Gnocchi Summer Pasta
Gnocchi Summer Pasta
Pillowy gnocchi with sautéed seasonal local vegetables in a basil lemon sauce with parmesan cheese.
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- 2 lbs russet potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes), mashed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
- fine grain sea salt
- 450 g yellow peppers, chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 garlic cloves
- 450 g green beans, cut
- ¼ - ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2-3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 lemon, juice of
- Fill a large pot with cold water. Salt the water then cut potatoes in half and place them in the pot. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender throughout, this takes roughly 40-50 minutes.
- Remove the potatoes from the water. Peel each potato as soon as possible after removing from the water (without burning yourself). Be mindful that you want to work relatively quickly so you can mash the potatoes when they are hot. To do this you can either push the potatoes through a ricer, or run a fork down the sides of the peeled potato creating a nice, fluffy potato base to work with. Don't over-mash - you are simply after an even consistency with no noticeable lumps.
- Let the potatoes cool spread out across the cutting board - ten or fifteen minutes. Long enough that the egg won't cook when it is incorporated into the potatoes. When you are ready, pull the potatoes into a soft mound - drizzle with the beaten egg and sprinkle 3/4 cup of the flour across the top. Scrape and fold until the mixture is a light crumble. Very gently, with a feathery touch knead the dough. This is also the point you can add more flour (a sprinkle at a time) if the dough is too tacky.
- The dough should be moist but not sticky. It should feel almost billowy. Cut it into 8 pieces. Now gently roll each chunk of dough into a snake-shaped log, roughly the thickness of your thumb. Use a knife to cut pieces every 3/4-inch.
- To shape the gnocchi roll each piece on the counter using the tines of the fork to roll the gnocchi. The gnocchi should curl into a slight "C" shape, their backs will capture the impression of the tines as tiny ridges (good for catching sauce later). Set each gnocchi aside, dust with a bit more flour if needed, until you are ready to boil them. This step will help the gnocchi “grab” onto the sauce you are serving with it.
- Bring pot of water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi in batches by dropping them into the boiling water roughly twenty at a time. They are cooked when they pop back up to the top. Fish them out of the water a few at a time with a slotted spoon ten seconds or so after they've surfaced. Reserve ½ cup cooking liquid for sauce.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high. Add green beans, yellow peppers and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender (about 4-5 minutes). Add tomatoes and cook until juicy (about 2 minutes).
- Transfer drained gnocchi to skillet. Toss gnocchi, adding enough cooking liquid to create a sauce. Remove from heat and stir in basil, cheese, butter and lemon juice.
- You can easily substitute a variety of vegetables. Other vegetables to try: chopped tomatoes, onions, snap peas, zucchini, squash, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms. You could substitute in different herbs – try dill, parsley, chives, mint. You could try different kinds of cheese. You could try Pecerino, Asiago (which will taste quite sharp). You can make a big batch of gnocchi and freeze for later enjoyment.