Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Seared Potato and Carrot Gnocchi
with Tomato-Mushroom Cream

Serves 6—8 as a first course



2 lb baking potatoes
4 large carrots, peeled
1-3/4 cups flour
1 egg
Salt and Pepper
1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (or parmesan)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
   (or 1 tsp jar chopped garlic)
2 cups crushed tomatoes with purée
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup basil, julienne

4 tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 cups grated pecorino romano cheese (or parmesan)



First, make gnocchi.
Boil the potatoes in their skins, with the whole carrots until tender. Drain all and peel potatoes. (This can be done the day before also). Mash potatoes and carrots well. Mound mixture on a board. Add flour; mix well. Mound mixture and make a well in the center. Break the egg into the well, add salt and pepper, and 1 cup romano cheese, and knead until the mixture forms a smooth, firm dough.

Cut it into pieces and use the palm of your hand to roll each piece into a long sausage shape. Cut these into 2-1/4-inch cylinders, separating them. Roll each of the gnocchi over the prongs of a fork, pressing down lightly with your thumb; drop them onto a floured board.

Prepare sauce.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until garlic just begins to brown. Add crushed tomatoes and cook, stirring, 15 minutes. Add cream and simmer until reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Add herbs and season with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more and remove from heat.

Cook the gnocchi a few at a time in boiling salted water, lifting them out with a slotted spoon, as soon as they rise to the surface. Place them on kitchen towels to dry.

Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot and starting to smoke. Add gnocchi in a single layer and sear to crisp on both sides. Remove and place on paper towels to drain.

Place in a bowl and toss with some of the sauce and the remaining romano cheese. Pass with extra sauce and extra romano cheese.


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This page created December 1999