Crispy Potato Gnocchi
Chef Elise Wiggins
Making potato gnocchi from scratch requires a little more time, but the prep can be done ahead and the gnocchi frozen and ready to cook as needed for service. At Cattivella in Denver, Chef Elise Wiggins briefly boils the gnocchi then sautes them in butter to crisp and brown the pasta. A toss with marinated sundried tomatoes, kale and gorgonzola completes the dish.
Kosher salt for baking
2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes
6 to 7 large egg yolks
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. sea salt
1⁄2 tsp. grated nutmeg, freshly grated
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Marinated Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained (reserve oil)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
¼ lb. spigarello or Italian kale
Reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes
2 lb. gnocchi
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup marinated sun-dried tomatoes, halved
1⁄4 cup gorgonzola, crumbled
1 tbsp. fresh tarragon leaves
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Spread a layer of kosher salt on baking sheet and arrange potatoes on top. Bake until potato skin wrinkles, about 45 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle, then peel off skins. 2. Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer. Make a mound of the potatoes on the counter and create a well in the middle. Add six of the egg yolks, plus the cheese, sea salt, nutmeg and pepper. Using your hands, mix well into the potatoes.
3. Sprinkle 1⁄2 cup flour over potatoes and, using your fists, press it into the potatoes. Fold the dough over on itself and press down again. Dust with a little more flour and fold again. Repeat until the dough just holds together. If the mixture is too dry, add another egg yolk. The correct dough should be supple and smooth. If it cracks when rolled out like raw cookie dough, then it needs more flour to bind it.
4. Lightly dust counter with flour and cut dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1⁄4-inch to 1⁄2-inch in diameter. Cut the ropes into 1⁄2-inch-long pieces, lightly flouring the gnocchi as you cut them. When shaping the gnocchi, you can simply leave them as dumplings or roll them on the back of a fork and press your finger into them to create a crater.
5. Let gnocchi air-dry for a couple of hours before cooking (or you can freeze them later).
6. For marinated tomatoes, combine all ingredients and allow to marinate for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. Cut each tomato in half.
7. For grilled greens, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Keeping hold of leaves, submerge only the stems into water to blanch. Remove and let cool.
8. Toss spigarello with oil and season with kosher salt. Place on grill with the leaves away from the hottest part. Grill quickly to just get a char and set aside to cool, then roughly chop.
9. To assemble, preheat oven to 350 F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop gnocchi into water one portion (1/3 pound) at a time. Once gnocchi float to the surface, about 3 minutes, they are ready. Remove from water using a strainer or slotted spoon; repeat with remaining gnocchi.
10. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook butter until just starting to brown, about 2 minutes; toss in one portion gnocchi. Pan-fry gnocchi in butter until browned on both sides, then place on a sheet tray. Repeat until all gnocchi are cooked.
11. To serve, top gnocchi with marinated tomatoes and place sheet tray in oven to heat thoroughly, about 5 minutes. Remove the gnocchi and tomatoes from oven and place in bowls. Top with the grilled greens, gorgonzola and tarragon leaves; sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Photo courtesy of Idaho Potato Commission