Fresh Gnocchi with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Fresh Gnocchi with Mushroom Cream Sauce

 

A few years ago, my office did a staff teambuilding retreat at Emile’s Restaurant in downtown San Jose. The Chef guided us through the process of creating a three-course meal from start to finish. It was quite fun to work in a professional kitchen that had all the bells and whistles but what I remembered the most was the Gnocchi. Soft, pillows of potato dumplings…..who knew it was so easy?

Yet here I am, years later, and I have still yet to create Gnocchi at home. I blame it on two things really—Laziness and Trader Joe’s. Why make it at home when their frozen Gnocchi Al Gorgonzola is so yummy and quick?

As luck would have it, I have had some time on my hands and thought this would be a great opportunity to give them a try. Many recipes for Gnocchi have you boil the potatoes but the Chef insisted that baking them yielded better results—less liquid and fluffier product. He also suggested breaking down the potatoes while they were still hot—though that is a tad easier said than done.

Speaking of breaking down the potatoes, it’s best to peel them after they’re baked and run them through a potato ricer. If you don’t have a ricer, you can also use a potato masher —being thorough to remove all the lumps. However, I found that cutting the potatoes in half (skin on) and using a fork to scrape the meat out works quite well, too.

And although the recipe I list below isn’t what we used years ago, it’s still just as easy and delicious. The quick mushroom sauce was a great earthy pairing for the gnocchi—simple and to the point. Since I didn’t have a gnocchi paddle (and wasn’t too successful using the tines of a fork), I went “rustic” and made straight cuts.

 

Fresh Gnocchi

 

YUM. Potato Pillows….seriously.

I guess I’ll be taking a break from T.J.’s Gnocchi. :)

 

Fresh Gnocchi with Mushroom Cream Sauce

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Fresh Gnocchi with Mushroom Cream Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Gnocchi:
1 Pound Russet Potatoes
1 Egg, beaten lightly
½ – ¾ Cup All Purpose Flour (plus more for dusting)
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Mushroom Cream Sauce:
2½ Cups Sliced Mushrooms (I used Brown & White Mushrooms)
1 Cup Vegetable Stock (I used Mushroom Stock)
¼ Cup Heavy Cream
1 Tablespoon Fresh Chives, diced
½ Teaspoon Dried Thyme
¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 Teaspoon Garlic, finely minced
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bake potatoes at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and cool just enough to handle but the potatoes should still be warm.

Peel potatoes and put them through a potato ricer.  Sprinkle in half of the flour and make a well in the center of the bowl. Add egg and salt. Fold mixture, adding more flour if needed. Texture should be like Play-Doh. Gently knead the mixture by hand a few times and form into a ball. On a floured surface, roll dough into long logs about ½ – ¾ inch in diameter. Cut the logs into 1 inch pieces. *I found it easier to cut the gnocchi using a pastry scraper versus a regular knife.

Cook the gnocchi in a large pot of salted, boiling water. This may need to be done in batches to not crowd the pot. The gnocchi will float to the top when they are cooked–approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them into an ice bath. Continue until all gnocchi have been cooked. Drain the gnocchi from the water and lightly toss in oil. Set aside until sauce is ready.

Melt butter in a large saucepan with olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, chives, thyme and mushrooms and cook until tender. Add stock and heat on medium-high. Once the stock comes to a slow boil reduce heat and add cream. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Add gnocchi and heat until warmed through. Toss in cheese, ensuring the gnocchi is well coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with additional chives and enjoy!

 

Gnocchi IngredientsHave these simple four ingredients on hand? Make some gnocchi! :)

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35 thoughts on “Fresh Gnocchi with Mushroom Cream Sauce

  1. i’m a meat girl but these might make me a convert! can the gnocchis be made in advance and frozen?! if not, will you make me some!?! : P yum…..stomach grumbling….

  2. omg, that looks heaven nam! i don’t really enjoy pastas as much as others even though i love asian noodles but i would have to say, i do like eating gnocci! i may try this.

    how did it taste? i can imagine making it and the mushroom sauce tasting kinda watery…

  3. Omg what a great idea to bake the potatoes rather than boil them. The first time I made gnocchi I boiled the potatoes and the gnocchi turned into a horrible gloppy mess. After fighting with it for a while, I gave up, threw it all in the trash, and ate cantaloupe for dinner. =/ I had a second attempt the next day as I was determined, and they turned out much better… but not nearly as good as yours!

  4. People always say gnocchi are easy, but we’ve never tried to make them. We totally should. Especially because there have been some bad, bad gnocchi experiences! Yours look better than some restaurant versions.

  5. Nam – I saw this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and was excited to use my store-bought gnocchi with your mushroom cream sauce. But, you make homemade gnocchi look so easy, I *may* have to give it a try. Lastly, where did you get your wooden pig/cat(?) salt holder? I love it!!!!

    • Hello Lara! Thanks for stopping in! The gnocchi really was pretty simple! Give it a try the next time you have an extra few potatoes around :)

      Oh! And the wooden salt holder is a little Turtle carved out of Koa wood. I picked it up on one of our trips to Hawai’i. :) Hope the mushroom cream sauce turned out ok!

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  7. What if you don’t have a potato ricer? Oh btw I saw your recipe on the pioneer woman’s website. She was doing a post devoted to pasta and included your recipe, it look so yummy I jumped right over =)

  8. I just finished making the gnocchi! I’m going to make the mushroom sauce too, for dinner, but I wanted to get the gnocchi itself out of the way while my little one was napping. Even without any sauce on it I like the texture. I used whole wheat flour, and since I don’t have a potato ricer I used the back of a spoon to force the potato through a colander to give it that fluffy texture. So far so good, looking forward to dinner tonight!

  9. I learned how to make gnocchi while on a month-long trip in Italy a couple of years ago. There was a culinary school in Florence that would do cooking classes for tourists in the evenings. The chef showed us how to roll the dough and cut it and roll it on a fork and then stand and watch as we tried to mimic what he did. If we did it wrong, he would pick up the gnocchi and throw them back into the bowl of dough. He was very particular about the shape and size of each dumpling. He said they all had to be about the size of the end of your thumb (from the tip to the joint), and if they weren’t uniform in size they wouldn’t cook evenly. Then we diced up some tomatoes and fresh basil and tossed it all together with the gnocchi after it was cooked and let it sit until the rest of our meal was prepared. It was served room temperature, but was really delicious with the simplicity of the tomatoes and basil.
    I’m looking forward to trying your recipe with the mushroom sauce!

  10. This cooked like a dream. Very tasty and I didn’t even have to add any salt!
    The sauce was a little runny though even after adding the cheese, I think I will add some flour to the mushrooms next time I make it.

    Thanks for the recipe!

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  12. Made your recipe and it was very very good…mine wasn’t nearly as pretty though. It was my first try at gnocchi and The Hubby and I made it together…it was a fun experience..thanks for sharing!

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