supper tonight – 4.16.12 – gnocchi with mushrooms and sage

Ah, gnocchi. When prepared correctly, these little potato dumplings make for a delicious, hearty meal. Imagine delectably light, fluffy pillows of flavor-absorbing amazingness. That’s how good gnocchi feels in your mouth.

Bad gnocchi is dense and heavy, sitting in your belly like a rock for hours after you eat it (because, if you’re like me, you just can’t bring yourself to waste it, so you slather on some sauce and choke it down anyway).

Hm. Now that I think about it, my first attempt at gnocchi sounds suspiciously like my trial run with biscuits. Both kitchen disasters were precipitated by a heavy hand with the flour and, well, heavy hands in general. Over-kneading a mix that’s already got too much gluten activating is a surefire recipe for dough-bombs. Not so good.

That said, we did not make gnocchi last night.

This dinner started back in January. I was laid up in bed after a hernia surgery, so my sweet husband took over pretty much all the kitchen duties while I convalesced. We had way too much milk that was about to turn sour, so Micah made a quick batch of ricotta (no cream, just 2% milk+salt+lemon+heat). Then, we had this massive bag of potatoes that my grandma gave us because she bought it…and then realized her doctor told her she wasn’t supposed to eat potatoes. (Don’t ask–I honestly can’t explain.)

Anyway, so we had a crap-ton of spuds plus about a cup of save-the-milk-before-it-rots ricotta, and it immediately made sense to cook this gnocchi recipe from Mike’s Table. (Not the sauce, just the gnocchi, possibly with substitutions…? I can’t tell you how the gnocchi making process actually went, because I was lounging in a lazy haze of prescription drugs at the time. I can, however, relate that these gnocchi are pretty darn ugly, misshapen, odd sizes…but they taste really, really good.)

Anyway, the thing about this recipe is that it transforms a boatload of potatoes into…a boatload of gnocchi. So we ate gnocchi that day in January (with some other kind of sauce Micah made using some other random leftovers), but then we froze a big bag of it for later. And since gnocchi’s pretty rich for everyday eating, we’ve still got a good bit in the freezer.

Fast forward to yesterday, when neither of us really felt like cooking, but we had some lovely mushrooms in the refrigerator that were about to not be very lovely anymore. (Speaking of mushrooms, anyone ever try growing your own? Apparently, it’s a great idea! :))

We adapted a recipe for gnocchi with a sage butter sauce, cutting the two-serving recipe down to one because, really, is it advisable to cook dinner for two with a half stick of butter on a weeknight? (Delicious, sure, but not advisable.) And we added our mushrooms (not part of the recipe) at the beginning of the process in the hopes that some butter would soften them up a bit (it mostly did).

Not the prettiest dinner (and why is the upper half blueish? I don't know!), but this simple meal sure was tasty.

What’s in it:

  • 2 servings of gnocchi (we ate about 12 each, but it depends on the size)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, slivered
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons shredded parmesan

Step-by-step:

  • Start a large pot of salted water to boil.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Add the mushrooms and garlic to the skillet and get them nice and buttery while you wait for your pot to boil.
  • Once the water is boiling, add your gnocchi and set a timer for about 2-3 minutes. Or, if you’re using store-bought gnocchi, follow the directions on the package. (These babies are done when they float to the top.)
  • While your dumplings cook, turn the skillet up to medium and stir in the sage, salt, and pepper.
  • When the gnocchi are done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the skillet. Toss lightly in the buttery mushrooms until your dumplings are coated in herby, garlicky goodness.
  • Divide the gnocchi between two bowls and top with shredded parmesan.

While the recipe we adapted referred to the finished product as a sauce, the way we cut it down made it more like a glaze that coated our mushrooms and gnocchi. But really, if your dumplings are light, fluffy pillows of flavor-absorbing amazingness, they don’t need sauce anyway. 🙂

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Categories: recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “supper tonight – 4.16.12 – gnocchi with mushrooms and sage

  1. Gnocchi! Looks delicious!

    Good call on making ricotta with that milk. Homemade ricotta is so ridiculously easy to make that I wonder why I bother to buy it. But then I remember that if I need a lot of ricotta, it’s easier to lug home a tub of it than a couple gallons of milk.

    Good call on the potatoes too. Did you listen to This American Life this week? It was about people with severe food allergies who can’t seem to keep away from the foods that make them sick. There was a guy with a severe seafood allergy who just loves crab. So he eats crab, and then stabs himself with an epi-pen. I don’t know if it’s related, but that’s what the gifted potatoes made me think of!

    • I didn’t hear This American Life, but that is fascinating! Especially the guy with the epi-pen! My grandma’s not allergic to potatoes, but she’s had some headaches and digestive problems that her doctor thinks are caused by certain foods that she now has to avoid. And she was fully aware of this when she bought the 5-pound sack of potatoes. 🙂

      And I pretty much only make ricotta when I’ve got milk on the verge of spoiling. I’ve never actually bought a bunch of milk just for the purpose of making it!

      • I can understand that though. Sometimes I just find certain things in the supermarket irresistible. And then I get home and say, “Why did I buy that?!”

        I actually have bought milk to make ricotta. We had this amazing dairy that sadly closed a few months ago (it’s so hard for these small farms to survive), and making ricotta from their milk was better than anything I could have bought in the store. But since they have gone, I’m back to buying my ricotta. It’s good though to remember that if milk is about to go, you should make cheese!

  2. Thanks for the link!! I think I will try out your recipe this weekend when we have more mushrooms ready….it sounds fab!

    • You’re quite welcome! Thanks for sharing your mushroom-growing adventures! I’m this close to buying a kit next time I’m at the co-op.

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