Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weeknight or Weekend Gourmet - Gnocchi with peas, crispy prosciutto. Must try!

Pictured: Gnocchi, with peas, crispy baked Serrano Ham (Spanish version of prosciutto), and a small scoop of lightly-lemon flavoured ricotta. 

Hello friends!

I am so excited to share this recipe with you. Its a real winner. When I tried it - I thought of you and said..."Must... blog!"

As you may or may not know, all I think about is..."what are we eating tonight, tomorrow, next week, & right now..." Especially now that I'm married and in charge of all the meals, I spend time, happily scouring my many cookbooks or the Food Network site for tasty& easy new recipes.
My faithful follower and fan, my husband (God bless him), is my guinea pig (like he has a choice) and he loves this one! He'll never tell me he hates something, he's a smart man, but I sure know when he LOVES something :)  With the praise, there is a funny downside. I constantly get blamed for any ounce of weight gained, tight fitting jeans and  Everything in moderation, honey. *Angelic smile*

Back to the recipe! Its super easy , its different, quick to prepare and looks beautiful! You'll love the different flavours and textures - the creamy tasting,soft gnocchi, the saltiness and crispiness of the prosciutto. OMG! Why do I do this to myself!? Its Sunday morning! Guess what I'm making tomorrow night!

Special notes before we start...

-For a weeknight dinner, I purchased ready-made gnocchi (shame on me) but thats what makes this recipe so quick to prepare. I didn't want you to read the recipe and think "What is she, nuts?? I can't make gnocchi from scratch on a weeknight!" lol

To note, for the Weekend Gourmet: I have made  Gnocchi using this recipe and its easy particularly because the potatoes are baked and not boiled. They came out fluffy and light and I did not have to add more flour than indicated. (I have included some pics of my process below.) 
Boiling potatoes to make gnocchi creates a lot of water , obviously,  and is harder to drain them fully. That CAN lead to having to add too much flour, causing the gnocchi to be too hard. Pebbles with peas, anyone?

- I use the Spanish version of prosciutto called Serrano Ham. I really prefer the flavor and has less fat.

- I've written this before - Please DO NOT use low fat or "0% Fat" ricotta.
   I don't know what that sh*t is.

- Unless you despise ricotta - please do not omit it. It adds another dimension of flavour and it is not too   lemony. All you need is a tablespoon of it per dish and it really adds something to it.
Although, inexplicably, my father doesn't eat Ricotta and had the dish without - he still loved it. But of course! It has crispy prosciutto on it for heaven's sake!

Side thought....I want to try this with Farfalle pasta instead of gnocchi. I imagine that it makes for a lighter dish. Why are Farfalle always paired up with peas, eh?

The following recipe is by Tyler Florence and was obtained on ....Enjoy!


Potato gnocchi:

  • 2 pounds (about 4) russet potatoes, or similar starchy/white variety (I had to use 6 to equal 2 pounds - if you have a scale,please weith them.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Grated Parmesan
  • 2 cups Lemon Ricotta, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Scrub potatoes, pierce the skin with a fork, drizzle with olive oil and salt and place on a sheet pan. Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until they are easily pierced with a pairing knife. Allow the potatoes to cool slightly then peel the potatoes while they are still hot and press them through a potato ricer. Put the potatoes in a large bowl with salt, nutmeg, baking powder, gratedcheese and egg white. Add the flour a little at a time and mix with your hands until the mixture forms a rough dough. Do not over-work the dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough for 1 or 2 minutes until smooth, adding a little bit more flour, if necessary, to keep it from sticking.
Break off a piece of the dough and roll it back and forth into a rope, about the thickness of your index finger. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces. Gently roll each piece down the prongs of a fork while pressing a small dimple with your finger in the back. The gnocchi should be slightly curved and marked with ridges. This will allow the pillows to hold sauce when served. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
Boil the gnocchi in batches in plenty of salted water. The gnocchi are done about 2 minutes after theyfloat to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon. Reserve about 1/2 cup cooking water. If not cooking immediately, place the gnocchi in a single layer on a baking pan dusted with flour.
Note: If the gnocchi start to feather and fall apart in boiling water, you need more flour. If the gnocchi don't float after 2 minutes and are hard, you used too much flour.
(Quick weekday part)
Blanch peas in hot water and set aside.
Place 4 strips of prosciutto on a sheet pan and place in a preheated 350 degree F oven. Cook until the bacon is crispy, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add chopped shallots to a pan over medium high heat with 2 counts of olive oil pan of and gently saute until fragrant and translucent. Dump in the peas and toss gently to coat. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add boiled gnocchi to the pan and gently toss. Add a ladle of gnocchi water to the pan, add 1 tablespoon of butter, sprinkle with Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with crispy prosciutto and a scoop of fresh lemon ricotta. (Optional: finish with a drizzle of white truffle oil)

Lemon Ricotta:

  • 2 cups good quality ricotta cheese
  • lemon, zested and juiced
  • Salt
Place the ricotta cheese in a mixing bowl and add the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and serve with the gnocchi.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Here are the pics of my Gnocchi making process!

I have a potato ricer,  I love it.
I used whole-wheat flour.
TIP: You have to peel your baked potatoes while they are still quite hot. I was not in the mood for a game of Hot Potato so, I held the potato in one hand with an oven mitt and quickly peeled with the other hand. It was easy. I don't have pics of this process because its a little hard to do that when your hands are full. :)
 You'll notice that I have not mastered the gnocchi shaping process...with the fork. I guess I'll have to practice.

1 comment:

  1. I did the "week" version this week and just loved it! Bought the Del'verde gnocchis and were excellent!
    It is a keeper!!! Very original and tastefull!