Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mascarpone and Lemon Gnocchi

I love gnocchi. Love love love. If I am at an Italian restaurant and there is gnocchi on the menu, I'd say about 98 times out of 100, I'm going to order it. I love the consistency and the flexibility of the dish. I love that it can be paired with just about any sauce, although my favorite is a meat sauce. I am dying to try making gnocchi from scratch, but it is a recipe that requires some serious space. I decided a ways back that it simply wasn't possible to attempt in my current kitchen. I'm thrilled to get the chance to try it out as soon as I can in my new place. The other day, I was watching Giada at Home and she made this recipe. I thought it would be an amazing way to try gnocchi immediately, without having to wait. Although this recipe is good, it's really not great. I didn't love the basil olive oil sauce- it didn't have an pizzazz and was frankly too oily. It also is different than potato gnocchi in taste. It is cheesy, rather than doughy and a little grainy as well. Although I think the grainy part was maybe because I didn't cook it long enough, as I did make the little dumplings too large. Since I am bound to try real potato gnocchi soon, I probably won't make this again. Although, for people with small kitchens, it is a nice alternative.

Mascarpone and Lemon Gnocchi
from the Food Network

1 cup mascarpone, at room temperature (8 ounces)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large lemons, zested
1 cup grated Parmesan (4 ounces-make sure it's really finely grated, I think that my pieces were too large)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for forming the gnocchi

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, for serving

I started by mixing together the mascarpone, parmesan, nutmeg, eggs, salt and lemon zest. If I were to make it again, I would use my hand mixer (if it weren't packed up in boxes). I think that would help with the texture problem. Sorry for the weird formatting, no idea what that's about. Then I added the flour and mixed well.
Then I put about a cup of flour onto a baking sheet an d started to form the pillows. I used two spoons to form the dumplings, dumped them in flour, rolled them around, then placed them on the side.
When I had made all of the dumplings, I put them in boiling water. Once the dumplings began to rise, I cooked them for about five minutes. While the dumplings were cooking, I heated up the olive oil in a skillet. Once the olive oil was hot, I added the chopped basil and let sit for a few minutes. Then I drained the dumplings and added them to the skillet. I stirred until the dumplings were covered and then served. Kind of "meh" in both appearance and taste.

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