Gnocchi with chanterelle mushroom sauce

January 2, 2012 at 11:34 pm 5 comments

We hosted a dinner party on New Year’s Eve and with that I decided to tackle a long held goal: to make homemade gnocchi. I consulted several recipe books for different variations on how to make the actual gnocchi pasta and landed on Mario Batali’s version, along with a sauce inspired by my affection for chanterelle mushrooms.

Like most people who have made their own gnocchi, I am now a convert and I’ll be hard pressed to go back to the stuff in the package. It is well worth the effort and not that difficult as long as you have lots of time and lots of patience.

For our gathering, I prepared and pan-fried all the gnocchi before everyone arrived and left it at room temperature. This took about three hours (!), although I’m sure it will go faster the next time now that I know what to do. When we were ready to eat I warmed the gnocchi for a few minutes in the oven while I made the sauce and it was ready to serve without too much fiddling.

Gnocchi with chanterelle mushroom sauce
Serves 6

3 pounds russet potatoes
2 cups flour
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Put unpeeled potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook at a low boil until potatoes are tender, about 40-45 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and peel while they are still warm. If you have one, use a vegetable mill or a ricer to shred the potatoes. I don’t have either, but I used a cheese grater and shredded the potatoes with that into an 11×17″ lasagna pan and that worked just fine. Once the potatoes are shredded, sprinkle them with flour and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well and add the salt to the eggs. Stir everything together with a fork until the dough starts to come together, and then knead the dough for about four minutes. Then divide the dough into six portions. On a floured surface, roll each portion into a long snake that is about 3/4-inch in diameter. Cut the rolled out dough into 1-inch gnocchi pieces and score each one with a fork.

Start a large pot of water to boil, prepare an ice bath and pour the oil into a large bowl. Once the water starts to boil, add the gnocchi in small batches and cook for about one minute or until the gnocchi floats to the top. Remove the cooked gnocchi from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice bath – this cools them off so they don’t keep cooking and turn to mush. Once the gnocchi have cooled off, transfer them with the slotted spoon into the bowl with the oil where they can rest while you repeat the process with the rest of the gnocchi.

Once you have made your way through all the gnocchi (phew!) you can pan fry them or just warm them up in a pan with some sauce.

Chanterelle mushroom sauce
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4-5 minced shallots
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups sliced chanterelle mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley, plus 1-2 tablespoons more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 cup of whipping cream
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, plus more for the table
1/2 cup minced chives
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Saute the shallots and garlic in oil for about 5 minutes or until they are tender but not brown. Add the mushrooms and saute for 1-2 minutes and then add in the cream, hot pepper flakes, parmesan, chives and salt and pepper. Toss with warm gnocchi and spoon into a large serving dish or onto individual plates, garnish with chopped parsley and pass around a bowl of grated parmesan cheese at the table.

Wine pick: We ate this dish with an Italian red wine called Barolo, which is one of my favourite types of wine and pairs beautifully with Italian dishes with earthy, rustic tastes like mushrooms.


Entry filed under: Cooking, Home, Life, Local food, Recipes. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cdub  |  January 3, 2012 at 12:29 am

    extremely delicious – highly recommended recipe!

  • 2. jothetartqueen  |  January 3, 2012 at 1:55 am

    looks awesome!

  • 3. fairwindy  |  January 3, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Nice picture. Getting ready for next year? Can’t wait to try the food.

  • 4. Zoe  |  January 3, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    You made this sound so easy that I’m trying it tonight. The potatoes are boiling. I plan to substitute parmesan with gorgonzola and add a pinch of nutmeg. Let’s hope I can eat before 10pm.

  • 5. Tomato and olive gnocchi « Nest and Sparkle  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    […] you might remember, I recently tackled what I long felt was a daunting recipe: homemade gnocchi. I’ve made it three times now and as long as you can summon your patience it is easy to make […]

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