Thursday, April 16, 2009

Do the Gnocchi Pokey...


You know how I like to throw new meals into my menus, right? This week I wanted to try something else from Salt and Pepper: 135 Perfectly Seasoned Recipes Gnocchi seemed pretty tame, relatively pleasing to all at my table. And it didn't have a lot of crazy hard-to-find ingredients. Well, except green peppercorns packed in brine. I couldn't find those anywhere...maybe Whole Foods has them, but I didn't check there.

Plus, I was inspired by the photo of my friend Kelly's homemade gnocchi. Very impressive! Mine were not homemade, but someone in a nice Trader Joe's factory did in fact make them.

I had the lemons for all the zest I'd need. Ricotta was sitting in my fridge ready to go. Basil leaves still fresh from last week (I've been cutting them in a chiffonade to add to salads...a nice flavor boost). And...there are fresh chives growing in my garden already! Sweet...first harvest of the year!!

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pour in the dried gnocchi and wait until they float to the top, then cook another 2 minutes (these were the Trader Joe's directions).

Meanwhile...combine in a large bowl,

zest from 2 or 3 lemons
4 garlic cloves, minced (this is A LOT of garlic, plus it's raw...half might have been enough for me)
2 tsp freshly crushed black pepper (not in a mill, but with a mortar and pestle)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 TB green peppercorns in brine, drained (I didn't add this, but I can see why this ingredient is here)
9 oz fresh ricotta

Drain the pasta quickly and NOT thoroughly (you want a little pasta water in there), then add to the bowl of stuff. Mix gently, then add,

1/4 c fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
2 TB snipped chives

3 TB olive oil mixed with 1 TB lemon juice and 1 tsp lemon zest

Combine and top with toasted bread crumbs.

It's bold and spicy and very strong in flavor. Like I said in the recipe, less garlic and less black pepper might have been a bit happier to my palate. But it was a really great combination of flavors. I had to eat something later that night just to get the garlic flavor out of my mouth, though! Whew!

And, unfortunately, the tame and pleasing-sounding gnocchi was not too popular with the kiddos due to the strong and biting taste. Us grown-ups took care of most of it...you know, waste not want not.

3 comments:

Superchef said...

mmm..delicious!!

duodishes.com said...

Trader Joe's to the rescue! This sounds so good.

Kelly M said...

Ooh, I love those Trader Joe's gnocchi. I used them to make this recipe lately:http://culinography.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/its-not-olive-garden-its-better/. It was delicious! Now I want to try yours too. Of course, we have heaps of frozen gnocchi...

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