Gnocchi party

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.

52 Responses to Gnocchi party

  1. Divina February 27, 2010 at 19:33 #

    Mardi, these are fantastic. Truffle paste is magnificent with your gnocchis. The combination is just pure heaven. I’m ready for another party.

  2. Tasty Trix February 27, 2010 at 20:11 #

    Wow, I LOVE how they get that crispiness on them – biting into them you’d get that crunch and then the softness. And your photos look superb. Oh why can’t we all be at an actual gnocchi party together???

  3. penny aka jeroxie February 27, 2010 at 20:45 #

    That looks like crispy goodness to me! I can eat the whole plate and still want more!
    And yes, let’s hook up another party. Should we all go Moroccan this time?

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 27, 2010 at 22:58 #

      Oh yeah – I would love Moroccan – I would be happy to host if you live. Thanks for this party – so much fun!

  4. AvaDJ February 27, 2010 at 22:28 #

    These look incredible, they are definitely not the boiled potato gnocchi I grew up eating. I’ve really noticed a lot more pumpkin being used in Italian cuisine lately, especially in ravioli stuffing and now these. I would definitely like to try this version some time, thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 27, 2010 at 22:57 #

      It is a great recipe – so easy and yet so impressive. You should definitely give it a try!

  5. Conor @ HoldtheBeef February 27, 2010 at 22:40 #

    Delicious! With the browning on them, oh these look good.

    Why must we all live so far apart? Why must we tease each other with such deliciousness?

  6. 5 Star Foodie February 27, 2010 at 23:05 #

    These are fabulous, Mardi! You capture my heart with the addition of truffle. And I love the idea of pan-frying! We had pan-fried gnocchi recently in San Diego and just that method itself I think adds to the umami flavors and the texture of the gnocchi is so good that way too!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 27, 2010 at 23:13 #

      Thanks Natasha! I really liked the texture of them as well and it certainly went a long way to convincing our guests that gnocchi didn’t have to be soggy, floury and gluggy!!

  7. Cat February 27, 2010 at 23:29 #

    mardi, you are truly a rock star in the kitchen! i cannot believe you made your own freaking gnocchi. SO impressed!

  8. Madeline February 28, 2010 at 00:52 #

    Oh my, consider these double bookmarked!

  9. mellie February 28, 2010 at 04:55 #

    Oh wow. I am SOOOO going to make these!

    They look absolutely amazing, and I am seriously salivating as I read your post.

  10. Jamie February 28, 2010 at 08:00 #

    How about Great Minds Think Alike? I don’t often get to Jaden’s blog but I also saw – and drooled over – those pumpkin gnocchi and swore I would make them even though gnocchi still scare me. Yours are so perfect and that final dish is too mouthwatering! Great job! Yum!

  11. Christine@Christine's Recipes February 28, 2010 at 09:26 #

    Mardi, your pumpkin gnocchi with Truffle paste is very tempting. Taste heavenly! I’d like to try making some pumpkin gnocchi next time.

  12. RhodeyGirl February 28, 2010 at 09:28 #

    Wow this dish looks really incredible. I love how easy gnocchi is to make, when you make it right! YUM!

  13. Nicole @ Making Good Choices February 28, 2010 at 09:40 #

    I love the idea of participating in a dinner party whereever you are! sounds so fun! I also love pumpkin gnocchi, I think sometimes better than potato gnocchi. I never thought to pan fry it instead of boiling. Love that idea!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 28, 2010 at 16:29 #

      Yeah, I hadn’t heard of pan frying them either until quite recently. It certainly does work well for a crispy outside and creamy inside!

  14. merry jennifer February 28, 2010 at 09:59 #

    Wow – these look phenomenal. Haven’t tasted them, of course, but it sure sounds like you nailed the umami! I’ve never made gnocchi, but they’re on my to-do list for the very near future. This gives me confidence (and something to look forward to!).

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 28, 2010 at 16:28 #

      Oh yes they are so easy and they will give you confidence because they will come out beautifully!

  15. Mr. Neil February 28, 2010 at 10:42 #

    Cathy, you definitely need to make them with Charlotte – if only so you can hear her describe a “burning incident” as the kitchen fills with smoke. (hmmm…was that missing from the blog entry?) 😉

    These were stupendous. The star of the evening. Well secod to my Italian rabbit, of course.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 28, 2010 at 16:27 #

      Yes they were the star of the evening. They even made people stop watching and talking about the Olympics for the short time they lasted on people’s plates.

  16. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz February 28, 2010 at 12:50 #

    They look beyond awesome. wow

  17. Gourmantic February 28, 2010 at 19:01 #

    I have a weakness for gnocchi but never had the patience to make them. This dish looks amazing!

  18. Agnes March 1, 2010 at 06:08 #

    This reminds me that one of the best gnocchi dishes I’ve ever eaten was actually pumpkin gnocchi! You’ve inspired me – will definitely have to give it a go.

  19. Jenn March 1, 2010 at 12:08 #

    I love pan-fried gnocchi! What a great combination of flavors – I am curious where you find truffle paste though, that sounds like a very intriguing ingredient 🙂

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 1, 2010 at 21:35 #

      Jenn – I bought the truffle paste in Italy on one of our trips there a couple of years ago. On the label it’s translated as “black truffle cream”.

  20. desperate.viz March 1, 2010 at 12:10 #

    I am Italian, I never cooked gnocchi (yet) and I think I’ll start with those

    they remind me of pan fried gnocchi from south Germany Schupfnudeln!

  21. Kitchen Butterfly March 1, 2010 at 16:54 #

    That gnocchi rules……love the garnish

  22. Fuji Mama March 1, 2010 at 18:46 #

    I LOVE pumpkin and sage together! And I LOVE Jaden’s recipes. They always turn out!

  23. Michele March 3, 2010 at 00:47 #

    Gorgeous gnocchi!

  24. A Canadian Foodie April 18, 2010 at 13:04 #

    Your own assessment of how delicious these are has me interested. Pumpkin does now appeal to me – but, with your enjoyment of these flavours… I am copying it to try… in the fall. I need to get my courage up!


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