A few weeks ago, Penny at Addictive and Consuming invited her blogger friends to join her in an international gnocchi party. This stemmed from Penny’s earlier post about pumpkin gnocchi whereby she and a couple of other bloggers thought it would be fun to have a gnocchi party, despite our geographical differences. Since gnocchi was on my list of things to master in 2010, I immediately signed up! The “theme” for the party was voted on and “flavour” won out. Penny picked umami as the flavour.
I had had my eye on Jaden @ Steamy Kitchen’s Pan-fried pumpkin gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce which I have had bookmarked since I read them in November. I wanted to make sure I was including umami flavours, I consulted the Umami Information Center’s list of umami-rich foods, which mentions truffls and parmesan cheese.
Pan-fried pumpkin gnocchi (from Steamy Kitchen) with truffle paste and basil
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
Note: this is Jaden’s recipe which I modified only in the final stages with the sauce. I figure if you are going to try something for the first time, it’s good to use a trusted source and Jaden made it look so do-able! I take no credit for this recipe at all and am thankful I had such a clear recipe to follow for what I thought would be a daunting task!
1/2 cup skim milk ricotta
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup freshly grated parmegiano reggiano
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon zest (use a microplane grater) (plus extra reserved for garnishing)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted plus more for dusting
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2-3 heaping tablespoons truffle paste
6 tablespoons finely chopped basil, plus more for garnish
shaved parmegiano reggiano for serving
Preheat oven to 300F
1. Combine ricotta, pumpkin parmagiano, yolk, zest and salt in large bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle half of the flour on the mixture, gently turn with spatula a few times to incorporate. Dump mixture on clean, lightly floured countertop or you can still do this in the bowl. Sprinkle remaining flour on top of the mixture. Gently knead with your fingertips, just bringing together the mixture until flour is incorporated through. This only should take a minute or two. Any longer and you will be over-kneading.
2. Dust a clean, dry surface with a generous sprinkling of flour. Divide dough into 4 parts. Take one part and roll into a long, 1″ diameter log. Cut gnocchi into 1″ pieces.
3. Heat a large frying pan or saute pan with just 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add a few gnocchi – enough to cover surface but not touch each other. Fry on medium heat for 1-2 minutes, turn and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove gnocchi, place on large baking sheet to put into oven to keep warm. Repeat with rest of gnocchi.
4. When all gnocchi is finished, discard butter/oil in pan and clean pan with paper towel. Heat pan on medium heat and when hot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add the truffle paste. Let it sizzle (but not burn) for a couple of minutes until very fragrant. Add the gnocchi to the pan and coat thoroughly with the truffle paste. Toss in the basil.
5. Serve with shaved parmegiano reggiano and a the extra chopped basil leaves for garnish.
Verdict? These were PHENOMENAL! A huge hit at an Italian-themed dinner party (remember the one where we served the dessert with the longest name ever?) I know these are not the traditional potato gnocchi but I thought they were a good introduction to the art! I was so impressed at how relatively easy this was to make and how much of a flavour punch it packed! Umami indeed! I will definitely be making these again and might even venture to the more traditional style of gnocchi soon!
Thanks Penny for organising the party – what’s the next dish we will make collectively?
You can check out all the amazing contributions to the International Gnocchi Party in this post on Penny’s blog.