Gnocchi with Mushrooms in Rosemary butter

In honor of back to school, I’ve decided to cook the alphabet.  A little A-Z of recipe goodness.  Today’s post is brought to you by the letter G. Stay tuned for the rest to come.

Little potato pillows of yum

I was having trouble with inspiration for G.   Not that there aren’t a bunch of great G foods (ginger, garlic, gummy worms, etc), it’s just that I wasn’t feeling inspired.   While we were discussing our alphabetic progression, I mentioned to Kettle that I was falling flat with G.  He thought for a second, and then offered up “What about homemade gnocchi?”
Mmm, genius.  And that’s why I love him.

Let’s start from the very beginning. It’s a very nice place to start.

We had never made gnocchi before.  It’s one of those items we think about making periodically, but never seem to get around to.  You’ll remember that we have a love for the homemade pastas, so it only seemed logical that we tackle gnocchi at somepoint.  Since I haven’t the foggiest on where to begin when making gnocchi, I generously put Kettle in charge.

Sending the hot potatoes through the mesh strainer creates a light, airy texture.

We decided to focus our creativity on how to sauce and complement them.  Kettle went basic with our first gnocchi prep, so we could learn the techinique and get a little more funky with it next time. For saucing them, we decided to build on the earthy nature of the potato but without going to heavy.  Though the gnocchi were soft and light, they are filling!  Kettle was aiming for a way to bring flavor without adding weight to the meal.  We ended up with an earthy concotion of mushrooms, rosemary, garlic, and butter.  The smell was awesome.  We used fresh Rosemary from our semi-successful patio garden.

Rosemary and Mushroom for the top.

Overall project gnocchi was a great success.  Sure, it takes a little extra work, but they taste wonderful.  Th most important part is not over working the dough and maintaining the light, airy texture that comes from sending it through the mesh strainer.  And Kettle will definitely be invited back for another round as head chef!

Gnocchi with mushrooms in rosemary butter

Inspiration found here.

1 lb russet potatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg white
3/4 cup flour, extra for dusting
1/2 cup butter
5 sprigs of fresh Rosemary
1 pint baby bell mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
shaved parmesan for topping
First bake (or microwave until soft) potatoes, remove the skin and rough chop the potato as quickly as possible to release steam.  This part is hot so watch your finger! Then pass the hot potato mash through a potato ricer (or mesh sieve if you don’t have one) into a large bowl.  This creates a light and airy potato mixture and allows as much moister to leave the potatoes as possible.  Don’t mash them, they won’t get nearly light enough and the steam will remained trapped in the potatoes. Add the flour slowly to the potatoes and, with your hands, gently mix together to preserve airiness of the potatoes. Add the egg, salt, and baking powder, and mix together.  Your gnocchi dough is prepped.

Rolling out some gnocchi

Once the ingredients have been incorporated, dust a flat, open surface with flour and roll out small amounts of dough into a snake, roughly 1/4″ in diameter. Cut into 1″ segments and roll a fork over each piece to score the pasta. Add the gnocchi, roughly 10 at a time, to a large pot of highly salted water. The pasta will float to the surface within 1 minute. Cook the pasta for an additional 3-4 minutes and remove from the water.
To prepare the mushroom sauce, sauteed a pint of sliced baby bella mushrooms in olive oil for several minutes. We then added chopped garlic and sauteed for another two minutes. The heat was turned down to medium and a stick of butter was melted into the pan. Once the butter turned a shade of light brown, three sprigs of rosemary was added and the temperature was dropped to low to await the addition of the gnocchi.  Gently add the gnocchi the butter sauce. Top with fresh parmesan and rosemary and enjoy!
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