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 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.
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
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.
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!
gnocchi, sage, butter, garlic, italian, event, food, recipe, Weekend Herb Blogging, herb