Chicche Verdi Del Nonno

GNOCCHI WITH BROWN BUTTER AND SAGE

 

A regional dish from the Italian province of Parma, these plump spinach gnocchi are excellent sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.  A regional dish from the Italian province of Parma, these plump spinach gnocchi are excellent sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

SERVES 4-6

Ingredients

1 lb. russet potatoes, unpeeled
Kosher salt, to taste
4 oz. spinach
14 cups semolina flour, sifted, plus more
2 eggs, beaten
18 tbsp. unsalted butter
16 leaves fresh sage, minced
14 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. finely grated Parmesan

Instructions

Put potatoes into a 4-qt. pot of salted water; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until potatoes are tender, 25 minutes. Drain; let cool. Peel potatoes; pass through medium plate of a food mill into a bowl.
Meanwhile, heat a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and 1 tbsp. of water; cook until wilted. Press on spinach in a sieve to extract liquid. Finely chop spinach; stir together with potatoes and semolina and form a well in the center.
Add eggs and salt and, using a fork, beat eggs into potato mixture.
Transfer dough to a work surface dusted with semolina; knead to combine.
Divide the dough into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a 1⁄2″-thick rope. Cut ropes into 1⁄2″-wide pieces; transfer to a semolina-dusted sheet tray.
Melt 10 tbsp. butter in a 10″ skillet over medium heat; cook, swirling, until butter browns, about 6 minutes.
Add sage and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat; set aside.
Working in 4 batches, add 2 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. oil to a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add dough pieces and cook, flipping once, until golden brown, 3–4 minutes.
Transfer to a baking sheet.
Wipe out the skillet and repeat with remaining butter, oil, and dough pieces.
Toss dumplings and brown butter sauce in the skillet until hot.
Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.
Chicche Verde  .jpg
Here is the photo of my version.  Served with a lovely red wine!
Would definitely make for friends.
I made the gnocchi about three in the afternoon, and just put them all together right before dinner.
Yummy~
Chicche Verdi Del Nonno

Gnocchi with Peas, Ramps & Mushrooms

It’s easier than you think to make this puffy pasta at home
Potato Gnocchi with Ramps Recipe

Gnocchi doesn’t have to be laden with sage and brown butter to have a good time, and this recipe, with its trifecta of springy ingredients, is here to prove it. If you can’t find ramps at the market just yet, scallions work just fine. But freshly grated nutmeg makes all the difference here to complement the peas, mushrooms and fragrant tarragon. So bust out your Microplane and get to work.

Gnocchi with Peas, Ramps & Mushrooms

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 pound russet potatoes

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

Kosher salt, to taste

½ cup all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons butter, divided

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, diced

¼ cup fresh peas

4 stalks wild onions, such as ramps, sliced diagonally

½ teaspoon chile flakes

½ cup reserved pasta water

1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated

1 tarragon sprig, picked

Zest of 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Bake the potatoes for 1 hour, or until very tender. As soon as the potatoes come out of the oven, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the potato, discarding the skin or saving it for another use. Press the potatoes through a ricer or food mill, and spread out on a sheet tray while still hot. Let the riced potato cool to room temperature.

2. Once the potato mix is cool, transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Mix in the egg yolk, grated nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Gently mix in the flour until the dough comes together, being careful not to overmix. Test a piece in boiling water; boil for roughly 2 minutes. It should float for roughly 2 minutes. Then check the gnocchi for taste and structure; if the gnocchi falls apart during the boiling, it needs more flour.

3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll into ½-inch-diameter logs. Cut into pieces roughly 1 inch long. Place the gnocchi pieces on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and flour. Store in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

4. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is bubbling, add the mushrooms, peas, spring onions and chile flakes. Sauté lightly for roughly 2 to 3 minutes until tender. Add the pasta water to the pan and turn off.

5. In a large pot of boiling water, add the gnocchi; once they float, continue to cook 2 more minutes. Once they are cooked, remove and add to the pan of vegetables. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and Parmesan cheese. Cook until glazed. Plate and top with tarragon and lemon zest, then serve.

And what are ramps, if you don’t know by now and some tips on how to use them.

Every April the culinary world gets ready for the Great Ramp Race. (Okay, it’s not actually a race at all, but rather a sort of cultural phenomenon.) Chefs, restaurants, home cooks, food writers, and greenmarket enthusiasts all go bonkers for this garlicky spring vegetable.

Ramps are versatile, delicious, and one of the first green things to appear after a cruel winter. But whether you faithfully worship at the altar of alliums or you’re a first-time ramp buyer, it’s worth reading through this list of common mistakes before diving into this year’s batch. Here’s how to make the best out of springtime’s most pungent offering.

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask What the Heck Ramps Are

If you’re not actually sure what ramps actually are, it can feel intimidating to ask, especially with chatter reaching a fever pitch in your natural food co-op. This is a safe zone, so ask away: Ramps are wild leeks, foraged from shaded, woody areas. They’re one of the first signs of spring and one of the first edible green things to hit markets. Their flavor is a combination of garlicky, oniony, and pungent. You can use them anywhere you would use scallions or spring onions.

Pickle your ramps, and you can eat them all year long.

2. Don’t Expect a Leisurely Stroll Through the Market

If you’ve ever powered through a Black Friday shopping excursion at the mall, you have a frame of reference for how seriously local eating enthusiasts take ramp season (we are only slightly exaggerating here). Don’t roll up casually to the market at 11 and expect to find an abundance of ramps—they’ll likely be picked over or totally gone. “They go fast,” says Jessie Damuck, Bon Appétitrecipe developer. “Get there by 8 if you want your pick.”

3. You’re Gonna Need More Than a $20 Bill

When we’re talking ramps, we’re talking steep prices. It’s in part because these spring alliums are foraged, not cultivated. It’s more labor-intensive to hunt through the woods for a bunch than to simply pull them up from a tidy garden row, and that’s reflected in the cost. But demand is creating an undeniable hike. They can be about $20/pound this year. If you’ve got a shady and cool hillside on your property, we suggest pulling on a pair of muck boots and doing some digging (don’t take all of the ramps from a patch, or they won’t repopulate next year).

Ramp Pesto. Because basil is for sissies.

4. Make a Game Plan Before Buying

Ramp season is a very exciting time, and we understand that. But don’t just buy up a vendor’s stand because they’re there. More than likely, a few days’ worth of garlic breath will leave you with ramp fatigue and fighting to find ways to use them. Instead, do a little research beforehand. There are countless of ways to use ramps, beyond simply slicing and sautéing as you would any other allium (they are just leeks, after all). Roast or grill them whole—the high temperature will render the bulbs tender while making for some seriously crispy leaves. And yes, you can, and should, eat the entire thing. Once you’ve tired of eating them as a side dish, make a pesto with walnuts, Pecorino cheese, and whole ramps (blanch the greens first). For your next batch, dunk them in a buttermilk batter and fry them whole. Bet your neighborhood tapas bar charging $75 for a ramp tasting menu hasn’t thought of that! Still, have more ramps? Pickle them with a mix of red chiles, bay leaves, fennel seeds, black pepper and salt, vinegar, and sugar. They’ll keep for two weeks unless you preserve them by canning; in that case, you can eat ramps all year long.

5. Don’t Forget to Clean Them…No, Seriously

“If you thought leeks were dirty, wait till you get your hands on ramps,” says Rick Martinez, recipe developer. Ramps have two things working against them in the dirt department: They have plenty of crevices for mud to hide in (check where the leaves meet the stem), and, as mentioned before, they’re pulled up from the forest in the muddiest part of spring. Some vendors will clean their ramps before bringing them to the market, but don’t assume that they’ve completed the job. Rinse them thoroughly before using, and gently pat dry.

6. Know How to Store Them

Once you’ve brought home your haul, don’t just chuck them on the countertop until dinnertime. Roll them in a damp paper towel, place in an unsealed plastic bag, and keep them in the fridge. Make sure the delicate leaves are covered by the towel and don’t bend or crush the plant. Don’t be surprised when your entire refrigerator smells like garlic. It’s all part of the experience.

7. Never Be Afraid to Let Your Love of Ramps Be Known

We should be honest: Not everyone will be as enamored with spring’s stinkiest offerings as you are. “Don’t expect your non-foodie friends to get stoked about an all-ramp dinner,” says Damuck who, for the record, created an all-ramp menu while in culinary school. Dawn Perry, a digital food editor, agrees: “My parents are like, ‘Aren’t they really just like scallions?'” (The author of this article’s parents have ramps growing behind their house and are truly perplexed and amused by the price they fetch.)

Gnocchi with Peas, Ramps & Mushrooms

More Carbonara Tips

bucatini-carbonaraCarbonara is the ultimate easy and fast dinner, so every time I see another article on it with new or a more interesting approach I feel the need to share it.  Well Done is a food blog that I follow, as it has quick and easy suggestions.  Read on…

It has bacon, it has eggs, it has cheese, it has carbs. Why isn’t spaghetti carbonara the most popular breakfast food ever? People think it is difficult and time consuming to make, which it is not.  It is fast simple and simply delicious.

Maybe you are afraid you don’t have the right technique for making Carbonara. There is little to be afraid of.  Just follow a few very simple directions and you will have the best easy breakfast, lunch or dinner ever.  It was I make when I don’t feel like cooking.  I know I have all the ingredients in the pantry or refrigerator and can through it together in as fast as the pasta can cook.  I use bucatini as it has a hole in the middle and holds the sauce.

For the recipe you just need a couple of whisked eggs, some bacon chucks cooked with a chopped onion and the best parmesan cheese you can afford. The better the cheese, the better the carbonara.

Find a large skillet or pan that will fit all the dried pasta. If you can’t lay the spaghetti flat across the bottom, then use rigatoni or another loose pasta. Sprinkle with salt, cover with 4 inches of cold water, cover, and put on high heat. Yes, this goes against everything you’ve been taught. But it works!

While that’s going, cook your chopped-up bacon in a small skillet and, when it’s about halfway done, throw in some chopped onion. Keep cooking until they’re golden and the bacon is crisp, then set aside. No need to drain or anything.

In the biggest bowl you have, whip up your eggs until solidly yellow, then add the cheese.

When the pasta water comes to a boil, get your tongs. Use thm to stir the pasta to make sure it’s not sticking. When it’s al dente, start pulling out with the tongs and and throw it directly into the bowl with the egg/cheese mixture.Don’t drain! You’ll need that extra pasta water to temper the eggs and make it a sauce. Toss in some pasta, toss, toss in more pasta, toss again, and just keep going until it’s all in. Sounds like a lot of tossing, but it really takes less than a minute. You don’t need to place it  back into a pan, as the eggs are fully cooked thanks to the heat of the pasta.

Add in the bacon and onions in, keep tossing and plate with more cheese. Wasn’t that the easiest dinner ever?  Add a salad, or if you not diet conscious a great loaf of crusty bread is perfect.  I love mine with a good red wine.

Get with gusto!

More Carbonara Tips

Perfect Pasta

Must be the weather….  Rain – Rain – and more – Rain.  I found an article by Claire Saffitz in the recent edition of Bon Appetit and could not find it online, so scanned it (thus a tad crooked) and share it here.  I think it makes some good points.  
Carbonara

At restaurants, those noodles get coated in a silky, glossy sauce—the secret is an emulsion of fat, pasta water, and cheese.

Here are the 5 key steps to replicating that at home.

There’s something about pasta at a restaurant that just seems different. The sauce clings to each noodle perfectly, as if separation were physically impossible. That alfredo or carbonara is so sublimely smooth that it could never be replicated at home, right? Wrong. Here’s how to make pasta at home that is every bit as saucy and glossy as it is at your neighborhood trattoria. Get out your Dutch oven (or sauce pan or large skillet), and follow these 5 easy steps to at-home pasta perfection.

pasta-dutch-oven-sauce
Nikole Herriott

Photograph by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

1. Start in a Dutch Oven

A big one, so you avoid half-cooked pasta caking onto your stovetop, which can happen easily when saucing with a skillet. Higher sides mean the pasta won’t flip out as you’re tossing—and there’s going to be a lot of tossing.

pasta-dutch-oven add-flavors-cheese
Nikole Herriott

Photograph by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

2. Build Your Flavors

Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into the Dutch oven (enough to cover the bottom) and heat over medium. Add some aromatics like garlic or shallots, then cook mushrooms or other veg in the oil until they’re tender.

pasta-sauce-dutch-oven-drop-noodles
Nikole Herriott

Photograph by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

3. Drop the Pasta

In a pot of very salty boiling water, cook noodles until they’re several minutes shy of al dente. Transfer them to whatever you’ve got in the Dutch oven, along with a ladleful of pasta water. The noodles should swim, and the liquid should be bubbling.

dutch-oven-pasta-finish-butter-noodles
Nikole Herriott

Photograph by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

4. Marry the Noodles and Sauce

Toss, toss, toss as the pasta finishes cooking. Then add a bit more pasta water. Toss some more, then slowly stir in some finely grated hard cheese—Parmesan, Pecorino, Grana Padano—little by little so it melts evenly and completely.

5. Finish It Right

Keep tossing until each strand or shape is coated and no bits of cheese remain. Remove from heat, stir in a spoonful of butter, and top with more cheese and some crispy bits (prosciutto FTW), then serve directly out of the Dutch oven at the table.

Perfect Pasta