Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gnocchi: Part Two

After I made the gnocchi last time with a tried and true sauce, I decided that this time I wanted to try something new. Bf and I brainstormed and I searched around for recipes and we landed on a simple cream sauce. This recipe is a simple, basic cream sauce that can be dressed up for whatever occasion you want. Bf added some pepper to his, I also think it would be great with some lemon, or paprika or even some garlic for a sauce over steak. I made asparagus on the side but ended up adding it to the bowl with the gnocchi and the cream sauce and the combination was incredible.

Cream Sauce
from here

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heated milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • salt
  • white pepper, or black since I don't have white
  • freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
  • Few tablespoons dry white wine, a few teaspoons mixed fresh herbs, Parmesan cheese, etc.
First, I melted the butter and then added the flour. I stirred the flour until it was fully incorporated and let it cook for about a minute to remove the raw flour taste. In another sauce pan, I heated up the milk until steaming, but not simmering.



Once the milk was hot, I slowly added it to the butter mix, stirring continuously.








Meanwhile, I brought the gnocchi water to a boil and added the little dumplings. Generally they take about 3 minutes, but you can tell they are done when they begin to float to the surface. To make sure the little guys can float, stir the water and the pasta when you first add them to the water to prevent any sticking.

At this time, I also brought the asparagus water to a boil and cooked the asparagus for about 5 minutes. If you like your asparagus nice and crisp, I would suggest 3 minutes, but bf likes his a little softer, so we do 5.





During this whole times, I have been stirring the sauce  frequently while it thickens. Once it's been simmering for about 5 minutes and nice and thick, you can add the cream and the white wine. I added about a tablespoon. Next time I would add more because I thought the sauce needed a little more kick.



Then, I added the salt, pepper and fresh nutmeg using my brand new microplane! I must say, I am a little too excited about this gadget. Fresh herbs are always better, so once I get the hang of using it, nutmeg will be showing up in everything (or cinnamon, lemon zest, the possibilities with this guy are endless!).


Finally, I added a handful of Parmesan cheese, stirred to melt and incorporate the cheese and the sauce was done. It was so easy, it literally took about 10 minutes and it made a ton! We had liberal helpings on our gnocchi as you can see below and still have a bowl leftover in the fridge.



Isn't it pretty! There isn't anything as simply elegant as cream sauce. I can't wait to try out some variations on this recipe for other things!

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