Chicago and am now just
    catching up on my favorite blogs ;)
    This looks delicious and seems so simple
    just like you said. Will definitely try
    and report back!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is so lovely and i totally agree with you. When i put the minimum of spices in a dish, i actually enjoy the flavour of the vegetable! I'd seen Giada make Gnocchi on her show, such delicate little things, you;ve done a grt job dahling!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your gnocchi look absolutely divine! What fabulous photos! I have a beautiful sage plant that I adore and I must try this recipe. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Meeta,

    My sister emailed me your post and requested that we make this the next time she comes to visit me! Wish this blog included a taste as well!

    Kanchana

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks everyone. Hope you all enjoy making these. Do come back and let me know how they turned out.
    Kanchana I wish blogs had taste too ;-))

    ReplyDelete
  16. Meeta,

    I love Gnocchi, simple and yet very delicious, never ventured to try it out as it always seemed complicated. thanks for the recipe. It looks very very delicious

    ReplyDelete
  17. Fabulous! I love gnocchi and I hate how expensive they are in the store. I'm not sure I can get my hands on potato starch, but maybe at the organic co-op. I'd love to try these, and especially the caramelized tomato version. Thanks for posting such a tasty vegetarian recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am so glad I found this recipe on your blog. I had gnocchi for the first time while visiting friends in San Jose and I was hooked. What is this goodness in front of me? I have to find a recipe, I have to make this myself. Thank you for your post!!

    Mandy
    http://homewithmandy.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  19. Glad you all like this gnocchi. trust me it's not as difficult as it looks. you'll also immediately notice the different between store-bought and homemade!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Since you already know I like your recipes very much, just wanted to tell you that I made this dish last week and it was amazing! Thank you so much for the recipe, it is one we will be enjoying again and again!

    ReplyDelete
  21. who knew making gnocchi from scratch was so simple.

    ReplyDelete
  22. You should make these with sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta