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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Gnocchi with Mushroom and Proscuitto

Sydney has been inundated with rain for the past couple of weeks. Weather that has been so bleak, with chilly days and nights only means we stay indoors. We eat, drink, watch TV, watch movies have friends over for a meal or go out to dine and most importantly for me, cook.
The time to try recipes, old and new.
I decided to revisit gnocchi, a dish I haven't made for years.
Coupled with a great red wine, we all loved it. The trick is in the potatoes I think. Buy a variety that is Not for roasting or chips. I used  dirty old desiree potatoes and cooked them in their skins. Cooking them in their skins helps keep the potato flavour and stops them from going too soggy. Soggy potatoes don't make good gnocchi. I mixed it with a little pumpkin to change it and make it a little lighter on the bite. It look like this is a lot of work . It isn't really and is well worth the effort.

650 gram potato washed and scrubbed. Any potato that is good for mashing is suitable.
250 gram jap pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 to 1 cup plain flour

200 grams mushrooms
5 slices prosciutto
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup Parmesan
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
300 ml cream
1/4 teaspoon thyme
8 sage leaves

Turn the oven on to 180C.
Boil the potatoes in their skins, until cooked. Don't overcook them. Set aside to cool
Cut the pumpkin into similar size pieces and place in the oven on a tray to roast the until cooked.
Once the potato is cooled the skin will peel off very easily.
Mash the pumpkin and set aside.
Sieve the flour and salt onto a piece of baking paper and push the potato through a mouli or a sieve onto the flour.
Add the mashed pumpkin.
Break the egg on top and slowly mix the ingredients together with your hands, until the lot is a soft dough. Don't handle it too much, it will come together nicely. If you feel it is a little wet, add a little more flour.
Cut pieces of the dough and roll gently with your hands to form a long sausage shape.
Cut into approx 2 cm pieces and push each piece gently with a fork. This allows the sauce to adhere to the dough, better.
Set them all aside on a clean baking sheet until ready to cook. Sprinkle with a little flour.

Place the prosciutto and sage on a baking tray in the oven and cook until crisp approx 10 mins for prosciutto. Watch the sage as it will easily burn. Set aside when cooked.
Put water on to boil in a large saucepan you would use for pasta and bring to the boil.
Cook the garlic and mushrooms in butter until mushrooms are just cooked.
Add the cream and chicken stock and boil until the cream separates a little and thins out. Add thyme and season.
When the water comes to boil, add the gnocchi to cook. It will take a couple of minutes to rise to the surface which means it will be cooked.
Add the gnocchi to each plate with a little sauce and crunch the prosciutto over the top with some sage and Parmesan. Delicious !

                                             Gnocchi with Mushroom and Proscuitto

Fat little "dumplings" ready to be cooked

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