Gnocchi is centuries old and made it’s first appearance in Italy after potatoes from South America were introduced to Italian kitchens by Spanish explorers as far back as the 1500s.
This simple potato dumpling is a staple in our home and I make it with a variety of toppings and sauces. Since it’s a little on the heavy side I keep the portions smaller than with pasta, or serve it as a starter. I most often choose vegetarian ingredients when cooking a gnocchi dish and I pack it with flavor.
It takes quite a lot of effort to make gnocchi from scratch, so I buy a really good, Italian brand or you can go to any Italian deli for the real thing. My friend and fellow foodie Melissa Delport from The Truffle Journal invited the wonderful Raya Rossi (The Visual Journal) as a guest on her blog to show us the proper way to make gnocchi, so if you’re brave and feel like learning this age old recipe, please check out her post.
I use chestnut mushrooms for this recipe as it’s much firmer (so it stays in tact) and doesn’t loose too much moisture when cooked. Garlic, herbs, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice is a marriage made in heaven in my book, and you can vary all the ingredients to suit your taste.
Rosemary and/ or thyme (this time I used dried, mixed, Italian herbs- I was too lazy to go to the store)
Arugula aka rocket salad leaves, chopped
2 x garlic cloves, crushed
1 x lemon, juiced
200ml extra virgin olive oil
2 x tbsp balsamic reduction or 4 x tbsp balsamic vinager
Pink, Himalayan salt
Cracked, black pepper
Slice the mushrooms in half. Heat your cast iron griddle pan to piping hot and put the mushrooms sliced side down on the pan for 3 minutes. Put to one side.
Put 2l of salted water on the stove on a high heat and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, get your colander ready for draining the water.
In a separate pot, fry the garlic in the olive oil on medium heat for 2 minutes, add the herbs, balsamic and half the lemon juice and stir well.
Add the charred mushrooms (including any liquid that they have released) into the oil and cook for 4 minutes. Turn heat off and let it rest.
Carefully tumble the gnocchi into the rapidly boiling water and cover for 2 minutes. Take the lid off, and watch until most of the dumplings has risen to the surface. Strain, and add to the mushrooms and stir over a high heat.
Add the remaining lemon juice, seasoning, a splash more olive oil and chopped rocket leaves just before serving.
This dish is tangy sweet and you can adjust the amount of lemon juice you add to make it more kiddie friendly.
Don’t overcook the gnocchi or it will get soggy. When they rise to the top of the water they are perfectly cooked.
I hope you love this dish as much a we do.
Gustare la cena!